What type of things does my equivalent in Spain typically eat and drink?
June 28, 2022 12:57 PM   Subscribe

I've signed up for Spanish Beginners 2 adult education classes beginning late August and am preparing by listening to Radio.Garden stations from Spain etc. To enjoy the culture as well, I want to have light summer snacks and meals similar to what a similar guy to me in Spain would be eating and drinking (midlife bachelor, "can't cook won't cook"). What would that be?

Many years ago I enjoyed language school holidays in Spain (several times), Peru and Argentina (one-offs I could never afford again). I enjoyed the exact same August local course in maybe 2017 but forgot things since then, I'm lazy but genuinely enjoy talking in Spanish in class and learning about Spanish culture. I would love to enhance my "at home immersion" by eating and drinking for a while with an influence from Spain more than just drinking a San Miguel. For example a half baguette with olive oil and vine tomatoes, an omelette, magdalenas (fairy cakes) with my tea or coffee. Really basic stuff without recipes, more like assembling things since I have zero cooking skills. My specific interest is in Spain since I've been there lots and living in the UK I might realistically save up for a holiday there. To imagine what I'm looking for, it might help to imagine the lifestyle of a similar person to me but in Spain. Either a bachelor or a widower who never cooked much (I'm the former), midlife or retired, very limited cooking skills, limited budget (I have the feeling the guy in this thought experiment might be able to access low cost lunches in cafes which is a bit trickier here). I guess things an unskilled and limited budget student would eat might also help me. I got great answers before about everyday non-recipe eating and drinking so I hope there might be one or two folks with suggestions this time too, I enjoy my food and a break from my usual favourites might be fun. Thanks!
posted by AuroraSky to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I feel like canned seafood snacks are a big thing in spain.
posted by Ferreous at 1:40 PM on June 28 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Here, I can get bottled gazpacho. It is better when served with croutons and diced tomato, cucumber, onions and bell pepper, but just a bowl of gazpacho is pretty good during summer.
Another thing my local supermarket has is Tortilla Española, a Spanish omelet with potatoes. It's good with some preserved or fresh bell peppers and bread.
Pa amb tomàquet is a Catalan classic. Have it with a few slices of Serrano ham.
A "cheese board" with Serrano ham, chorizo, and a selection of Spanish hard cheeses + some olives, figs and crusty bread is a good treat with a glass of Spanish wine.
posted by mumimor at 2:04 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I don't want to give anyone food poisoning, but I've definitely lived in a shared flat* before that had a hunk of cured Serrano-ish ham hanging from a hook on the wall that you could just take down and slice a few slivers off with a nice sharp knife. Add some manchego and membrillo and you've a lovely Spanish snack. And some quality chilled sherry if you're so inclined.

Lidl seems to occasionally do dried hams, I've seen membrillo in a largeish Tesco.

*It was in the UK and all my flatmates were, somewhat unusually, students, men, and really into cooking and eating extremely good food - one of them was fairly well off and his mother had been a cordon bleu chef at some point, so he'd just have flagons of his parents' home-pressed cider in the cupboard and hunks of serrano ham hanging on the wall... ah I miss it!
posted by penguin pie at 2:58 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I lived in Spain for 4 months and most of the men I met cooked and were proud of it.

Popular dish there is Spanish Tortilla, which they often eat a slice of between bread. A sort of Omlette Sandwich. It's delicious and incredibly easy to make.
posted by dobbs at 4:36 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Granadian (Andalucian) version:

Bocadillos (sandwiches), tostadas (toast plus various toppings, usually cheese / ham / tomato), raciones (tapas of various kinds, can be the aforementioned tortillas but is used to refer to various small plates). Frequently you can get one ración per drink you order, except that the price of said drink is 2 - 6 euros.

A "copa" is an alcoholic drink, café solo is black coffee, café con leche is exactly that. You can get coffee in a glass (en vaso) or in a small cup (en tasa).

And don't forget churros y chocolate! "Churro" is the word for "rope" and they are essentially plain fritters, served with not-very-sweet hot chocolate.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 11:26 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My Spanish friends are constantly eating shell-on sunflowers and spitting the seeds out.
posted by Balthamos at 12:16 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you're looking to buy sunflower seeds for snacking in the UK, corner shops run by Polish or Romanian people often stock them, since they're popular in parts of Eastern Europe.
posted by altolinguistic at 3:31 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]

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