I’ve gotten ridiculously homesick. Yes, I admit…I miss our food. I cannot find one Spanish meal that is big enough to fill me up, and that is enriched in spice or seasoning, other than salt and olive oil; and with Thanksgiving having just passed, the homesickness has been heightened. I'm well aware that the American diet is the absolute worse. So, maybe it's going to take some time for my body to adjust to consuming fresh food which is a shame.
Don't get me wrong, Madrid is an excellent place for wine, cheese, meat, and eating healthy; hence, their Mediterranean diet, that consist of fresh food such as various types of fish and vegetables. However, the food, not all, but a lot, can be a bit bland and because their portions are so small, I often find myself still hungry after a seemingly complete meal when out with the locals. In America, where we’re known for our significant portions, sharing is usually okay with us when everyone knows there’s enough food for people to get a second plate. However, here, people get full off of two plates of appetizers! Yes, finger food!
I don’t know if my appetite has just increased since I’ve been here or I’m actually just that greedy, but sharing has become one aspect of the culture that I am reluctant to accept. Most people here will share appetizers at a dinner AS their dinner, whereas I’m usually the loner that will get a full course meal and DEVOUR it, happily.
Of course, I’ll offer some to others, but only after I have doused the entire plate with pepper, salt or hot sauce that gives the meal a bit of a kick. This will often make the person reaching over the table to get food off my plate with his/her previously licked fork…choke.
Please Note: It is quite common for people to take food off of your plate and hot sauce is rarely if ever found, on restaurant tables.
So, with Beyonce’s song “ Formation” playing as a soundtrack to most of my dinners...
That’s right, my love for spice and everything nice is not going anywhere, and I now carry it with me. Almost every restaurant I have gone to when asking for a bit more spice has given me something equivalent to ketchup. However, all of that was thrown out the window last night when my friend and I went to a restaurant named Tacos and Tapas and had delectable dishes that were from both Spain and Mexico.
Although I know that there is a big difference between Spain and Latin America, I am ashamed to say that I always assumed that both cultures food would be cooked similarly in regards to seasoning and flavor. Well, I was wrong. Spain’s cuisine is similar to the diet of Mediterranean meals, where food is eaten in its pure form with basic ingredients added to the poultry or veggies. Latin American food just seems to explode your palette with various seasonings, spices, both sweet and salty.
With all of this said, I do appreciate Spain’s food and the wine is phenomenal, both in taste and price, but it wouldn’t hurt to add various spices to one's dish. I have accepted the fact that although Spain doesn’t have intense flavor’s, you will appreciate the fact that it will get you bikini weather ready. Until next time, stay trim, my friend.