Take a Mediterranean break -

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Take a Mediterranean break

December 26, 2017

Our society has been infected with the “hurry virus”. Not only in the office or at work, also when we read stories to our children or have dinner with our friends.

We live in a permanent race in our daily life. Be excellent at work, take time to update ourselves in our professions, attend to our family and friends and be able to dedicate a few moments to ourselves. We want to reach everything and sometimes it is impossible.

We are addicted to speed and overcoming this addiction takes time. You can not slow down quickly, but we have 5 keys to get you started in the slow movement and turn it into your #MediterraneanBreak.

Breathe

Something so basic, that we forget to do because of the speed. Take a few minutes each day to take long, deep breaths. Close your eyes if you feel like it, or contemplate the beautiful view in front of you. Breathing well relaxes and makes you live in the present. You can do it even when you are doing activities, you will enjoy them better.

Sleep

Although each person has a biological clock, it is true that we need to sleep at least 6 and a half hours a night to be emotionally well and our attention and performance works efficiently. Take advantage of these dates to sleep more and better, your body will appreciate it. Your mood too.

Exercise

Stay active. If you do not go to the gym, you can walk, ride a bike or run outdoors, whatever you prefer. Doing exercises is very healthy, it will benefit your physical shape, it will help you to relax and to drain negative emotions. Look at what surrounds you as you do it, breathe deeply and be delighted.

Enjoy your people

You know there’s nothing more comforting than a good conversation with someone close to you. But with today’s busy lifestyles we forget to do it frequently. Dedicate time to affections and personal relationships, sharing moments and laughter with others makes you release endorphins, a tranquilizer that your body produces. It is a completely natural and free medicine.

Feed yourself

We talk about eating well. To take advantage of this time to cook slowly and to enjoy the process, that even the preparation might be a meeting between friends, savour the best products of the Mediterranean diet while you talk with a good beer and some olives.

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Spanish foodie Glossary

January 10, 2018

Spanish food doesn´t always mean tapas. Often misunderstood some refer to all Spanish food as Tapas. However, there are another kind of Spanish food to discover.  The way food is served, portion size and the type of dish determines it´s name.

Here is everything you need to know about Spanish menu terminology so you can relax and simply enjoy the delicious Mediterranean diet.

#1Tapa

Tapas usually are the smallest size you can eat. While many bars and restaurants in Spain give out a free tapa, most also have a list of tapas you can pay for. These menu tapas are usually about the size of a small salad plate. Tapas are a good option if you’re looking to get a small taste of many different dishes.

For example, if you ask for tapa of tortilla de patata, they will give you a quarter of a tortilla or if you ask for a tapa of croquettes they will give you 2 or 3 croquettes.

Some of the most famous tapas in Spain are chips, peanuts and of course, the queen of tapas, table olives.

#2 Ración

Raciones are larger plates that are meant to be shared. While ración sizes vary from restaurant to restaurant, the rule of thumb is to order two or three raciones for 4 people. It is extremely common to ask the waiter if he or she thinks you’ve ordered too much food or not enough. Raciones are also often available in half-sizes or media raciones as well.

With the same example as before, if you order a ración of tortilla, they will give you an entire tortilla or if you order a ración of croquettes they will give you 6 or 8 croquettes.

#3 Pintxo

In the North of Spain (Asturias, Navarra, País Vasco and Cantabria), you will often see the typical Pintxos. It receives said name because to hold the different elements (for example, cheese, tomato, bread and meat) a stick is used, that is to say, a pintxo.

These are similar to tapas but are usually more elaborate and have that stick in them. The price is usually all the same and you pay the bill based on how many sticks are left on you plate. There are many bars around Spain selling this type of food.

#4 Montadito

This is something served on a slice of bread. They can be topped with Ham, cheese, tortilla or even guacamole with smoked salmon. It´s like an open sandwich really, served on white bread, similar to baguette bread.

Actually, we could say that it is a type of tapa, which is called montadito because it is based on bread, on which other ingredients are put (montados).

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5 Interesting facts about olives

January 17, 2018

The delicious olives, although they are originally from the Mediterranean area, have managed to conquer the heart of the whole world.

This small fruit hides a lot of interesting facts that you’ve never heard. That’s why today we bring you 5 the most interesting ones:

# 1 Colour

Many people do not know that olives change colour during ripening. If you are wondering about the difference between green and black olives, most will say that they are different kinds. In Spain, most of the black olives are the same as the green ones but they are simply ripe. However, there are some kinds of olives that are dark from their origin, ranging from a coppery colour when green to a more intense black once ripe.

# 2 Calories

Each olive has nothing more than 9 calories on average. Olives have a reputation for fattening due to their high fat content, approximately 20%. However, each olive has only 9 calories and much of its fats are very beneficial, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6. It is therefore a beneficial product for cholesterol.

# 3 Aligned

You can not eat olives directly from the tree. The olives are very bitter and hard; it would be practically impossible to eat them directly from the tree. In fact, it is the only fruit that can not be eaten directly from the tree, needs to lose its bitterness and become soft before it is edible. To eliminate that flavour they are left in brine for a while. In some cases they can be dressed with different things, like garlic or aromatic herbs. In some cases they are allowed to cure even a year to take a characteristic flavour. These varieties with a long healing time are considered gourmet and are very appreciated by lovers of cuisine and original and different dishes.

# 4 Stuffed

It is estimated that there are about 90 varieties of stuffed olives. Olives are likely to be filled with all kinds of things. Although in Spain the most famous are the anchovy stuffed olives, there are also stuffed with varieties of cheese, garlic, onion and so on up to 90 different ingredients.

# 5 Flavours

The table olives meet the four basic tastes that the palate detects: acid, bitter, sweet and salty, which allows its use in any culinary recipe without more limitation than the imagination and the skill of the cook.

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What to eat in Spain according to what area you are in

January 24, 2018

Spanish cuisine, like all great cuisines, is highly regionalized, but the homogenizing forces of modernity in general, and tourism specifically, threaten this diversity. These days you’ll find paella and sangria and patatas bravas in every corner of the country. But that just means as a traveller you need to be aware of where you are and make your food choices accordingly.

The people who find Spanish food disappointing are the ones who order paella in Madrid and sangria in San Sebastián. Of course, there is a common language that unifies Spain’s cooking — high-quality olive oil, cured pork, an abiding love of seafood — but it expresses itself in very different ways as you move around the country.

GALICIA

Up in Galicia? Eat octopus and shellfish and gooseneck barnacles and wash it down with a crisp Albariño. Galician empanada filled with chocos (cuttlefish), zamburiñas (variegated scallops), cod and raisins, tuna… anything! You must also taste Lacón con grelos (shoulder of pork with turnip tops), another winter classic based on the same ingredients and the infallible Galician gastronomy formula.

And if you are in Galicia at summer and the sun is out, is a perfect day for a churrasco! A few pork ribs, chorizo, our unbeatable marinade, a few beers, and… time to eat! Finally, don’t forget to taste Padron’s fried peppers, as Galicians say, some are hot, and some are not.

ANDALUCIA

When in Andalusia, eat jamón and fried little fish and drink sherry. Move over, gazpacho; Andalusia’s spooning out a better alternative to the chilled tomato-based soup. Salmorejo is thicker than gazpacho, but made with similar base ingredients: tomatoes, olive oil and bread.

Tiny, delicate clams known as coquinas are harvested from the waters off Andalusia’s coastline. However, these little treasures aren’t always available; they’re so treasured that only certain numbers of them can be brought to shore.

Originally brought over by the Sephardi (Spanish Jews), aubergines are a staple in Andalucian kitchens, whether in pistou (ratatouille-like vegetable stew) or deep-fried and then drizzled with molasses (made in Malaga).

VALENCIA

No doubt, eat paella. Sample Spain’s most famous rice dish at its birthplace – but try the others too! There are also ‘sticky’ and ‘soupy’ versions (meloso and caldoso) variants too.

If your only experience of eel has been in its grilled, unagi nigiri form, all-i-pebre will make for an intriguing second foray. Its name refers not to the fish but to the sauce itself: a soupy blend of garlic, paprika, and ground almonds, in which chunks of fresh eel and potato are simmered to the point of melt-in-your mouth perfection.

In Valencia, the familiar refresher of horchata is made exclusively from chufas, a local variety of tiger nut. Order a glass of this ice-cold milky drink with a serving of the amusingly-named fartons. Not as sweet as a doughnut, nor as savoury as a bread roll, these elongated, sugar-dusted dipping pastries are the perfect vehicle for soaking up horchata’s sugary goodness.

Another dish that you must taste is Esgarraet. Esgarraet is cured salt cod, mixed with sweet red peppers, garlic, and olive oil. So delicious!

Our advice, spend a bit of time learning about the great regional specialties of the country and seek them out aggressively. An hour or two of reading online will make your food experience exponentially better.

And of course, there are some dishes that you can order without fear in any area of Spain such as tortilla de patatas, calamari or delicious olives. And, enjoy your meal!

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10 Curiosities about Mediterranean food

January 31, 2018

Many studies say that one of the healthiest diets is the Mediterranean one. It is known all over the world! And you? How much do you know about Mediterranean diet? Here 10 curious facts that you probably did not know about such delicious cuisine:

1. Did you know that the Mediterranean diet is on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity?

2. Experts claim that drink a glass of wine daily has numerous beneficial effects for our organism.

3. Garlic, which is the essential complement of Mediterranean cuisine, reduces cholesterol and combats hypertension because it contains essential nutrients and vitamins for our organism. In addition, garlic is depurative, diuretic and antioxidant.

4. Salad is one of the star dishes of the Mediterranean diet. Eating a good salad with vegetables regulates the intestinal flora and provides fibre and many nutrients.

5. Consuming legumes regularly reduces hypertension and improves control of blood sugar levels.

6. Starting the day with an orange juice fills us with energy and fills us with good humour.

7. Research shows that if you eat tomatoes regularly you have less risk of spills.

8. Wheat has been cultivated in the Iberian Peninsula since the Neolithic, it has a fundamental part in the Mediterranean diet.

9. Grapes help protect the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Eating grapes is essential in summer.

10. Olive oil, helps fight aging and protects the brain

And an extra:

11. The star of the Mediterranean diet, table olives, are a source of vitamins A and C that help improve our defences.

 

 

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Interesting Facts about Spain

February 6, 2018

Spain is one of the world’s oldest cultures with a rich heritage that has influenced entire continents. It is the birthplace of the Spanish language, Miguel Cervantes and Salvador Dalí, and attracts millions of people every year, many of whom end up falling in love with its charm, making it their place of residence.

Spain has tons to offer, from tortilla de patatas and olives, to flamenco dance and Spanish guitar. On that note, let’s look at some known (and some not so known) interesting facts about Spain.

#1 The Puerta del Sol (“Gate of the Sun”) plaza in Madrid is the physical center of the country.

In it, the so-called Kilometre Zero of the country’s radial network has been located since 1950. The square also contains the famous clock whose bells mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a new year. The New Year’s celebration has been broadcast live on national television since 31 December 1962.

#2 Spain has been through a bunch of different names throughout its history.

The North African inhabitants who first crossed the Straits of Gibraltar called it Iberia, which meant land of rivers (‘Iber’ meant river). When the Greeks discovered the peninsula, they called it Hesperia, meaning “land of the setting sun” (since it was then the westernmost point of the European continent).

When the Carthaginians came to the land around 300 BCE, they called it Ispania, which meant “land of the rabbits”. Later, the Romans took over and Latinized the name to Hispania. Over time, this changed to España. So essentially, Spain is the “land of rabbits”!

#3 Ratoncito Pérez 

There is no tooth fairy in Spain, instead, the Spanish have a legend called ‘Ratoncito Pérez’ who exchanges children’s teeth for money. Normally a coin is given, such as 1 euro for each tooth.

#4 New Year with Twelve lucky Grapes.

As per this custom, Spaniards celebrate the New Year by eating one grape with their family for each bell strike of the clock (for a total of 12 grapes – hence the name). This custom was originally popularized by Spanish vine growers as a way to sell their excess grapes! These grapes are associated with good luck, so you should eat them to have a good year.

#5 Spaniards have two surnames

Traditionally, you have two surnames in Spain – the first surname from your father, and the second from your mother.

For example, if your name is Pablo López Alegre, and your wife’s name is Lidia Sanchez García, your kids’ surname will be López Sanchez.

However, as per a new gender equality law, this tradition is now being changed to favour the mother’s last name, so you can change the order.