Sitting in a quaint Irish bar on a cold, crisp January morning with a café con leche as my only source of companionship might not be the typical image people associate with Spain. Like most Brits, the idea of sun, sea and sangria has been generated from years of holidays along the famous Costa del Sol. These include a plethora of guiris, a jovial term Spanish people use to refer to the typical man who is seen at a beach with his pale skin and his unflattering socks and sandals combination.
Walking through the various districts of my adopted home town of Zaragoza, a vibrant little city situated between the more pulsating cities of Madrid and Barcelona, it is clear that Spain is a country more diverse than many are led to believe. The rolling hills of the Pyrenees, a place famous with skiers from across the world, are in stark contrast to the beautiful golden beaches of the south. This diversity can be seen on so many levels, whether it is found in politics or food, giving people a cloudy sense of what is considered ‘real Spain’.
Fiestas are a common trend throughout all regions, and there’s no doubt that the Spanish know how to enjoy nightlife. Most bars will remain dead until 1 a.m., a time when British people start thinking about what kebab to have in the taxi home. However, this appears as one of the few customs that is consistent from one city to the next and it is clear that each of the 17 autonomous regions pride themselves on their own traditions and heritage.
Dining in Zaragoza
Being in the heart of Aragon, one is forever inundated with information about local sites and delicacies rather than Spain’s most widely regarded trends. Migas, a dish containing breadcrumbs and chorizo originally eaten as a breakfast dish, but which has now become more popular as a lunch or dinner plate, is a dish that Aragoneses hold close to their heart. It’s a dish they are likely to offer any foreigner visiting the region, whether it is in a restaurant or a family home.
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