I was talking with my sister the other day and she mentioned an anecdote that occurred to her after a business meeting with partners from different countries. One of her French colleagues ordered Sangria in a bar where they went to have some tapas. After noting my sister’s shock face, the French colleague asked: Don’t you Spanish people drink sangria? To what my sister replied: Well, we drink beer or wine and only in some parties we prepare sangria, but it is not a daily drink at all.
So we chatted about Spanish clichés and this made us think about other commonplaces and that is the reason for today’s post.
Cliché 1: Sangria. is a cocktail made with some fruit like: peach, banana, strawberries, apples, and wine, sugar and liquor (rum, brandy, that is our cognac) and of course ice because it must be server very cold. As you can see this is not a drink to prepare every day to go with meals but ideal for parties with friends in summer were we can prepare a big big bowl (maybe with 5 litres or more) and every one self service. Here I give you a webpage to see some Sangria recipes*: www.recetasangria.com
Cliché 2: Paella. “La Paella” is a delicious dish, but it’s just typical of the Valencia community. Out of Valencia you can find it in the most touristic restaurants just ready for foreigners. For Spaniards, La Paella is more an excuse, like the sangria, to be prepared in a party with friends and on weekends. In the rest of regions there are other dishes different to each other and prepared with local ingredients. Have a look at this nice article about paella published in The Independent.
Cliché 3: Bullfighting. In Spain we have bull rings in many cities and towns; only in Andalusia we have around 150. The fact is that bull rings are nearly in each community from the North to the South. So it may seems that all Spaniards like bullfighting. What I have found on public statistics is that around 67% of Spanish people don’t like bullfights at all, 21% a bit and only 9% of them declare themselves lovers, yes!, only 9% of Spaniards loves bullfighting. In fact Canary Islands was the first community that forbade bullfights in Spain in 1991 and Catalonia did the same in 2012.
Cliché 4: Flamenco. I live in the South, near the home of Flamenco (El Puerto de Santa María, Jerez, Sevilla) but I’m originally from the North of Spain and I can tell you that Flamenco is not such a popular music in all parts of Spain. We don’t listen Flamenco all the day or everywhere and in some Spanish regions, it is not understood or loved by the majority. We could say the same about Ferias where women goes dressed with Flamenco’s customs. This is only from Andalusia, (Sevilla, Jerez and Malaga and other small cities/towns in the area). In other cities and tows they have Fiestas and Ferias but people go dressed with their regional costumes, far from a Flamenco dress.
Here a link to flamenco dress.
Cliché 5: Beach and good weather. Spain is not only a big beach; we have lost of coastal regions with beautiful beaches but we are also the second most mountainous country in the European Union, something that challenges the preconceptions that many people have of Spain as a sunshine and beach country. From the mid to the northern part of Spain it is mostly Oceanic climate with cool winters and warm summers. It rains a lot, even in summer, and sun can be quite rarely in winter period. We also have Mountain climate. Only the Mediterranean area and south west of Andalucía have Mediterranean climate with hot-warm summers and cool-warm winters. In the Canary Islands is the only province that has tropical climate.
And Valencia, Barcelona, Madrid or Sevilla: yes, beautiful cites, but do you know that are other very nice cities in Spain like: La Coruña, Santiago de Compostela, Pamplona, Zaragoza, San Sebastian, Cádiz, Salamanca… just to give a few examples. Many of them are not big cities and precisely this makes them a best option to know the Spanish culture and to learn Spanish.
Have a nice day 🙂