Spanish life: five things to do if you want to live like a local -

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Spanish life: five things to do if you want to live like a local

September 26, 2017

Stereotypes are the worst enemy for travellers who really want to discover the culture and people from a country. This happens with paella, bullfights and flamenco in Spain, they turned into internationally recognized symbols, that not always match the reality. So if you want to fully immerse yourself in Spanish customs, develop a clear understanding and share their Mediterranean lifestyle, here you have these five things to do if you want to live like a local in Spain for your next trip.


1-Eat Dinner After 9:30. Hungry at 7 pm? If you’re in Spain, you might just be out of luck, because Spanish dinner time doesn’t start until after 9 pm. The good thing? You won’t go to sleep hungry. But the best thing is that you can…

2-Have a pre-dinner snack or merienda. As there are plenty of hours between lunch and dinner, the Spaniards have what they call “merienda“, which is usually taken between 5 and 7pm to satisfy their hunger a bit. The good thing about this snack, is that it can be some refreshing drink with some delicious snack like spanish table olives. What would you want more?

3-Do not limit yourself to the beach. Although Spain is famous mainly for its incredible coasts and their big cities like Madrid, Barcelona or Seville, there are endless picturesque villages less visited by foreigners, that will give you a new perspective of the cultural variety of this country, offering you the opportunity to enjoy the real Mediterranean lifestyle.

4-Eat tapas while standing. Do not expect to find a table and a place to sit in taverns and tapas bars of Spain, because frequently, if you go at tapas peak time when there’s more people, it is normal to have your drink and your tapa or pintxo directly standing or leaning on the bar at best. Tapas are usually small portions of food, like olives, so eating them standing is simple. Relax, it’s the Spanish way!

5-Enjoy the moment. Do not plan too much your trip, leave free time to improvise and lose yourself in the town or the city where you are, to enjoy a pleasant talk with some local neighbour, share some beers and olives or simply marvel at an incredible sunset.

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The best guide on following the Mediterranean diet

October 3, 2017

The Mediterranean diet is probably the healthiest diet in the world. It’s effectiveness in reducing heart ailments, helping in weight loss and promoting the general well-being of those who adhere to it has been proven over the years. The reason the Mediterranean diet succeeds where other diet plans are not so efficient is that it is not only a diet plan but a lifestyle. It emphasizes on eating healthy foods, taking the right portions, moderate consumption of red wine, exercising regularly and sharing meals with friends and family. The diet takes a holistic approach to promoting good health, and it is suitable for people of all ages.

5 Ways to Follow The Mediterranean Diet

  • Eat Less Saturated Fats

You can do this by substituting red meat for white meat and plant protein such as nuts and beans. Take fish at least twice a week. Fatty fish is particularly good for a healthier heart and brain due to their richness in omega-3 fats. Avoid processed fats, butter and margarine and use monounsaturated plant-based oils.

  • Take More Vegetables and Fruits

It is advisable to eat between three and eight servings of vegetables daily. Vegetables are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. They can easily be integrated into meals as ingredients or eaten as salads. You can also nibble on raw vegetables like carrots and tomatoes anytime. Ensure that you eat fruits daily.

  • Eat Whole Grain Foods

Whole grain foods are healthier than processed foods. They are also rich in fiber, and they make you fuller. Whole grain pasta, bread, rice, oatmeal, corn, rye, and quinoa are some of the healthy cereals that you can eat.

  • Snack On Healthy and Nutritious Foods

Bad snacking habits are among the leading causes of obesity and other lifestyle diseases. You should substitute processed snacks, biscuits, chips, etc. for healthy snacks like fruits, seeds, nuts and of course, delicious olives from Spain. They will fill your stomach and make you healthier at the same time.

  • Drink Wine with Moderation

Moderate drinking is proven to reduce the risk of heart diseases. While following the Mediterranean diet, it is advisable to take a glass or two of red wine together with a meal or your snack. The wine contains antioxidants beneficial to your arteries and blood thinning qualities make you less prone to blood clots.

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What are tapas and where did they come from?

October 10, 2017

The word “Tapa” is a Spanish word that means “lid” or “cover” – but which has come to mean, in Spain, a bar snack or appetizer served with a drink. Hunting down tapas is a common activity for visitors and tourists, but it can cause confusion.

Traditionally, tapas – which started out as edible “lids” for drinks – are served free in some places as Granada or Madrid with a drink, and it’s very popular around Spain. So much so, that there is the verb “Tapear” used to identify the action of going out with friends and “ir de tapas.”

Tapas have, however, spread beyond Spain – but they have morphed in the process. A “tapas bar” in Britain or America is a place which serves multiple small plates intended to be shared by the entire table, with the recipes influenced by Spanish and Mediterranean ideas, but often altered to fit local tastes. In Spain, this would actually be called a “aperitivo”.” In Spain, you’re more likely to fill up on tapas while going from bar to bar.

A “tapa” is anything served in a small portion – it’s not a type of food. However, some things are particularly popular as tapas – these include olives, either on their own or with other foods such as tuna or onions, chorizo, potatoes in a source or deviled eggs. Other recommendations for tapas to try while in Spain include croquetas (often filled with ham or cod), small toasted sandwiches, small shrimps or prawns and, of course, those olives – sometimes seen as the oldest and original tapas.

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5 Salad Dressing Recipes Using Spanish Olives

October 16, 2017

Green olives have been a staple in the Spanish cuisine for many years. Green olives are most commonly found in the grocery store stuffed with cut up pimiento peppers. Back in the day, Spanish chefs used to cut up the pimiento peppers by hand and stuff them inside the green olives (again, by hand.) The sweet pimiento peppers were originally put inside olives to balance out the natural, strong salty flavour of the green olive. Now green olives appear in a number of dishes and they make a good base for tapenades and salad dressings.

Green Olive with A Kick Salad Dressing


20 medium green olives

1 clove of garlic

2 Tablespoons EVOO

2 Tablespoons Sherry Vinegar

A dash of fine sea salt

A dash of black pepper

A dash of cayenne pepper

2 medium piquillo peppers


Remove the pits from the olives and the seed from the peppers. Finely mince the olives, garlic and peppers. Add all of the other ingredients and blend with a food processor until the texture is consistent.

Spicy Anchovy and Caper Salad Dressing


1 can of anchovies

2 Tablespoons of capers

20 medium green olives

2 cloves of garlic

1 Tablespoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of Harissa

1 Tablespoon of Parsley

1/2 Cup EVOO


Remove the pits from the olives, rinse and drain the capers and anchovies. Finely mince olives, garlic, capers, and anchovies. Mix all of the ingredients in a food processor until you reach the desired consistency.

Olive and Manchego Cheese Salad Dressing


1/3 cup roasted pimento peppers

1/4 cup pimento stuffed green olives (drained)

16 Ounces Manchego Cheese

2 Medium piquillo peppers

2 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise 

2 Teaspoons of hot sauce

1/4 cup EVOO


Finely mince both types of peppers, olives, and cheese. Mix all ingredients in a food processor until you reach the desired consistency.

Olive and Herb Salad Dressing


20 medium pitted green olives

1 medium chopped onion 

3 Tablespoons rinsed capers

1 Teaspoon Paprika

A Dash of Cayenne Pepper 

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano 

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

3 Tablespoons EVOO

1/4 cup Red Spanish wine of your choice

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)

1 clove of chopped garlic

1 Tablespoon chopped parsley


Finely mince olives, onion, garlic, capers and all of the fresh herbs. Mix all ingredients in a food processor until texture is right.

Sweet and Spicy Olive Salad Dressing


1 Cup Pimento stuffed green olives

1 clove of garlic

1/4 Cup EVOO

1/4 Cup Red Wine

1 clove of garlic

1/4 Cup EVOO

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

A dash of fine sea salt

A dash of black pepper

A dash of cayenne pepper

1 Teaspoon of paprika

1 tablespoon of chopped saffron 

2 medium piquillo peppers

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

1 medium pitted peach


Remove the pits from the olives and the seeds from the peppers. Finely mince the olives, garlic, peach and peppers. Add all of the other ingredients and blend in a food processor until the texture is consistent.

Olives have many uses when preparing Spanish foods. Switching up these recipes with different types of olives is also possible.

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Top 5 Myths About Spain

October 23, 2017

You are planning your next vacation trip to beautiful Spain. But do you have some misconceptions about the country? Let’s see!

#1. Spanish Food is Spicy

Myth! Many people think that Spanish food (from Spain) is nearly the same as Mexican food. Although Spain and Mexico share some commonalities, they are on two different continents and their food is not that much alike. In fact, many Spanish people don’t even like Mexican food. A Spanish person is more likely to think that adding paprika to a dish makes it spicy.

#2. Everyone in Spain takes siestas

Myth! In UK, people tend to  associate Spanish people with siestas. It is generally thought that people in Spain nap everyday after work. This is an old tradition that still happens from time to time, usually among older people and during weekends. However, with new work schedules and busy lives, not many people have time for naps anymore.

#3. Everyone Does the Flamenco

Myth! Flamenco originated in Andalucía, the southern part of Spain, and it is still popular there. However, you won’t see it much throughout the rest of Spain. Also, it should be known that Flamenco is not just a dance, it has guitar, vocals, and hand claps. Dancing is just one part of Flamenco, but Flamenco is not a dance in and of itself.

#4. Tapas are a Specific Food

Myth! Tapas are a way of eating food, not a certain type of food. You can make any type of food tapa. So, what is tapa? It is a small dish that you usually have with a drink. Normally this is done through bar hops throughout the city, that way you can sample a variety of foods and drinks all night long!

#5. The Weather is Always Warm

Myth! There are many places in Spain that rain a lot, especially during autumn and winter, so make sure you bring a raincoat and umbrella when you visit. There are other parts of Spain, especially the north, that experience cold weather during the winter. So, while much of Spain has warm weather, especially during spring and summer, it is far from being perfectly warm all-year round.


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The Top 5 Tapas to Enjoy in Spain

November 6, 2017

The olive is the queen of the tapas. It is the tapa that bars and restaurants put you almost always by “courtesy”, is almost intrinsic to the moment of the tapeo.

Every day across Spain, restaurants and bars serve up a myriad of mouth-watering appetisers and snacks known as tapas. Craved by locals and visitors alike, these small, unassuming dishes deliver a powerhouse of flavour for your taste buds. Here are five tapas that you won’t want to miss.

#1. Croquetas

These crunchy fried bites are ubiquitous throughout Spain for good reason. They’re so delicious that you probably can’t eat just one! The traditional Spanish fillings are ham, chicken, and cod. Today, many places also offer modern twists, including vegetarian versions of croquetas.

#2. Tortilla de Patatas

The potato omelette, also known as the Spanish omelette, is one of the most beloved tapas throughout the country. Perhaps surprisingly, it has just three ingredients! There’s nothing quite as simple, yet satisfying, as biting into a pint-sized Spanish omelette with its golden-brown potatoes, fluffy eggs, and dash of onions.

#3. Calamares a la Romana

For any seafood lover, calamares a la romana (Spanish fried calamari) is a must-try. Chefs batter and deep-fry the rings, then serve them with a side of lemon juice. Grab a fresh plate and enjoy the perfect combination of crispy and tender textures.

#4. Banderillas

Olives, a staple in many tapas, are key to making good banderillas, which are cold snacks served on skewers. Preparers may use a variety of olives, such as Manzanillas or Queen olives, to get just the right flavour. Add in some pickled peppers and onions, and you’re ready to go!

#5. Jamón, Queso y Chorizo

Looking to get back to basics, like meat and cheese? Then indulge yourself with one of Spain’s heartiest and most popular tapas of all: a small plate of Serrano ham, sheep’s milk cheese, and Spanish chorizo. You’ll be glad you did.