The Spanish Breakfast [El desayuno español]

This morning I was taking my breakfast while I was thinking that in different countries there’s different ways to take a breakfast, it’s not the same the French breakfast and the German one. We take different breakfast in different countries.

In Spain, nowadays we are not used to eat much at morning; we eat more at lunch time and not much at dinner (but some families’ eats a lot at night!!).

I’ll start with the working days, we are used to drink coffee with milk, and children are used to drink milk with cocoa powder (It’s yummy, I usually take this if I don’t eat cereal) it comes accompanied by toasts with jam, honey or butter, cookies, buns, and we are used to eat too cereal or “bocadillos” (a sort of sandwich very common in Spain).

Bocadillos can be filled with many things, it always have two breads with something between the breads.

When I was a child, children were used to drink a glass of milk (or milk with cocoa powder) and went to school until break time, where they ate the “bocadillo” that their mother prepared for them.

In my case, I used to not bring anything at school, because I always had time to take a nice break fast before going to school.

It is not uncommon in winter days to accompany the coffee with liqueur (usually “Anís” or “Carajillo”). It is also common to drink freshly squeezed orange juice, as in Spain, oranges are abundant and relatively cheap.

On workdays, we usually make a more strong “second breakfast”, between 10:00 and 12:00 in the morning, when companies tend to give half an hour for breakfast and schools the ringer gives the notice that the break time begins.

It is common for this breakfast to be taken in bars located near the workplace. In schools is more typical to take a bocadillo (sandwich) and a juice or smoothie in cartons.

During the weekends and / or special dates the churros and porras are quite typical, which are usually purchased in “churrerías” (Places where they mostly sell churros) or bars specialized in breakfast.

Churros are quite yummy and sweet, it has cylindrical from. Porras are bigger and thiker churros.
A traditional “churrería”, they can move the shop. It often opens at festivity days, national or city celebrations, at fairs, weekends… and in general, when they can get more customers. You can select many kinds of churros and eat it while walking.

In some localities, especially in rural areas usually do a breakfast using knife and fork, because the physical needs for the effort that is made when working in the field, they have to eat a lot such as pig’s trotters, cod with sauce, etc.

We eat different breakfast depending on our region.

Let’s take a look:

• Andalucía: Even if it seems the name of a woman is a region located at the south of Spain (with their awesome and funny dialect). Their traditional breakfast is called “Pan con Aceite” (Bread with oil), it has countryside origin, served in different ways and accompanied by sugar or salt (My grandma used to give me this meal as “merienda”, that’s a meal or snack at the evening, children are used to do it). It’s typical too the “Manteca colorá’” (“Manteca colorada” blushed* butter) based on lard, paprika and minced pork.

*Colorada can mean to have many colors, or to be blushed if we refer to someone. It doesn’t fit my tastes but I recoment you to try “La manteca colorá” at least once.

It’s called mostly “Desayuno Andaluz”, but the most common to eat at the cities are the toasts named before.

Bread, oil and sugar is awesome even if at first it seems a weird combination.

• In Galicia (located at the north-west of Spain, near Portugal) was traditional to divide the first traditional meal of the day, before the main meal (the “Xantar” ” yantar ” in Castilian, modernly translated into that language for “almuerzo” (breakfast)), in two sessions, especially in rural areas due to waking up so early to start the work of the field.

The first session, which used to be done first thing in the morning at home, is called “xaxún” (“ayuno” (fasting) in Castilian, referring to his break at half-night), consisted in Sopa Gallega (Galician soup), served with bread and sometimes wine, or “chips” of milk, where it is mixed with pieces of bread and some other ingredient (especially nuts, usually cooked); could be accompanied also with cheese, bacon, ham, sausage or other meat product.

By mid-morning was made the ” xaxún ” (a term that designates Galician now the modern breakfast, translated into Castilian for “ayuno”), more consistent, traditionally eaten outside the home, in the place of farming or livestock, and consists of bread, bacon, ham, sausage or the like, cheese, maybe some fruit and often a drink of brandy.

Modern has homologated this breakfast as the usual in the Iberian Peninsula, common being milk, coffee, cocoa, grains, carbohydrates (bread, toasted or not, cookies …), fruit (perhaps in the form of jam or marmalade), butter (which, as in Portugal, may have varying degrees of curing, it is not traditional oil, as in other parts of Spain), pastries, etc.. Consumed once (at home, newly awaken, usually between 7 and 9 am) and can be reinforced by another around noon (10-12 am), during a break in the workday or school.

• In Catalonia is very traditional the “Pa amb tomàquet” (Bread with tomato), accompanied by “embutido” (some kind of dry or prepared sausages).

Easy to make and yummy, it’s a very charateristic food from catalonia.
Embutido: Something very popular in Spain.

• Madrid is known the chocolate con churros (chocolate with churros).

The Yummy chocolate con churros, it’s awesome!

• In The Canaries is frequent to accompany the milk with gofio, a pre-Hispanic food made from corn or wheat that, when roasted, is milled artesanally or industrially. It is also common on some islands (mainly Lanzarote and Fuerteventura) to take what is known as “Leche y leche” (milk and milk) which is the traditional coffee with milk which was added condensed milk. In Tenerife is also known the “barraquito”, of Cuban origin, which is a transparent glass filled of coffee with foamed milk and condensed milk as well as cinnamon or chocolate powder on top and a dash of liqueur.

I never ate gofio, but it looks yummy.
Hmm… barraquito looks very yummy!

But, even having our traditional or not traditional breakfast, it’s not needed for us to eat our traditional breakfast always, for example, in my case, I never ate a “bocadillo” nor “Pa amb tomaquet) at morning, and I was more used to eat cereal, or milk with cocoa powder.

But I’m more used top eat the typical French breakfast (In France, they generally take as breakfast croissants, brioches and baguettes. Usually accompanying these buns with café au lait (“coffee with milk”).). Many Spanish workers they take the “Italian breakfast” (In Italy, in the morning before leaving for work they just drink coffee. By midmorning, as they went to work after 8 am, in a coffee bar they consume a cappuccino (coffee with milk with enough foam) and a cornetto (sweet croissant), which may come filled with cream, jam, honey, etc.).

Bon apetite! My beloved french breakfast!

When we go on a trip, if we stop some place to rest making a break in our travel, we do the Italian breakfast too.

But the mix of breakfast is called Continental Breakfasts: It’s a form of breakfast based on the traditional Mediterranean lighter breakfast. Typically consists of coffee and milk (often mixed as Cappuccino or latte) or hot chocolate, served with a variety of muffins such as brioche and pastries such as croissant, often accompanied by jam, cream or chocolate filling . It is often served with juice.

Continental breakfast may also include sliced cold-cooked meat such as salami or ham, and yogurt or cereal. Some European countries like the Netherlands or Scandinavia, add some fruit and cheese bread, and occasionally even a boiled egg.

Continental breakfast is not limited to Europe, appearing on menus in many hotels around the world.

Have a nice breakfast everyone!!


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One Response to The Spanish Breakfast [El desayuno español]

  1. yoselinc says:


    Everything seems delicious but I prefer French breakfast sometimes! I love sweets so much! ^o^!

    Anyways, maybe someday I’ll make an entry in my blog about typical breakfasts in my country, too. Many spanish dishes are also Venezuelan dishes and —I guess— in other countries of Latin-America. So probably we can be surprised! =)

    I hope you’re fine!!


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