It is taking us a while to understand food here, and since food is such an integral part of culture, I'm sure we never really will. But, since watching the external workings of Spain is the only way for us to learn so far, I am paying attention to the cafes and restaurants. Spaniards flock to outdoor cafes. Except for the hours of 2:00 to 5:00, people can always be seen sitting outside little cafes and "cafeterias" all over town. In the United States, people tend to go out to lunch. If they go out for beers it's usually at night in a bar and for coffee it's for a meeting in the morning. In Spain, people drink beverages all day with very little food. My sister sent me a picture of her family out on vacation at an outside restaurant and it hit me as I saw the french fries and ketchup bottle. Spaniards don't eat quick meals outside. I would never see that scene in
Spain. Beer and coca cola lights are completely common at 10:30 in the morning and coffees are completely common at 11:00 pm. And, these are ordered without food. Scanning the cafes at any time people are smoking, drinking, talking, or contemplating, all over a coffee, a Fanta, a beer or a coke. You would think it would be accompanied by the occasional sandwich or taco, but the most you will see is a croissant, which seems to be the only basic food group I have seen so far. I have not seen an egg or a breakfast burrito anywhere. The hearty calories are saved for the 2:00 three course meal, either at a restaurant or at home with the family followed by a siesta. Cafes are strictly coffee and chocolate croissants, with of course a full bar behind the counter.
Sally and her family moved to Spain for a year from July 2017 - July 2018. They lived in a little town called Puzol, which is about 20km north of Valencia. Her kids, Carson and Celia, attended the American School of Valencia, an International School located in Puzol. The goal for the whole family was to experience another way of life, and learn Spanish.