Yes, Spain has great food and drink, but you probably have some misconceptions and myths.
Let’s look at the famous trinity of Sangria, Paella and Churros.
Everyone knows all about those, right. Wrong. Time to bust some food myths.
Spaniards drink sangria sometimes. A giggly gaggle of friends may order a couple of jugs at a bar for a bit of fruity fun. However a lot of bars don’t make alcoholic sangria ( like with brandy), and they rarely soak the fruit overnight.
What you may get in a bar Spain as sangria, is red wine, diluted with slightly sweetened fizzy drink, with fresh fruit afloat in the bubbles. To drink like a local, ask for tinto de verano, meaning summer red wine, slightly sweetened soda, lemonade or even Fanta, ice, and a slice of lemon.
Mmm, that’s refreshing and makes a change from the una Clara con limon.
I was bitterly disappointed the first time I had it Santiago de Compostela. My mistake, Galicia is not the place for paella, Northern Spain is the place for hot soups, and sturdy meat dishes, not a delicate Paella.
Paella is a regional dish. The place for good authentic paella is Valencia, a rice growing area on the east coast. Elsewhere you could get a horrible mixture of half cooked rice, and you wonder why bother, especially if you are Indian and can tell the difference between pulao, khichadi and biriyani.
Another mistake, don’t eat paella for dinner. Paella is meant for lunch, and don’t drink it with Sangria.
What can go wrong with ordering Churros for dessert? Oops Churros are never a dessert in Spain. These exquisitely airy, elegant long, fried dough sticks paired with silken thick, barely sweet chocolate is never ever eaten after dinner as Postre.
Be like a local and eat it for breakfast, to quell the mid-morning or afternoon munchies. Or like me, eat it after a 10 km uphill walk from Pontedeume to Mino in the pouring rain.
It is the correct etiquette to plunk them in your coffee, or in your chocolate and then crunch up the slightly salty stick with your darkly handsome chocolate.
The most important part of the Camino is that you can get delicious things to eat, so do plan your next adventure — and eat happily.