Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How Spain Has Changed my Taste Buds

Reading one of my favorite expat in Spain blogs (Kaley Y Mucho Más)a few months ago I read one of her posts where she had asked several expats about what foods they started to enjoy after moving to Spain.  The more I read, the more I realized how much Spain has changed my taste buds too.

I remember my first visit to my boyfriend's house nearly three years ago and how much I dreaded even trying some of the food (FISH) that was put in front of me.  I had grown up in Rhode Island, the Ocean State, but couldn't stand fish or seafood (I know, crazy).  I didn't like beans, olives, eggs, or even eggplant.

I didn't consider myself a picky eater, I just liked the foods I was used to eating...and didn't like the ones I wasn't used to. ¿Sabes?

With Spain being in my life for nearly three years now, and after living in Madrid since September, I can't help but look at that list of what "I didn't like" and laugh at how silly I used to sound.

Fresh Vegetables

It's not that I didn't like fresh vegetables, but they're just so expensive in the USA that I was not that used to cooking, or eating them.  Though specifically, zucchini and eggplant, were not high up on my list of veggies I loved.  Iin fact, before this year I flat out refused to eat eggplant (unless the BF's mom handed it to me, there was never a choice).  Over time spent eating with my boyfriend's family I've come to love both zucchini and eggplant and they now have both become staples in my diet.


This has been the most challenging food selection to overcome.  As a child the only time of seafood or fish I ate was greasy, fried fish and chips (which I only could stomach if it was drowning in ketchup, gross I know).  I have slowly grown to love seafood like: squid, razorclams, clams, and octopus but to be honest I've not come so far with fish.  I can actually enjoy some fish now (certainly helps if it's from a nice restaurant), but most I really just tolerate (aka cod) because it's good for me.  Still not sure if it's more of a taste or textural thing...
Pulp Gallego (Galician Octopus) source


Eggs.  It's all about how they're cooked.  Before Spain came into my life the only way I ate my egg was scrambled with ketchup or jam, and only for breakfast.  This would not last in Spain as egg is rarely served for breakfast and is a common part of the Spanish diet, from tortilla española (Spanish omelette) to huevos rotos (broken eggs).  From day one eggs were forced on me and I have to say, I don't hate eggs anymore and will readily enjoy tortilla or huevos rotos. But. Still not a fan of hard-boiled eggs...
Huevos Rotos (Broken Eggs) source

Red Wine

Before Spain I was OK with red wine, it wasn't my first drink choice but also wasn't my last.  With a lack of decent beer choices in Spain though (slowly being remedied in large cities, like Madrid!), I gradually turned to wine.  Over the years with Spain in my life I've come to appreciate a good Crianza and enjoy a nice glass of wine at the end of the day.  The choice is made even easier knowing that in Spain you can buy a decent bottle of red wine for a mere 4€.


Spanish food is known for using all parts of the animals, whether it's pig snout or ears, and while I've not quite grown to love all these "new" foods, there are some (like morcilla) that I probably enjoy too much.  Morcilla, a Spanish blood sausage, that is either prepared with rice or nuts (depending on the region).  When the BF first told me about this dish I didn't even want to try it, he even went so far as to order it anyway and not tell me what it was!  Lucky for me though because I fell in love from the first bite.  The type that I prefer is Morcilla de Burgos, it's from the province of Burgos and is usually prepared with rice.

There's still a lot of various foods I'm still working on, sorry all you beans, but that's the best part about living in another culture.  There's an endless about of new food possibilities to try...but I still don't like olives!  Sorry Spain!

What's one of your new favorite dishes?

No comments:

Post a Comment