Visiting Madrid opened my eyes to a different way of eating through the day.
Breakfast in Madrid was taken early around 7 am and therefore at mid-morning a food break is needed. The locals had Tostas made with egg fried bread (like eggy bread) and served with cinnamon sugar and a lemony marmalade spread or apricot preserve. Other cake choices are on offer at this time in the morning such as Churros, doughnut-style sticks that are deep fried and coated in caster sugar. Hot chocolate is popular as is milky coffee (cafe-con-leche)
Meal of the day ‘Menu del Dia’ is lunchtime, affordable food. It is a requirement that restaurants must offer two or even three ‘plates’ or servings at this time of day. These meals cost the equivalent of £10 or less per person. I had a two plate Menu del Dia as follows, Gaspacho soup followed by fried pigs ears and ‘chips’.
The third plate (Postas) or afters that was likely to be an iced dessert ( ice-cream) or the ever-popular crème caramel (flan).
I decided my postas could be later in the day when I would choose from the glorious range of cakes and pastries on offer in the high street shops. The’ Pasteleria’ is where you purchase cakes and the ‘Panaderia’ for breads. You might find ‘Mugis’ that are rather similar to pain- au-raisin with toasted almonds, ‘Ensaimada’ with crystalised fruits or ‘Tortel de Hojaidre’ like doughnuts with a sugar icing glaze and toasted almonds. The use of marshmallow is evident to provide that rich luxurious layering that will withstand the summer heat. A triangular creation sold in portions appeared to celebrate new arrivals and was called ‘Reinas de nata.’
Look out for Spanish food promotions in the supermarkets. Sales of Spanish food products are increasing in the UK.