So you have moved to Spain and you are gradually getting used to the your surroundings and tailoring your shopping and eating habits to the local culture.
Before you moved here, I’m sure you were told “they only eat Tapas” and “they eat at midnight!”
Whilst there is an element of truth in those comments, They are not a rigid requirements.
Firstly, eating habits, like the climate vary all over Spain. If you have moved to Almeria Province, the eating, shopping and sleeping culture is dictated to a large degree by the weather.
Temperatures stay in the mid-thirties (c. 35⁰) for the most part of July and August. So you really won’t feel like standing over a hot stove for an hour in the middle of the day.
In fact in this part of Spain, people still enjoy a siesta. Typically, people stop working or doing activities at 14:00. They then have ‘comer’ or ‘comido’ (eat lunch) and then wind down or even sleep before returning to work for 17:00.
Many of the shops and supermarkets with be closed during this time. Larger stores – such as Mercadonna, Consum and Lidl will stay open – though you will need to look or listen out for changes to this when there is an up and coming Fiesta – and ‘bridge’ day – making a party or Saint-Day that falls on a Thursday last for four days over the weekend – a subject for another day!
You will, of course, be able to visit one of the many bars and restaurants and enjoy a leisurely lunch between 14:00 and 18:00 – when the restaurant will shut so the waiting staff can have their own siesta. They will open again after 20:00 and keep serving food up to 23:30 or later.
Now you can see why newcomers to Spain take advantage of a siesta
Did you know that the Tapa (meaning cover) originated in Almeria?
In bars, the locals would cover their drink with a saucer to stop flies getting in.
Over time, small portions of food were then served on the saucer – hence the tradition of a number of tasty snacks with a half-glass of wine or beer.