You may or may not have seen copious amounts of food on my social media recently. It was not me catching up on posting old pictures of food. It was all one meal. In the middle of it, I told the Galicians helping us to really sample their cuisine (the teachers who had worked with my wife all year) that it might have been the biggest meal I’ve ever had. They chuckled. Apparently– it was not the biggest of feasts for them. Nor was this one finished.
One of the teachers told me that it was common to have three plates at larger feasts. To me, that seemed ridiculously small– we had already had, by my count, four.
We began with a plate of empanada, a plate of zamboriñas (a kind of muscle we couldn’t find an English word for), a plate of pulpo (octopus), and the typical basket of bread and glasses of wine and beer. To me, that was already three plates. I was already full enough that I could have called the meal done. That was all just appetizers though– and all counted as the first plate.
Second plate came with a vinegary salad, french fries (patatas), pork ribs, and steak. As delicious as it all was, the pork ribs were the best part of the meal. It might be heresy in some places of Spain to say this, but Galicians have the best pork I have ever tasted. At this point, I was just shy of Thanksgiving full (the uncomfortable level of fullness usually reserved for just one day a year). This is when they explained that at a real Galician feast, like a wedding (boda), they would have had another plate– another course.
A proper almuerzo like this one would not be complete without dessert. Jazmin got tarta de queso (cheese cake), but I got tarta de abuela (grandma’s cake). If you’re ever in Spain (or maybe just Galicia): choose the tarta de abuela. It has been different everywhere I’ve had it, but it has always been amazing.
Then, of course, we had our after-lunch coffees and asked for the remaining food to be boxed up to go. In Spain, this is quite uncommon, but they are perfectly happy to do this for you. Doing this not only cuts down on food waste, but it also means there is at least one or two meals extra out of the meal you didn’t finish at the restaurant.
But we still weren’t quite done.
As we finished our coffees, plates of ice cream bites came. A post-dessert dessert.
It is also apparently not uncommon to take a shot of something strongly alcoholic to “help with digestion.” In my mind, I had an American shot. I figured I could do that. Jaz and I got the two kinds offered and this is what we got:
It was a fantastic time with lovely people and reiterated that one of the best things about this experience is all the people we have had the pleasure of meeting. Thank you to the wonderful people from As Mercedes CIFP for being so kind to Jazmin (and me), all the advice, and helping us experience Galician culture.
And thank you for reading! Thank you to those who have read and kept up with us. It really does mean a lot when people say they follow us here on our blog.
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