Food and drinks

The taste of southern Spain – delicious!

Food and drink The culinary traditions of southern Spain are as diverse as its landscape, from fantastic fish and seafood on the coast to delicious sausages, stews and game dishes inland. Eating out is a way of life in Spain – meal times are relaxed, social occasions, allowing plenty of time for chatting and savouring the intense, fantastic flavours of Andalucia.

Breakfast

Spanish breakfasts are usually very simple, perhaps some fresh crusty bread and a strong coffee or hot chocolate. A tasty traditional breakfast dish in southern Spain consists of toasted rustic bread rubbed with a garlic clove, spread thinly with fresh tomato puree, with a couple of slices of Serrano ham and a drizzle of olive oil.

And if you decide you want to get back to a full English breakfast now and again, it’s no problem at all, you’ll be able to enjoy a good fry-up at most of the coastal resorts.

Lunch

Lunch is the most important meal of the day in Spain, and a very leisurely, social occasion. It tends to begin around 2pm, lasting up to two hours. Dishes on lunch menus are much as you’d expect to see in the evening – a far cry from a quick sandwich on the run! Many cafes and restaurants serve a set menu of the day (menu del dia), which will usually consist of 3 courses and include wine, water and a coffee – all for about €7.00!!

After a hearty lunch many locals will head off for a siesta, and you’ll find some shops and offices shut until around 5.00 in the afternoon and then stay open until between 7.00 and 8.00pm.

Early evening – time for tapas

Food and drink Early evening is the time to fill up on tapas, which you’ll find in abundance throughout southern Spain. These tasty snacks are shared over a relaxed drink, and can be anything from a dish of olives to paella. It’s a great way to get a taste of some of the region’s many specialities without ordering a huge meal.

Dinner

After a large lunch and a few tapas few people want a heavy dinner, so evening meals tend to be fairly light. They’re also eaten late – many restaurants don’t start their evening service until around 9.00pm, and tables start to really fill up around midnight. Evening meals in Spain are fun-filled occasions, often lasting long into the night as groups of family and friends enjoy each other’s company over some fine food and wine.

Wine

Spain is famous for its Rioja wine, a full-bodied red wine often served slightly chilled. There are four classifications of Rioja, the younger joven and crianza, and the older reserva and gran reserva – all delicious. Southern Spain is famous for it’s sherries, the most famous being “Jeréz” from Andalucía.

Food shopping

Food shopping in southern Spain is quite different from the rest of northern Europe, as so much is grown and produced here.  There’s no ready-made meal culture here, almost everything is freshly made with the best ingredients.

There are daily fresh fish markets in all the major towns, and every day a different town or village hosts its weekly street market selling fantastic, locally-produced fruit and vegetables at unbelievably good prices.

Food shopping is often cheaper here than in northern Europe. A decent bottle of wine can cost from €3.00 a crusty baguette from 0.50€ and a carton of milk about 0.90€. For more prices, check out For more prices, check out http://www.mercadona.es

And you won’t have to worry about tracking down your favourite foods from home. Most supermarkets stock familiar products from the UK and other countries. You can even have your weekly shopping delivered to your door – why not order online without leaving your sun lounger!