Discover Spain - Daily Life

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Normally, breakfast consists of a cup of coffee with milk, hot chocolate, and a pastry or toast with butter and jam, or with olive oil. Many people just have coffee at home and later take breakfast at a bar or café. Fresh-squeezed orange juice is a staple of a Spanish breakfast. There is also usually a short break at mid-morning to re-charge until the lunch hour, which is, in Spain, a bit later in the day than in other European countries. During this break, Spaniards usually have another coffee, accompanied by something very light to eat. Though it depends upon the area and the activity, the usual breakfast hour at home is between 7:00 and 8:00 in the morning.

This is the most important meal of the day. Lunch usually falls between 1:30 and 4:00 in the afternoon. Between these hours, lunch is served in any restaurant, bar, or café. The fixed-price menu is common, consisting of an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert, with many options from which to choose. Bread and beverage are usually included in the price. The food is lighter or heavier depending on the season and on the region, but in any case, they provide adequate sustenance for the remaining hours ahead, which, contrary to popular belief, are not spent in a post-meal nap.

Dinner is not as important in Spain as it is in other countries, and is considered a minor meal. The dinner hour is between 9:30 and 11:00 at night and in many cases, especially during the summer and on the weekends, dinner usually consists of bite-sized portions of food, called tapas or raciones, which are small fare but supply enough energy.


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