In Spain children get their Christmas present on the 6th of January. These are given by the Reyes Magos(the three kings who gave presents to the baby Christ). Children leave turron and cava for the Reyes and the camels!!!!!All that day we eat Roscon de Reyes, a cake (see the picture) which has a surprise inside. The typical are withouth cream, but lately there are different styles of the traditional.
It's is typical from Madrid to have chocolate with churros(this is a thing made with flour and fried in olive oil), you can try in every cafe and bar in madrid. in this wonderful shop and cafe: cacao sampaka(C/ Orellana 4), the best chocalete but they don't have churros so you can eat other sweets or salted things with your chocalate!
At the Plaza Mayor, sit in any of the terraces, relax or try a 'barquillo' ... umm delicious ...
I have also seen these men at the Retiro Park.
My first memories about the barquillos are from Bilbao from Parque Maria Luisa, if I was a good girl, I used to get one (so I wonder why I did not had many lol). But when we used to go to Madrid, I always used to get one.
Well, everyone knows about the whole tapas/eating late dinners deal by now. (If you don't, check out almost anyone else's Madrid page) So, I'm going to use this space to clue ya'll in on some of the yummy Spanish food eaten during these times.
-Tortilla Espanola, it's like a quiche made of eggs and potatoe. It's really good, too. I don't know how they eat tapas and then have dinner, though. My mom and I had split a tortilla espanola and weren't too hungry after that.
-Paella, it's a very traditional Spanish meal, down at Costa del Sol, you'll see stands set up by the beach with huge pans of paella being made. Up north (in this case, Madrid) you can order it at a restaurant for two people or more. My mom and I ordered the two people serving. It could have served four!! But, it was absolutely DELICIOUS!! Definitely go for the chicken etc... paella. The seafood one is a little frightening at first for people who like to know exactly what's there. The leave everything in its shell. But, if you're an adventerous eater, go for it. It's good.
-Churros and hot chocolate, make sure you go to an authentic Spanish diner, not like a chain type or Americanized place. Churros cost us about 20 cents each, and a cup of hot chocolate (ie hot chocolate pudding) was about 2 euros. It's the best (fattiest) breakfast!
-Sangria, so so so good, especially when the put soda in it. MMMMMMM... I want to go back to Spain!!
Tapas are the famous Spanish Hor'deuvres that everyone eats. Madrid has them all over the place. They come in small portions or larger portions. So you can order half or fill Racions. The larger order can make a light meal. Many people go to different Tapas Bars trying different Tapas. Examples can be olives, Calamare Frtos (Squid) or Albondingas (Meatballs). One cannot go to Madrid or Spain for that matter without trying Tapas.
Probably most interesting typical custom is "ir de tapas". What does it mean? With friends (better) or alone, you go to a bar and have a drink; may be a "caña" (beer), a cup of wine, a cocktail or a soda. The drink comes with little dishes called "tapas" (olives, ham, peanuts, "tortilla"...) and some places are famous for their dishes, so you must go for one bar to the other!
Probablemente, la costumbre típica más interesante sea "ir de tapas". ¿Qué significa? Con amigos (mejor) o solo, vas a un bar y tomas algo; puede ser una "caña" (cerveza), una copa de vino, un cóctel o un refresco. La bebida viene con unos platitos llamados "tapas" (aceitunas, jamón, maníes, tortilla...) y algunos sitios son famosos por sus platos, por lo que debes ir de un bar a otro!
If you are from North America, spanish eating hours are something to adjust to. Dinner is not until 8pm at earliest, so sometimes it is hard to find a nice place to eat when you are hungry around 5 or 6. Also we found that we would get up early in order to get the most done in the day, however nothing was open and certainly no where to eat. On the day we left Madrid, we left at 9 or 10am and there was not a single restaurant open in our area where we could catch a bite to eat.
At first I wasn't sure about the concept of a cold soup, but when I was studying in Madrid it sounded like a good idea at the time because every day it was as hot as a tar road in Tennessee. Besides, I liked all the ingredients (tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables). I loved my first go of gazpacho at the Cisneros Dining Hall at the Complutense. It is a treat on a hot day. RECIPE:
1 slice of bread
1 clove of garlic
1/4 litre olive oil
Place the peppers without pips or centre, the peeled cucumbers, tomatoes, peeled garlic, bread, oil, vinegar, and salt into the beater. Crush and add water to taste. Serve cold. It can be garnished with pieces of cucumber, tomato, bread, and peppers.
Tapas are basically small portions of different typical foods you share. They are thus a great way of tasting the huge variety of Spanish dishes.
Tapas include "raciones", "canapes", and "croquetas" and my suggestion is try them all!
By the way, don´t worry if you don't understand the menu, most tapas bars have their tapas on display at the bar so you can simply point at what looks appealing to you.
In Spain (especially in the big cities and towns) it is normal not to have breakfast at home but to go to a breakfast bar.
There the men (most are men who go there before going to their offices etc.) will order CHURROS.
These are thick STICKS made of a mixture of oil and flour and deep fried........ohhhhhhh they are so fat and it feels as if you have a stone in your stomach, especially because they dip them in very strong coffee or very strong chocolate........
How people behave you can see in the photo I took there while listening to the raindrops and wanting to continue walking EL RASTRO, the FLEA MARKET.
Tapas are such a big deal in Madrid that they invented the verb "tapear" (to go eat tapas). There are numerous places to go and have a drink and tapas (small snacks that accompany the drink). The areas around Plaza Mayor and Plaza Santa Cruz are particularly popular, but you'll find tapas all over town. Here is a picture of a very common tapas dish (this is a large portion called a "racion"), jamon iberica and queso, which is top-quality iberian ham and aged Spanish Manchego cheese. It was delicious.
After a long night of tapas hopping, Madrilenos often will stop for some churros (like a long doughnut) dipped in a thick chocolate milk type concoction. There's a great place off of San Gines that's worth a stop. Here's a shot of my friend Andrew tasting his first churro.
Madrid is finally emegring out from the dark shadow of Francisco Franco and shedding its staid, traditionalist and parochial image. Modern cuisine based on regional themes is starting to catch-on in the city. Locals credit Spain's entry to the European Union and the opening of the borders for free movement in Europe, as the driving force behind Madrid's updated look. But old habits die hard, especially if they are as delicious as tapas, the wonderful little appetizer dishes that feed Spain between lunch and midnight. Around the Plaza Mayor, the Puerto del Sol, the Plaza de Santa Ana or the Opera are clusters of friendly bars known by the Madrileños as tascas, where a glass of fino can be accompanied by tapas. Each bar has a number of specialties.
Some terms to remember:
Tasca, a bar serving tapas
Tapeo, tapas bar hopping. A pub crawl.
Tapa, a single piece of food in a saucer-sized plate.
Ración, A larger portion of a tapa, enough to share with a friend.
Media Ración, half a ración but larger than just a tapa.
Banderilla, a few pieces of grilled or cold and/or pickled tidbits impaled on a toothpick shaped like the instrument used to stick the bull in a bullfight.
Montadito, a canape-like tapa.
Fino, pale dry sherry from Jerez, always served chilled. The most popular sherry overall.
In most bars along with the sherry and beer you will also find cava (champagne) as an inexpensive item. You might wonder about the minimal cost till you realize that what is being served is cheap white wine passed through a CO2 gizmo, like a beer pump.
Presto! Bubbly on tap!!!
One of the joys of Madrid is the food, often best enjoyed in the many bars and cafes that serve ready made food (tapas) to its standing customers. Cheap and quick, it makes for a great, authentic, meal. What we really like about many of these eating establishments in Madrid is the old-school style of clothing that the wait staff wears. Pure class!!
They say we have the highest rate of bars per habitants in all Europe!! (I think it's in all the world). In the city center you will find 3 or 4 bars in every block. Always full for breakfasts, tapas, a quick beer, bocadillos, another coffee...
Don't feel ashamed of throwing used tissues or olive bones to the floor, as it is a normal way of acting (and I don't feel very comfortable about that!). Anyway, they usually clean the floor quite often.