Eating My Way Through Granada

Hallie Bates
April 7, 2014

I can’t believe I’ve yet to do a post solely dedicated to food! The food in Spain has been nothing short of amazing, albeit different from what I’m used to. The Spanish have a generally light breakfast around 8-9 AM, a heavy lunch between 2-3 PM, and a light dinner around 9-10 PM. Every morning, my host mom (who is an amazing cook) makes my roommate and I freshly squeezed orange juice, green tea, and toasted baguette with olive oil and tomato. This toast, typically called media con tomate, has been one of my favorite foods so far in Granada. To make it, spaniards first spread grated tomato across a toasted section of baguette, then puncture small holes along the toast with a fork and pour olive oil into these holes to let the bread soak. Sprinkle with salt, and voila! Media con tomate. Dinner in Spain is the other smaller meal of the day. Because we get two meals each day from our host family, we’re on our own for dinner each night. On the nights they don’t make something at home, students head to the various tapas bars in the city for a cheap meal. “What are tapas?” you say? Well, I’m glad you asked. Granada has a long-standing tradition of giving free plates of food with every drink ordered. So, if you order a glass of sangria, the waiter will also bring you a small plate of food. This means that dinners in Spain typically amount to less than $3.

For spaniards, lunch is by far the biggest and most important meal of the day. Typically, people return from work or school around 2 PM to eat and relax with family. Every day, my host mom makes us something different for lunch. I can’t decide what has been my favorite – we’ve had just about every type of delicious vegetable soup, fried eggs over rice with steamed green beans, pasta with vegetables, fried tofu, veggie tempura, amazing salads, vegetable paella, and couscous. Lunch typically consists of at least three courses, beginning with a soup, which is followed by the main dish, then fruit and dessert to finish. To top all of this amazing food off, our host mom also gives us cooking lessons each weekend so that we can learn how to make our favorite dishes ourselves. So far, she’s taught us how to make berenjenas con miel, tortilla española, and croquetas espinacas (recipes and pictures included below!).


Host mom making a big veggie paella.

Croquetas espinacas! Like mozzarella sticks, but with spinach and cheese inside; so good.

Salad is always served with the main course of lunch.

Torijas! A Spanish dessert that’s like french toast, except much sweeter and denser.

Lunch always starts with a soup – this one is a leek soup with cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Grilled tofu with garlic and lemon sauce. One of my favorite lunches!

Fried eggplant drizzled with honey.

Host mom showing us how to drizzle the honey over the fried eggplant!

I’ve included the recipes of the Spanish dishes I’ve learned how to make thus far below (spoiler alert: they’re all similar, although slightly different from my host mom’s recipes;  can’t give away her culinary secrets!).

Tortilla Española:

Croquetas Espinacas:

Fried Eggplant with Honey:




More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Hallie Bates

<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);">My name is Hallie Bates, and I&#39;m currently a junior at Bowdoin College in beautiful Brunswick, Maine. I&#39;m an Anthropology major, Spanish minor, and am also pursuing a pre-health track in order to one day attend medical school. I love to run, and can&#39;t wait to explore the trails in Granada and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. I&#39;m excited to get to know a new city from the inside out, and want to visit as many quirky coffee shops as possible, immersing myself in Spanish language, culture and cuisine.</span></p>

2014 Spring
Home University:
Bowdoin College
Explore Blogs