Friday, June 20, 2014

Seville: Food!

I can be a picky eater at times, although that has changed since I've been abroad (slightly), but I do love food. Being on vacation, I was excited to try new foods and treat myself this week. Here is a look into the delicious cuisine we encountered in Spain.

By the time we arrived in Seville, fought our way through the enormous (albeit well dressed) crowds, and made it to our hotel, it was pretty late. Well, not by Spain's standards but we were all exhausted from our day of traveling so our professor arranged for us to eat at the restaurant next to our hotel.  When we arrived, those of us non-Spanish speakers (meaning everyone at my table) realized just how out of our element we were. We ordered drinks and then we were completely out of our comfort zone. Our friend, Silvia, tried to help us figure out what things on the menu were but we were a pretty hopeless cause. We all simply pointed at random things on the menu which led to hilarious reactions when our food arrived. My dish, some sort of bean and spinach meal, was good but would better serve as an appetizer or a dip. We all shared and tried one another's food and gave each other confused looks when asked what we were eating. Live and learn, right? Dessert proved to be better so all is right in the world.

First cerveza in Spain!

My first meal, more appealing as a dip or appetizer.

Of course we had to order Sangria for the whole table. As Owen told the waitress, "todos!"

Our hotel was awesome and served breakfast every morning. It was in the beautiful courtyard just off the lobby. The courtyard was open and bright because it had a stained glass ceiling that really let the light in. Breakfast ended at 10:30 every morning (although they left the food out for the stragglers, of which there were quite a few in our group) and we had to check in with our professor at breakfast so I usually made my way down at 9:30 so as to enjoy a nice leisurely breakfast, and make sure I got some eggs before they were all gone! This breakfast was delicious. They had mini pastries, fruit, eggs, bacon, tortilla (which is this amazing potato dish), and more. And don't forget the coffee, I had two or three cups every morning.

Hey, I spent a couple hours at breakfast every morning, just letting everyone know to get to breakfast before it ended. ;)

One night we ended up eating pizza (so Spanish, I know) on the steps of the Metropol Parasol, a giant mushroom-looking sculpture in Seville, while we watched the processions pass nearby. Once we finished our pizza, we noticed a churro stand nearby so, naturally, we ran right over. We each ordered churros, not realizing that one order of churros actually meant a giant bag of churros that no one could finish in one sitting. It was cool though, you get the churros in a big paper bag and then they give you cinnamon sugar and, while the churros are still hot, you pour the sugar in the bag and shake it around so that it coats the churros. They were absolutely delicious and I ate more than I should have, yet I still couldn't finish them.

Enjoying a beautiful night in Seville, eating pizza and churros and watching the procession go by.
One of the aspects of our trip that we were most excited for was the sangria. Sangria is a drink originating in Spain and consisting of wine, chopped fruits, and usually seltzer. It is delicious and very cheap, as are a lot of things in Spain (at least coming from the highly expensive Paris). At some places we were able to get a glass of sangria for as cheap as one euro. It went perfectly well with the warm spring nights of Spain and is a drink that I'm sure will make an appearance at our reunion parties back home.

Some of us enjoying goblets of sangria at the restaurant near our hotel.

The perfect drink to sip on while people watching on a beautiful night.

A common Spanish custom is tapas, which are smaller, appetizer portions of food that usually come when you order a drink at a bar or restaurant. This was the coolest concept to me because it allowed me to try various Spanish dishes in smaller portions and at prices that wouldn't break the bank. We would stop at restaurants for tapas in the afternoon to hold us over until dinner, since they eat so late in Spain, or order a few as a meal.  Every restaurant had different presentations but I never met a tapas I didn't like.

We took a break from exploring to have a cerveza and this yummy spicy chicken tapa one afternoon.

This was one of my favorite dinners, a few tapas, some cerveza, people watching, and talking with friends. This one was pork with cheese and bacon in the middle with potatoes, delish!

And now, my favorite food of the entire trip and my new obsession: gelato. I made it my goal to get gelato at least once a day and to try as many flavors as I could. I don't think I've ever been so adventurous with my food, I tried a new flavor every time. I know, I'm ridiculous, but I love ice cream and gelato is so amazing. It was a perfect treat on the warm days in Seville.

Eating gelato as we walked and explored the streets of Seville.

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