Food. Seriously one of my favorite reasons for being abroad! Which is a great perk to living with a host family; you don’t have to worry about finding out what dishes are local and good because they make the food for you, and you learn every afternoon and evening something new! Back home, I would have considered myself pretty open minded when it comes to trying new things. But I had my list (like I’m sure we all do) of things I just accepted I wasn’t going to eat. Then something magical happened to me when I came abroad, if it was put on my plate, I ate it. Eating usually turned into liking and liking has turned into loving in some cases (even some of those things back home that I “didn’t like”). Well, for starters, Alicante is located on the east coast of Spain, right on the Mediterranean Sea, so seafood is quite common and actually pretty cheap! All the food here is real. You go to the markets and can choose from recently killed meats. Pretty cool actually. Takes a little getting used to at first but you’ll get accustomed to seeing food in its original form. Cutting out all the preservatives and fake things in American food will give you a new found source of energy (which you’ll need because there’s so much to see). Paella is this delicious dish of arroz (rice), azafrán (saffron) for spices, and a meat of choice (usually seafood, chicken or conejo). Conejo means rabbit. Don’t be disgusted all at once. Try it. It legitimately tastes like chicken, except it’s richer in flavor and super good for you! Get the image of bunnies out of your head. They’re a different kind of rabbit, strictly for eating. SO GOOD! Tortillas Españolas! This fantastic dish consists of huevos (eggs), patatas (potatoes) and sometimes cebolla (onion). It’s kind of like an omelet. Super yummy. Seriously my new addiction and I can’t wait to go home and try to make it for my family! Olive Oil. They use it on everything! You want a piece of toast? Oh let me put olive oil and salt on it. Oh you want a salad? Let me put olive oil on top of your lettuce. Oh we’re going to cook? Let me throw olive oil in the pan first. Olive oil is everywhere! Another dish that is a total Spanish thing is Jamón Serrano. It’s really hit and miss with the Americans but I strongly recommend you try it. It is cured ham, and you buy it at the store (or see it hanging in restaurants) in its original form. The entire pig leg. It’s salty and dry, think of it like Spanish beef jerky…except with pig rather than cow. So basically I could go on and on forever about the food. But all I can say is IT’S AMAZING! Here are some pictures for your enjoyment! Don’t drool too much 🙂 Jennifer Plazek is the CEA MOJO for Spring 2013 in Alicante, Spain Tortilla Español Eggs and bacon A type of lentil soup with chorizo in it. SUPER YUMMY! A yummy soup that I can’t remember what it’s called…. so I call it potatoes and meatballs! SHRIMP! This lunch we also had shrimp pictured above. Torti lla Española, B eans, Oyster OCTOPUS!!!! A Kebob Box. Super bad for you. Chinese takeout type box filled with French fries and bacon and chicken pieces in a creamy terrible for you sauce! Little personal pizzas. A lunch staple at least once a week when mom’s at work. Bocadillo con Tortilla de atún (Sandwich of tortilla and tuna) with a salad of baby spinach and avocados! J amón Serrano Last but not least….PAELLA!
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