Breakfast in Valencia
Breakfast is not celebrated in Spain. It’s a time for a quick espresso and a croissant glazed with a thin sugar coat. Perhaps cafe con leche (ok any time in Spain but only breakfast in Italy), or a cortado (an espresso and an equal amount of coffee). Coffee or thick thick hot chocolate and churos I’ve seen in Madrid but not here, at least not much. Plenty of people order toast (you can buy it in packages in the grocery stores which I think they serve cold) and coffee. In the bars or at home you can spread a little tomato on the bread and drizzle a little olive oil to boot (it’s a tapa, really, but if they have a tomato they’d do it for you no matter when- they’re very accommodating). Toast and coffee, toast and croissant, about 2 euros (close to $3 at the moment), add maybe another euro and you can have some orange juice too.
I’ve not seen anybody eating fruit for breakfast. It’s more of a desert thing after big meals. If they wanted to, there would be plenty to choose from. The figs just came in (it’s June 2011). They are large and soft, very good if not perfect. Of course the oranges, now selling for as little as 1 euro for 3 kilos (6.5 pounds). At this price some of them might be a bit dry but mostly they are sweet and juicy. We’ve had very few we would consider bad, although the locals might have much higher standards.
The grocery stores all sell cereal in boxes, so apparently people eat it, I assume for breakfast, but I’ve never actually seen it done. There is one high fiber cereal around. No hot cereals, unsurprisingly.
Breakfasts here get you going, but they don’t last long. You’ll need a tensy. That’s what the Spanish do! You might have churros, perhaps an apple tart or any number of sweets, or a bocadillo (a bit of baguette with a slice of jamon serrano or some manchego), smeared with tomato if you wish, or a bit of “ensalada” as they call lettuce and what not even when applied to bocadillos. The choice are seemingly endless, including the famous tortilla española . It’s a thick omlette with potatoes is the most traditional, but there are variations and variations upon the variations, such as with shrimp. You can have a plain omlette too in some places. It would not be unheard of for lunch or dinner, here, in France or Italy where it’s called a fritatta.
They may not celebrate breakfast here, but nonetheless there’s a richness to it, and something for everyone.