I guess I could be suffering from “vacation palate,” where perhaps everything tastes better because of the locale. I could also be enjoying meals that others prepared, because NOT having to cook is a lovely seasoning to any meal. However, I very quickly fell back into a wonderful habit of eating well, trying new dishes, and rediscovering some treats that are only easily found in Spain. For example, I really like pastries, but in my neighborhood at home, there are no local bakeries. Grocery store bread is significantly less appealing than the loaves I can find in a bakery around the corner (pretty much any corner!) in Spain.
I’ve already raved about my problem with tostadas con tomate that I ate pretty much every day for breakfast while we were there. I have tried to recreate the flavor and taste of the extremely simple meal, but I finally gave up. Other people with a somewhat sweeter breakfast palate (you know who you are!) might have sampled the napoletanas on various days. These crusty little treats are basically chocolate filled croissants, and are a remarkable accompaniment to cafe con leche. Trust me on this one, gentle readers. I think I have had dreams about this breakfast.
I’m not much of a food photographer, because usually I am too durn hungry to think, “Oh, wait one moment while I get my camera, adjust the settings for the perfect shot — oh, wait, is the lighting good? — and… just one more minute…” Nope. I’m much more interested in the consumption end of the process. So, in the pictures below, I want you to understand the sacrifice and restraint I demonstrated before making these treats MINE.
Below, you will see a napolitana, some olives that accompanied a ridiculously delicious sandwich (bocadillo de tortilla española), some sandwiches from 100Montaditos, croissants in their native habitat (a plate), and cafe con leche.
A word to wise about junk food in Spain: it exists. Restaurants like McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, and many, many more can serve up the same guilt-ridden food that they serve here in the US. One of my favorite “fast food” options in Spain is 100Montaditos, which is little sandwiches (montaditos) that make for a quick bite. The variety is ridiculous, hence the name. On Sundays and Wednesdays, this restaurant will be packed, because it’s 1€ for most montaditos and the cheap beer and sangria are even cheaper! And while Spaniards consider this junk food, compared to a burger from McDonalds, a montadito is practically health food.