In Spain, it’s common to eat five times a day. Spaniards begin the day with a light desayuno, normally take a segundo desayuno mid-morning, and eat la comida, the biggest meal of the day, around 2 or 3. Around 5 or 6, before la cena which is at 9 or 10 at night, they take a merienda. The merienda is a light meal that can be either savory or sweet. Usually it’s something like a café and tostada (toast with tomato and olive oil if it’s a traditional tostada) or a crepe.
During the week I don’t have time to merendar (yes, it’s a verb), but Fridays thru Sundays I take a merienda with students from my Colegio Mayor. We usually go to a tetería (tea shop), cafetería or crepería in the city. It’s one of my favorite things to do here.
At merienda time, everyone is out in the streets– little children, teenagers, adults and grandparents alike. They’re out to merendar like we are or to simply pasear (walk around). For a few hours, the day’s activity slows. Whether they’re lingering over food or ambling hand and hand in the slant of the late afternoon sun, Spaniards reserve these hours for enjoying the company of friends and family.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Haley Stewart was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and is currently a Comparative Literature Major at Williams College in Massachusetts. She was lucky enough to be in a Spanish Immersion program from preschool thru high school, an experience which left her a fluent Spanish-speaker, a lover of Latin-American literature and an avid traveler. She's used her Spanish in many ways since, from teaching computer classes in Oaxaca, Mexico, to volunteering at an organization for low-paid farm workers in Oregon, to her classes on Spanish literature and history at Williams. Haley's most recent travel experience, a month and a half long trip to England on a travel fellowship from Williams, hiking alone through the beautiful Lake District in the footsteps of the Romantic poet Wordsworth, has left her even more excited to explore Granada. A lover of Federico Garcia Lorca for many years, Haley looks forward to not only walking, but living, in a city full of such poetry, music and magic.</span></p>