Picky eaters can have a hard time when studying abroad. I’m not a picky eater and I still often struggle with finding a restaurant that serves food that I actually want. While I have tried a lot of delicious local food, like patatas bravas, Spanish omelet, salchichas, and Sangria (my favorite), I do sometimes opt for McDonald’s or Burger King. At these restaurants, I know that the food will be fast, cheap, and familiar. When studying abroad, I encourage you to try as much local food as you can before resorting to food that you can eat back at home.
Another interesting thing about eating in Spain is the meal times. I eat breakfast at 9am, lunch around 1pm, and dinner between 9pm and 10pm. Needless to say, I snack a lot during the day. One of my friends and I are committed to picking up different snacks at the local supermarkets to try. So far we have tried jamón flavored potato chips (yes, that would be ham flavored potato chips), ketchup flavored corn crisps, and many chocolate desserts. Some snacks were better than others. Currently my snack of choice is magdalenas, which are little muffins. My host mom gives these to me for breakfast to eat with my coffee. ¡Muy delicioso!
When trying new foods, you might be surprised to discover that the food isn’t as bad as you thought it would be. One night, my host mom served potatoes, green beans, and “carne” for dinner. I didn’t know what type of meat I was eating but I never ask about the food because I think it’s a little rude. I finished my plate and my host mom offered me a little more carne, which I accepted. When I finished this second ration, she asked me “¿Te gusto la carne?” (Did you like the meat?). I told her that I did. She says “Es conejo, rabbit.” I couldn’t believe it! I felt a mixture of disgust and bewilderment. But I was also proud that I tasted food that I never would never back home. Enjoying new experiences is what studying abroad is all about!
My friends and I attended an event at Cook and Taste- a restaurant where participants learn how to prepare a local meal, along with an experienced chef, and eat it! We made Paella with chicken and the potato omelet (Spanish tortilla).
This is one of my favorite breakfast meals that my host mom prepared for me. Ham, eggs, and two slices of bread.
Gelato isn’t just a delicious dessert, it’s a way of life. And it tastes so much better in Spain! Pictured is a cup of vanilla gelato with chocolate cake pieces, butter cookies, and sprinkles!