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Tapas in Spain

In today’s blog post, students reflect on their own experiences with tapas (small plates) and Spanish cuisine from different cities in Spain. Each Spanish program does a ‘tapas tour’ in their host cities to help students learn about the various food offerings found in their regions.

Granada, Spain

The million dollar idea: one word, “tapas.” Here in Granada, Spain, tapas are a popular, key aspect of everyday life. Tapas are mini appetizers of any sort. The thing that make tapas so great here in Granada is that they are free with any drink, even if you just get a water! Eden Photo 1Many restaurants in Granada realized that the majority of their customers are broke college kids, so free food would attract many students. I personally think it is an amazing idea and it should be brought to the states!

There are many different types of tapas. At some places, the tapa is just a small portion of some type of potato salad, while other places might offer chicken skewers or french fries. In my opinion, the best places are the places where they offer large tapas that are practically a meal in itself, like medium sized sandwiches or even hamburgers.

My friends and I love to go out at night and “tapa-hop” until we are full. It is a great way to explore the town and try the different foods that Spain has to offer. – Eden Shemuelian

Eden photo 2Walking down the streets of Granada you will be faced with a very hard decision- which restaurant you should eat tapas at. Granada is a city full of diverse, culturally rich restaurants that serve some of the most amazing tapas. From traditional Spanish dishes to the all American hamburger, there is something for everyone.

Walking around the city is such a fun thing to do. We have asked locals for some recommendations on where their favorite tapas places are and then gone and tried them out. If you go out at night you may even see a flamenco show or some street performers. You might find yourself at a little restaurant on a street you didn’t know existed meeting locals and talking about your experiences so far.

No matter where you go there will be something that you know you like or something new to try. The food here has so many flavors and is very fresh. Tapas are a big part of the dining scene here in Granada and wherever the tapas are, fun follows. -Madison Hart

Madrid and Toledo, Spain

After our long trip, we arrived in Madrid to sunny weather and friendly people. We were given free time to explore the city, and many of us chose to walk through El Retiro, an absolutely beautiful park in the city. The park was full of smiling people and the sound of saxophone music.Food2

Then, because we were starving after our adventures, we searched for a place to eat. At a little café, we were able to try many local dishes. These included gazpacho (a cold tomato soup), fresh homemade bread, huevos rotos con jamón y patatas (fried eggs with ham and French fries), pan con jamón y brie (bread with ham and brie), paella (a seafood and rice dish),and many other delicious foods.

We traveled an hour by bus to Toledo after spending two days in Madrid. In Toledo, our tour guide, Mario, showed us around his city, and we saw a church built by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. For lunch, we tried carcamusas, a traditional pork and tomato stew from Toledo. We had marzipan and ice cream for dessert. – Kimberly Jimenez and Montana Boone

– The above blog post was contributed by Madison, Eden, Kimberly, and Montana who studied abroad in 2015 with ISA High School in Spain. Madison and Eden are participating on a program in Granada, while Montana and Kimberly documented their forays into Spanish cuisine from their host city of Sevilla.

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