I am going to explain you a little bit more about Spanish eating habits (I will do that much more often in the future as I simply love food). And this post is dedicated to merienda. Usually I translate the Spanish words written in italic, but this one is not really translatable. I tried google translate and I got the suggestion “picnic”, but in my opinion that is quite incorrect. Because, when I think of picnic, I think of sunshine, a park and a red and white squared blanket. Well, that’s not what merienda is about.
So, what is it? It is basically a small meal. As in Spain we have lunch at 2pm and dinner isn’t served until 10pm, you can get a little hungry around 6 or 7pm. To still this hunger, you have some snack.
This snack could be a lot of things, a piece of fruit, a cookie, some yogurt or a little sandwich. This is accompanied with a drink, warm or cold. Like milk, hot chocolate, juice, tea or coffee. I usually go for the sweet options, shame on me. I will show you one of the meriendas I have had lately.
Some pastries we had in a cafetería in Jerez de la Frontera. The square one is tocinillo de cielo (pig of heaven, yes what?) made of sugar and yolk and actually it originates from Jerez, so I guess I tasted the best! And the other one is an eclair, probably more French than Spanish, but yummy. It’s sweet, usually filled with a cream and topped with icing.
This is a merienda we had at home, though we bought it at the supermarket. The pastry is called ensaimada and originates from Mallorca (The Balearic islands). It’s like heaven, at least in my opinion.
And here, probably one of the most typical Spanish snack I’ve mentioned in this post: churros. Churros are made of dough, which is fried. For serving they are usually sprinkled with sugar and it is very common (and I recommend it) to dip the churros in thick, hot chocolate. Churros are also eaten for breakfast (especially on sunday mornings), but I think that any moment is good for eating churros if you are in Spain some day.
But believe me, this is not something we do every day. Sometimes we just have a glass of milk with nesquik, a coffee or a piece of fruit for merienda. Sometimes we even skip it. But I think it is a great excuse to treat yourself with a delicous pastry from time to time. Buen provecho!!