Archivo de la etiqueta: food

Differences between the United States and Spain – Elizabeth

Hello Academia Manhattan! I have been in Spain for almost a year now, and I’ve noticed a lot of cultural differences between Spain and my home in the U.S.  For example, people here eat meat more often than at home, or at least within my family in the United States. My mother is vegetarian, and I have noticed that in Spain it is less common to be a vegetarian or vegan. I haven’t eaten very many vegetables here compared to in the U.S.  People also use olive oil much more here than in the U.S.! Speaking of food, people in Spain seem to go to bars more often than in the U.S. I’ve seen children’s birthday parties hosted at bars, which would never happen in the United States! In the United States, people under the legal drinking age, 21, are not even allowed inside bars. Here, anyone can spend time in a bar. I’ve also seen Spanish people drink a beer or wine with both lunch and dinner. In contrast, in the United States people usually only drink alcohol with dinner or after dinner, and generally don’t drink it as often, unless they are at an event, party, or some kind of celebration. Spaniards attitudes seem to be more relaxed about alcohol.

In terms of cities and towns, in Spain they are distinct. Many cities here have old neighborhoods that date back centuries and are still more or less the same as when they were built (with modern renovations of course). But there are also archeological remains right in the middle of the city, like the aqueduct of Segovia and the Mezquita in Córdoba.  In the United States, not many cities have these old neighborhoods, and everything is relatively new. Our oldest areas are only a few hundred years old, which in comparison with Spain, is basically new. Many of the towns or villages I have seen in Spain are built clustered together, with most people living within the town limits and in houses that are built right next to each other. There are patios, but few gardens or backyards. In the United States, towns are built more spaced out. It is harder to see where the town ends, whereas in Spain the buildings are built where the town suddenly becomes the country, and there are few buildings outside of it. In my town (Essex, Vermont) we have a town center where all of the shops and public buildings are built, but they are not near peoples houses. We have neighborhoods that are outside the center where there are only houses, and everyone has a backyard or garden. I live on a road that leads to the town center, but more in the country where I have a big backyard, or garden.  There is nothing but other houses and nature around me. That also exists in Spain, but it seems to be less popular to live so far from the town center.

I think the living standards are more or less the same in both countries. I have noticed that apartments and some houses and generally smaller here than in the U.S., but both countries have air conditioning, dishwashers, and that kind of technology.  I didn’t find it very hard to adjust to Spain in that respect. Although there tends to be more noise, especially in cities like Córdoba, compared to the U.S. People spend more time in the street and stay out later in Spain, so you hear people talking or the sounds from bars and restaurants more in Spain than in the U.S.  People are generally expected to be quiet past 10pm (22:00) in the U.S., and neighbors will get mad if people are making a lot of noise outside. Here in Spain I have heard people setting off fireworks at 8am in the streets of Córdoba on a Sunday, but people don’t seem to complain about it or talk to the police about it, whereas people in the U.S. would be more likely to complain.


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My Second Week in Villanueva – Giulia

Hello everybody!  My second week in Villanueva has just begun, and things are going great!  Last weekend I participated in my first “ruta de tapas,” which is a Spanish tradition of going around the different bars and restaurants in town and ordering a “tapa” and a drink at each spot.
A “tapa” is essentially a small dish, and each place has a different specialty.  I enjoyed all of them!  My favorite drink was a tasty mixture of carbonated juice and wine that’s called a “tinto de  verano.”  Absolutely delicious!
It has been quite hot this past week in Villanueva, so unfortunately I haven’t been doing much during the day other than working and going to the gym.  The latter has been a great and productive way to pass time!  The gym is very close to my house, and I enjoy running on the treadmill and stretching.  It makes me feel better about the large amount of food that I consume every day!
A few of my friends and I went on a walk around Villanueva the other day and we saw the outskirts of the town, as well as a few horses and some goats.  Unfortunately, our walk wasn’t very long, since we made the mistake of going out at one of the hottest points in the day.  However, it was still lovely to explore more of Villanueva and gain a better sense of the town.
Work has mainly consisted of preparation for the intensive classes that begin in July.  We each need to get assigned our specific classes before we can begin to write our actual lesson plans, but we have begun to make general vocab lists and quizzes that can be applied later.  We have also made presentations about our hometowns, which we have been presenting to the different classes all week.  My presentation is obviously about Berkeley, but I added a slide about Oakland and another about San Francisco in order to give students the bigger picture of the Bay Area as a whole.  Speaking about my city has made me realize how much I truly love it; I could talk about it for hours.  There are aspects of my home that I definitely miss while being here, but I am grateful for the opportunity to experience this new culture.
Maya, Kaelen and I are spending the day in Seville tomorrow, and I’m very excited!  I’ll provide all the details in my next post, as I’m sure I’ll have a lot to talk about.  Farewell!

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Another Week in Villanueva – Kaelan

Hi everyone,

My last week in Villanueva has been a lot of fun! Apart from learning more about the area and eating lots of food from Andalucía, I’ve also been doing some exploring around Spain! On Thursday, I cooked a traditional American meal for my host family being composed of fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

On Friday, I went to Madrid with a friend who was visiting. It was an incredible amount of fun! We started off by getting food near Atocha, then went to la Plaza España and la Puerta del Sol to do some shopping! We spent a lot of time on la Calle Mayor, and I ended up buying way too many clothes. We also took to the opportunity to eat Japanese food, which I haven’t had since I left home! We were eating when I realized that I wanted to change my shirt, so I actually changed in the bathroom! It was funny.

On Saturday I went out with some friends in Villanueva to get food and explore some of the nightlife. We went out for drinks and ate tons of tapas. We went to at least 5 different restaurants! As we were eating I got to know another Irish person in Villanueva, which was nice because I got to feel a little at home.

Stay tuned for updates next week!

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Caracoles, Jamón and Tapas – Maya

Hello Villanueva de Cordoba! I am Maya, one of the students from the United States here in Spain for the Summer to teach English. I just studied abroad in Chile for the past 4 months. Chile speaks Spanish with a very different accent and uses a lot of different words, so it has been fun learning from my host family and the Academia Manhattan community. One thing that I have really enjoyed here in Spain is the different food. In the week, I have been here, I have tried gazpacho, jamón, tinto de verano, and caracoles…and I haven’t found anything I don’t like yet!

If you can’t already tell, I am a super big foodie. My favorite think about Villanueva de Cordoba thus far is the custom of tapas. Last week, the group of interns and I went out for la Ruta de Tapas. This is an annual event where each participating restaurant has a special tapa. A tapa is a small serving of food. If you went to ten restaurants and tried their special tapa, you could get entered into a raffle. I was only able to go to 5, but it was still so much fun and was a great introduction to Villanueva de Cordoba. I also had the opportunity to try tinto de verano, which I really enjoyed.

Blogpost 1 tinto

I also had the opportunity to try jamón, ham, and gazpacho with my family. Someone came over to my host family’s house to cut ham in our kitchen. It took a long time, but the ham was so good, better than any ham I have tried in the United States or in Chile. My host mom also made gazpacho for me. Since it has been so hot in Villanueva for the past week, upwards of 35 degrees Celsius, gazpacho has been a great way to cool off.

Blogpost 1 ham

My host mom and I also went out for snails (caracoles) and beer (cerveza) my first night here in Villanueva. This was a fun welcome into the town. I had never tried snails before coming to Spain, but I am always ready to try new foods although I didn’t really know what to except. At first, I had a lot of trouble sucking the snails out of the shells, but once my host mom taught me how to use a toothpick, I found them very delicious.

Blogpost 1 caracoles

This past week has been full of new experiences and I am very excited to see what other new experiences I will have this summer!

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