If there’s anything I’m good at it’s eating. I take my eating so seriously in fact that some would say I’m competitive about it. Plus, they say you’re supposed to write about what you know, so why not write about food? Not cooking it so much, but eating it. YUM. So here’s the first in my three-part series dedicated to eating: breakfast (that’d be desayuno in the old español).
It probably comes as no surprise that breakfast in Spain is very different from breakfast in America. In America we tend to go big or go home, i.e. breakfast tacos, pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, etc. (I’m gonna stop now because I made myself drool). But in Spain breakfast is a much more muted affair. Here’s a little peak at what I had for breakfast this morning:
That would be a mug of Cola Cao and a plátano, i.e. a banana from the Canary Islands that is smaller and slightly sweeter than the big brother version we usually eat in America. And yes, I eat my breakfast on a placemat with a cow that says “Muuuuuuuu!” on it, because I’m 5 years old…
If I don’t have a banana for breakfast then I usually go for a pan de leche, literally milk bread. Other at home options include magdalenas, little muffin guys and of course María biscuits, which are kind of like sweet breakfast crackers or what the British call digestives. Here’s a look at what we currently have in our kitchen pantry para desayunar. (Coffee not pictured because I don’t drink the stuff, but F does.)
But If you’re lucky enough (i.e. have the muuuuu!-lah) to eat out for breakfast then a whole new world of options await you. Breakfast in Spain varies from the north to the south and from one region to the next, but as far as Andalucía is concerned bread with olive oil and tomato sauce reigns supreme. In most areas it’s called a tostada, and you can choose between a media (half) or entera (whole). The bread is typically a baguette cut down the middle, toasted and served with whatever you please on top.
A classic tostada comes standard with olive oil, tomato sauce, and if the joint is extra classy some freshly sliced jamón. But, tostadas can also be ordered with olive oil and sugar (a favorite for the niños), butter and jam, deli meat or fresh tomato slices… the list goes on. I’ve even seen foie gras included on the carta.
But In Antequera, we take the tostada and throw it into a sandwich called molletes (moe-yet-ehs). Mollete is sourdough-like bread produced exclusively in Antequera and famous all over Spain. And believe me and the kilos I gain by eating this stuff way too often: it’s delicious.
And finally, perhaps the most famous Spanish breakfast combo of all, churros con chocolate, deep fried dough dipped in thick hot chocolate. And now here comes my embarrassing confession: remember that first picture? Well, a few hours later I met a friend for my second breakfast of the day, pictured below.
What can I say? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day… yeah, I should probably go on another hike, or seven.
So what about you guys? What do you usually have for breakfast? How about my fellow ex-pats in Spain – do they eat the same things in your neck of the woods or do I need to make a breakfast pilgrimage to try some new treats?