If you are dining out in Spain this summer, you are in for a real treat. There is nothing quite like the Spanish food culture. Stepping out onto the streets, exploring the restaurants is like investigating a new society. Whether you are on the ancient streets of Madrid or the modern paradise of Barcelona Spain will welcome with home arms. It will invite you to try different delicaciestapas , and we strongly recommend you accept the invitation.
Delicate and Delightful
One thing that the Spanish have perfected to an art is snacking. They do not grab a snicker bar between lunch and dinner. Rather, going out for tapas means visiting plenty of different restaurants. You may go in a big group or meet people while you are out and share little plates filled with exotic food. For instance, juicy dates wrapped in bacon fried to perfection. Or perhaps some refreshing, pumpkin soup. Grab a ladle and join the party. Snacking has never been this fun and sociable.
Over The Table
Did we say sociable? We sure did. If you are one of those people who just can not stop talking during meals Spain is this place you want to be. Sobremesa loosely translated means over the table. This means that the Spanish love a little chitter chatter with their meals. Discussions are encouraged and a natural part of the meal. Do not be surprised to find the restaurants you visit alive with vivid conversations. You may want to pick up a phrase book to understand exactly what is being said.
A Little Late for Lunch?
Here is a tip for when dining in Spain. Lunch is a little later than usual at around three-thirty in the afternoon. If you are from somewhere like England, then lunch time ranges from around 12:00 to 2:30 pm. But for the Spanish three pm is dining time. There is another difference too. In England, you may see a lot of people out on the streets. In Spain, not so much. Why is that? They are all inside enjoying lunch with their family or friends and having good conversation.
Keeping Things Pure
Spanish food is very pure and healthy for one reason. They commonly drink water with their meals. Do not expect to be offered any fizzy drinks or junk filled with chemicals. This is not the way in Spain. If you are older, you may have some wine with your food, chosen very carefully to complement the taste of your meal. You will find wine commonly included in the advertised price of your meal.
Dine and Snooze
The Spanish are well known for resting after their meal. Although they tend not to sleep businesses and shops tend to close for a couple hours while they let their food go down. Now that is what you call proper digestion.
One Fine Tip
The usual tip is around five to ten percent of your meal. This is rather similar to other places in the world and, of course, is not technically necessary. Just a common courtesy.
If you do go to Spain, we hope you take full advantage of enjoying their food and culture.