Friday, March 11, 2011

It's all about the food:

I eat pretty well here.
Correction: I eat really well here.
Better than Janzow, for sure.

New exciting places means new exciting food!

One of my favorite things about traveling this semester has been sampling the typical cuisine of the region. The Spanish, especially here in Andalucia, eat a basic Mediterranean Diet.
And so do I.

Here's the breakdown:


This pyramid that I stole off google images pretty much describes my diet here, with the except of chocolate and sweets (which Consuelo never gives me. I guess that is healthier. But I have been able to eat some with the help of friends' packages and M.A.S.).

Coma, conmigo hoy:
Eat with me for the day:

El Desayuno: Breakfast
tostada (pan); zumo de melocotón y uvas; cafe: toast (fresh, white bread from a bakery down the street), peach-grape juice (love it), and coffee.

(It was hard for me to get used to eating so much white bread. I'm a whole wheat kind of girl. But it is sooooo good.)

El Almuerzo: Lunch
Dos-tres platos y picos o pan y fruta. Two-three dishes, with picos (served at lunch and dinner) or bread, and fruit for dessert.

Everyday I eat some kind of hot food made with olive oil. Always made with olive oil. Aceite de oliva. It could be any of combination of the following: bean/pea/carrot soup or a potatoes/onion dish or paella con mariscos or chicken or bacalao (cod) or tortilla española(hecho con patatas o carne o atún - made with potatoes or ham or tuna. Nothing like Mexican tortillas, more like an omelet).
I love Spanish tortilla...

Also, for lunch to go:
Un bocadillo (a sub made with white baguettes or bread and ham with lettuce and tomato, or tortilla in between two pieces of bread--carb central! but I love it) with two pieces of fruit. The lucky kids get nutella bocadillos (I'm not lucky).

Cafe por la tarde.
Coffee in the afternoon.
A lot of Spanish people drink some coffee as a pick-me-up after their siestas. I do quite often, regardless of whether or not I take a siesta (usually don't). Consuelo usually goes to meet her friends at a cafeteria (coffee shop) that serves free churros con chocolate with coffee.
Or, you can go out for a snack like this:
Cafe con leche (espresso with milk), (tea), gofres con chocolate y nata (waffle with chocolate and whipped cream), cafe solo (espresso) y una napolitana de chocolate (chocolate filled flaky pastry wonderfulness).

Tengo Hambre: The Hunger Game Begins:
Everyday I start to feel really hunger around the "normal" hours of an American Dinner. Usually I sneak a merienda, or snack, from my secret stash in my room of things like dark chocolate, cereal, granola bars, and peanut butter (very expensive to buy peanut butter here!). Don't tell Consuelo about the stash. I don't think she's found it yet.

Two days a week, I have my Culture and Cuisine: The Gastronomy of Spain class (yes, I get three credits to learn all about food!) during this time (5-6:30pm).
We sit around talking about food for an hour and a half while my stomach growls. I really love this class because I am learning so much about Spanish culture and great vocabulary.

Also... There are days when we get to have una cata, or a food tasting! These catas make this class basically into a snack sesh. So far, we've had two catas:

Cata #1:
Aceite de Oliva: Olive Oil
My favorite kind was made with Hojiblancas, a type of aceituna (olive).
Olive oil is a staple here. Consuelo uses it in EVERY SINGLE DISH SHE MAKES. Probably even fruit salads. She doesn't even tell me that it is in a dish, if I ask for a recipe, because it's just assumed. But I like it.
Cata #2:
Los dulces españoles: Spanish Desserts,
Traditionally made during Christmas time and Holy Week:

White stuff: Sultanas de Coco (just egg whites, sugar, coconut!) Very simple, very good! Like really soft macaroons. (****)
Middle thing: Torrijas. Very sweet. Traditionally made around Holy Week. Tasted like I was eating French Toast soaked in a pool of liquidy honey. (**)
Tin-foiled pastry: Pestiños. Complicated to make, traditionally done twice a year in large quantities when all the women of the family get together and make them. Kind of tasted like a nutty, fried, sugary pie-crust twisted into a fun shape. (***)
Plastic-wrapped, powdered sugar covered thing: Roscos de Vino. Made around Christmas, in the oven, not fried. They are hard, dough-nut shaped cinnamon rings, covered in powdered sugar. Very good for dunking in coffee. I really want to make them sometime--My favorite from the cata! (*****)

La Cena: Dinner
Sopa de calabacin y patátas, y quizás, una tortilla o pollo o pescado. Postre de fruta.
Usually just one or two dishes. Consuelo makes a weekly-supply of soup, made of pureed zuccinni and potatoes (and olive oil of course), which we eat with some picos or bread. I actually really, really love it. Even though it looked like this!
Typically, we also have either a tortilla or some fried bacalao or chicken. This meal is smaller, right before bed. Followed by a piece of fruit.

If you go out to a restuarant, you can find a bunch of options, especially of fried seafood, examples in the photo below, which was taken when my friend Beth and her mom visited me last week!
We ate at Bar Bistec in Triana, near my apartment:
Pollo frito (fried chicken bites), montadito de bistec (tiny sandwich the Spanish can't do steak. Trust me), Rioja Crianza (Andalusian red wine), Bacalao frito (fried cod), and picos andpatatas fritas (french fries).

Overall, I really enjoy the Mediterranean diet. If you don't like seafood or olive oil or bread, then you probably couldn't survive here. In the next couple of months, I'm excited to try some more different kinds of foods, especially the pastries! I'm also going to bring home some recipes to continue eating some of these dishes back in the States. Consuelo has taught me how to make the tortillas and some of the soups.

So. . . Anyone want to come over to my house for some Spanish food next year?
I'll buy some olive oil, put on some tunes and my Flamenco-styled apron, and we'll be good to go!

1 comment:

  1. AGH! Food blog! This makes me want to try Spanish tortilla so much.