Eating my way across Spain

So here I sit in Sarria, Spain.  Yeah, I love starting blogs like that.  Traveling has been so much fun.  I thought that since I had a bit of time, I´d share a little about the food here. Each area in Spain seems to have its regional specialties.  Some of these are Seafood in the north west, and more Mediterranean meals in the south east. In Madrid it seems to be ham.  I have had more varieties of ham than I thought were possible.  The bacon first.  Oh the bacon.  If you’ve ever had American ¨bacon¨ you know how horrid it is.  so thin and small that it´s always burnt and crunchy.  English bacon is better, thicker and more meat like.  Spanish bacon is best.  It´s like British bacon, but it has more flavour.  We also had several other types of ham, each better than the last.  Most bars and restaurants have their own leg of ham that they cut up.  It´s like everyone´s a butcher. The Paella is also good.  Not for those with shellfish allergies, but amazingly good.  If you´ve ever had Mexican Paella, well this is better.  For one it´s much less spicy.  I like spicy foods, but that tended to be too much. I just had stewed bull the other day, another wonderful meal.  It tasted like it had been stewing all morning.  Melt in your mouth good. The Spanish breakfast I had the other day was wonderful.  We went down to a pub for breakfast and I had a piece of bread with ham on it with Chocolate (hot chocolate).  It was small, but very good.  The Chocolate is what we would consider European Drinking Chocolate, but about three times thicker.  You stir in however much sugar you want, and when you take the spoon out the chocolate is sticking to it.  Mmmm….  Best hot chocolate ever. Breakfasts are usually very small, a piece of bread and some ham is a fairly common one.  Lunches on the other hand are at least two courses, plus a dessert.  I´d tell you what dinners were, but we´ve really never been hungry for them after our huge lunches. For lunches we usually get the Menu del Dia, or menu of the day.  It gives us a choice of a few things for the first course, a few for the second, a dessert, a basket of really good bread, and a glass or three of wine.  All for less than 10Euros  (about 15CAD).  Some places let you choose the dessert, and some give you the choice of bottled water or pop to replace the Vino Tinto, but not often, since wine is cheaper than both of those. Bocadillos are another popular food here.  It´s basically a smallish (16″ or so) loaf of french bread cut lengthwise with some meat and or cheese stuck in it. Also of note are Tappas.  Basically a small appetizer.  A few meatballs, or olives, or a piece of toast, or a bit of calamari.  Nothing huge, but also very cheap.  Usually served with beer. Something interesting here is that drinks are usually served with a free, or almost free, bit of food, and meals are served with a free drink.  It´s kinda cool. I´d tell you all about the various odd foods I´ve tried, but that would take forever.  I plan on trying the octopus later today, apparently it´s a specialty here.  I haven´t had it in a few years, but I recall enjoying it.  That´s all for now. Adios.

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