Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Things we miss about living in Spain.

Ok, so it's nothing to do with Berlin but we just got back from a visit to Spain and realised that there were a few things that we both miss. Before making the move to Berlin I lived there for 6 years and it's only after going back to visit that I noticed there are some things I maybe took for granted when I was living there. It probably says a lot about me that most of the things I miss are food related (don't worry friends in Spain, I miss you too!) so enjoy the photos and try not to drool on your keyboard!

Patatas Bravas ("brave" potatoes)

Patatas Bravas are fried potatoes with a warm tomato-based sauce poured on top. The strength and quality of the sauce varies from "very boring tomato" to "amazingly hot and spicy".

Café con Leche (coffee with milk)

Although you can find many coffee shops in Berlin, the coffee just isn't the same as a nice strong Spanish coffee. 

Café con Hielo (iced coffee)

For coffee lovers in Madrid during the hot seasons, cafe con hielo is a must. It is just unbearable drinking hot coffee in the constant dry summer heat of the city. Hot black coffee is normally served in a cup with another glass of ice that you pour the coffee into. I don't like black coffee however, so I order "coffee with milk, with ice" to much confusion of the waiters.

Sandwich Mixto con Huevo (mixed sandwich with a fried egg)

It's probably a blessing that I haven't found this breakfast-time treat in Berlin yet as most of the time there is normally about a pound of butter covering this Spanish take on the cheese and ham toastie.
The cut out hole in the bread (so your egg doesn't get squashed) is a fancy touch.

The Menu Del Día (menu of the day)

The "menu of the day" is pretty much a standard for Spaniards. Most Spanish bars and restaurants offer wholesome home-cooked Spanish food at lunch-time. The menu typically comes with a choice of first and second courses, a free drink and dessert or coffee. To be honest it is normally way too much for me to eat at lunchtime (leads to a very unproductive afternoon in the office) but I did used to treat myself every once in a while. 

Tinto De Verano ("Summer wine") 

As the name suggests, this drink is perfect to quench your thirst on a terrace in the summer months. It is a typical drink for a Menu Del Día too. The mixture of red wine and sparkling tonic water is very refreshing. 

Servilletas (serviettes or napkins)

This is an honorary mention as servilletas are one of the things I DON'T miss about living in Spain. Every bar has them and they always remind me of school toilet paper. With a completely non-absorbent flimsy plastic coating, they are completely and utterly inadequate for the task they were designed for!


All in all, my visit to Spain was a nice trip down memory lane but I don't think I am that desperate that I have to replace these things. However, a good German substitute for summer wine is a cold German beer and the bravas salsa is kind of similar to currywurst sauce.

I'm definitely excited to discover the international culinary delights Berlin has to offer. Where do I start??? Any suggestions anyone?


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