Spanish in Spain

Eating at Home

An epiphany cake

A typical breakfast is very light: coffee and toast with either butter or olive oil and tomato. Children drink chocolate milk and have a chocolate spread on their bread. On the weekend, breakfast might be a more elaborate meal of eggs and ham, depending on region or individual taste.

Often there is a snack of a sandwich or cookies at around 11:00 or 12:00 noon, since lunch is not served until 2:00 p.m. Since lunch is the main meal, many will try to go home to eat with the family. Most businesses and government offices shut down during this time. An average lunch will start with soup of vegetables, potato, or lentils, and possibly meat. This will be followed by some kind of meat, chicken or fish that has been either roasted or fried in garlic olive oil and, perhaps, a little cilantro (cooking in Spain tends to be fairly simple in terms of spices.) Along with the main course there will be a salad of fresh vegetables and greens, and bread accompanies every meal. For dessert, one can have a piece of fruit or flan, a rich Spanish custard. After the table is cleared, cookies or cake are put out to be enjoyed with the coffee.

After lunch there is a period of rest, which is particularly welcome during periods of great heat. Businesses and shops re-open again at 5:00 p.m. and generally stay open until 8:00 or so. Dinner is a lighter meal, which can begin anytime between 8:00 and 11:00 p.m.. Supper does not require as much preparation as lunch and usually consists of lighter dishes such as an omelette, potatoes with sausage, or a hamburger. A favorite supper is fish, salad and bread. Beverages include water, soda, juices, wine with seltzer, beer, or in summer, gazpacho.