Food! Myths & Realities

December 12, 2006


There is an abundance of great, fresh, cheap food here which makes sense because there are farms all around our village and lots of seafood from the nearby Mediterranean. But before I came, some people told me that I would not find fresh veggies in Spain which seemed quite odd and made me want to bring some organic lettuce seeds from California with me.

Even in our little village there is endless choice at the small grocery stores (and what they do not have
they will get for you like they got chocolate chip cookies for Mozart at her request), fantastic food in the restaurants and one could even pick endless avocados, oranges & herbs  if needed in and around the village. I took a few pictures at our super market in the next town to give you an idea of what it is like, which is pretty much like they are at home, altho it does have a much better fish and ham section. I just snapped them quickly as it is a bit odd to be snapping pictures in a grocery store. It does not tell the whole picture
as it is an impressive store, but lets you see a little.

One thing they do have in the grocery store that I have never seen is a small basket (we have these) with a long handle and wheels on them which many people seem to prefer to the big carts. Europeans tend to do more shopping in smaller amounts. They also have this euro system with the large carts all over Europe which took me a little while to figure out as we do not have it in the States. You must put a euro in a slot to unchain your cart, this forces you to return the cart, at which time you get your euro back when you relock it to the pile of carts. It actually makes more sense than the way we do it in the States as it saves labor and having to pay someone to always chase down the carts.

Spaniards here also seem to love nice big, colorful salads like we do in California (which is something else I was told by some that I would not find). Luckily the other people who told me I would be pleased with the food, selection and the salads were the ones that were right. As I ate yet another super delicious salad at a nearby restaurant today, I thought about these things that I was told before coming. When I first came to Europe many, many years ago, there was a huge difference between the stores in the States and those I saw in Europe (even in the top cities), but that no longer seems true.

We can get most anything here that we can get at home. I was told I would not be able to get tortillas here, but we can easily in our small village and have been able to get them all thru Europe. In Spain they call an egg omelet a tortilla, but I am referring to a tortilla that one uses in tex mex food made of flour or corn which are popular in California. I was told I would not be able to get jello or chocolate chip cookies and other things that have been easy to find at no extra cost. There are a few rare things that we can not get (like my Braggs amino acids) but for the most part they have it all. Plus they have some interesting thing
of their own and from other European countries, so lots of new things to try.

Spaniards do love ham and I hear it is spectacular here in its many forms but alas we do not eat pork so will not be able to enjoy that. Nevertheless we enjoy seeing all the ham in stores and watching them cut it like today at the restaurant. We do most of our cooking at home, but do like to splurge from time on the local restaurants. Today was a holiday so they were packed. One thing great about living in a tourist town is how many wonderful restaurants there are right here in the village. Their big meal is early in the day, around two-ish which works really well for us. We have been very impressed with the food, service and prices.






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Haha, I'm really loving reading about your travels, but it was interesting to learn that shopping carts are like that in Europe, too. I live in Canada and we have both the little baskets with wheels and pay shopping carts, though they can range from a quarter to a dollar and some stores even sell little coins on keychains that can be reused to get a cart and go towards charities.

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