Thursday, March 18, 2010

Theme Thursday: The Search for Catalan Breakfast

(Our contribution to Theme Thursday.)

Is there such a thing as Catalan breakfast? Searching my various Catalan and Spanish cookbooks for such recipes lead me to wonder. This Wikipedia definition seems a bit closer to the truth but not quite there:

In the morning: a very light breakfast, consisting of fruit or fruit juice, milk, coffee, or pa amb tomàquet "bread with tomato". Catalans tend to divide their breakfast into two parts: one early in the morning before going to work or study (first breakfast), and the other one between 10:00 and 12:00 (second breakfast).

I was thinking back to my trip to Barcelona in 2007 and my first morning when, typical of my routine, I was up before 6 a.m., had done journal writing and was ready to head out for breakfast by 7 a.m. The hotel doorman looked at me very grumpily as I roused him from his chair and he unlocked doors and gates and gave me a look as if to say "Didn't get enough last night and going out for more?"

When I stepped out into l'Eixample, the sun was up and there were plenty of people on the street and hustle and bustle, mainly coming from bars and discos that were wrapping up the night. I found a cafe open and it was filled with plenty of diners, obviously sobering up just in case they decided to take a nap, shower and saunter into work around 11.

The Barcelona dinner hour of after 9 p.m. still suits me, but I doubt that I will abandon my rise by 5:45 a.m. sensibility. There have to be some compromises in life

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13 Comments:

At 2:02 AM, Blogger Alan Burnett said...

I quite like the idea of a first and second breakfast. Thanks for introducing it to me. I shall blame you for the inevitable repercussions on my waistline.

 
At 3:37 AM, Blogger Brian Miller said...

its like having seconds....smiles...happy tt!

 
At 4:04 AM, Blogger willow said...

Barcelona always makes me think of Fawlty Towers.

 
At 6:31 AM, Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

i have to ask em if we ever ate breakfast when we were in barcelona - i have absolutely no recollection of a morning meal!

although the bread and tomato thing is sounding vaguely familiar! guess I'll have to head back!

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Alan - The Catalans do have a talent for eating all day ans staying healthy and slim.

Brian - And a glass of wine before noon.

Willow - They served tapas on Fawlty Towers?

mouse - It was usually very strong espresso and some kind of pastry.

 
At 7:47 AM, Blogger Bachelor said...

Interesting post. Thanks for sharing another culture's breakfast traditions! :) The Bach

 
At 7:48 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Bachelor - It is the part of Catalan cuisine I least remember.

 
At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Angie Muresan said...

I can't remember ever having breakfast in Barcelona either.

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Angie - I was usually more interested in seizing the day than seizing breakfast when I was there.

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger Christine H. said...

I never could get used to the Catalan eating schedule, especially the late dinners. Luckily, there seems to be a lot of food available all the time, and a lot of very good food.

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Christine - Actually it's a bit like St. Patrick's day with the tapas life style. Drink. Nibble. New bar. Drink Nibble. Continue until dawn.

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger Mmm said...

Ahhh..patisseries...especially in Europe. Perfect. nice post, btw. :)

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Mmmm - I'm not sure if it's Catalan or not (though I though I once heard that it was), but I make a great egg white omelette with Gorgonzola and tomatoes.

 

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