Spanish food history: ultimate gateway to experiencing Spanish culture

Probably if you are reading this post, you have decided to visit Spain or you are considering enrolling in one of our study abroad programs to do so.

Our Spanish Immersion programs provide you the opportunity to improve your Spanish skills while immersing yourself in the captivating culture of Spain. We will show you how food serves as the ultimate gateway to experiencing Spanish culture.

Spanish student at a bar in Spain

Live the real Spanish life and the authentic Spanish food culture

In Spain, particularly in Andalusia, where sun always shines, the cuisine is simply terrific. While enrolled in one of our Spanish immersion programs, you will live the real Spanish life and you will eat authentic Spanish food. A carefully selected host family and a full-packed activity program will help you dive into the Spanish way of life and the Mediterranean diet.

Not only flavors, but mealtimes are unlike any other in Western countries. Therefore, we are going to help to imagine its atmosphere and essence. Once grasped, you will yearn for visiting Spain.

In Spain, mealtimes are designed as a way to gather with other people, a way of connection. Meals are a symbol of celebration bringing together friends and family. Everybody delights in them from beginning to end. The best example of this is the “sobremesa”, one of the most special moments in Spanish mealtimes.

What does “sobremesa” mean? Spanish “Sobremesa” is the period starting after the meal’s main course is finished and desserts are served. Unhurried conversation to be extended as long as company desires. Living with your host family in the south of Spain, you’ll witness firsthand the eloquence and warmth of Spanish gatherings.

Spanish food history: the main ingredient

Apart from people and talking, food is undoubtedly the other main ingredient of Spanish mealtimes. The Mediterranean diet defines Spaniards. This is what has made Spain one of the most important gastronomic destinations in the world. Why is this?

In every region of Spain, you find first-class products. All of them differ from one region to another, resulting in unique flavor combinations that must be savoured. You cannot miss them. When enrolling in our Spanish Immersion programs, you will savour them all with your Spanish host family. Getting to know firsthand Spanish culinary traditions is the best way to truly dive into the Spanish culture.

study abroad student at a market in Cadiz
cooking paella - summer volunteer abroad programs for college students

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”

As the saying goes, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”. The day begins with breakfast (between 8:00 and 10:00 in the morning). How does a regular breakfast look like? Nothing better than home-made toasted bread with the finest serrano ham and olive oil, matched with a fresh orange juice and coffee.

Lunch, around 2:30-3:00, showcases the incredible variety of foods that make up the Mediterranean cuisine. Your host family will prepare traditional dishes: from lentils with chorizo sausage to the famous Spanish omelet or paella rice dish. We cannot set aside a concept tightly knotted to Spanish lunch time: “la siesta”. Not a myth, a reality. Not always bond to sleep, it is not always made or made by everybody. What is most important about siesta is resting and relaxing; mainly during summer season as high temperatures can be exhausting.

We have reached the evening. Dinner time occurs around 9:00-10:00. Although this is not a rich meal, it is still complete and varied. Dishes are lighter and easier to digest in order to enhance sleep.

study abroad student at a market in Cadiz

Delight yourself with Spanish food history and culture

Your appetite for Spain is surely now awakened, eager to study abroad in Spain to delight yourself with Spanish gastronomy and traditions. Hereafter, words like “siesta”, “sobremesa”, “tapas”, “sol”, creating a perfect union, will now resonate with you.

Lastly, a few tips to enrich your Spanish Immersion experience: choose a Spanish host family for your stay and be prepared for lively conversation and expressive gestures. Of course, remember that Spanish people love to eat and to talk about food. Simply relax and enjoy understanding the southern Spain’s way of life.

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