Eating Schedules

16 11 2009

I know, I know…all of you are aware of those strange Spanish (and Basque) eating times: we have breakfast at standard hours, but lunch is never before 13:30 (01:30PM), and it´s quite complicated to find a restaurant open before 21:30 (09:30PM). Kids do have an extra meal right after school, between 17:00 to 18:00 (just a sandwich, a piece of fruit and a yoghourt). On weekends this schedule readapts to our way of life: breakfast, as everywhere else, is later. But then we have the “aperitivo”, which is around 13:00, and may consist of some glasses of wine together with some “tapas” or “pintxos” (I´ll come back later to the differences among tapas, pintxos and raciones). And yes, we then have lunch, around 15:00, which may last a couple of hours. And then, siesta…(which is not as common as you may think). Dinner on a Saturday evening may not start before 23:00 (11:00 PM) and not finish before one in the morning…or later.

Why do we have these odd (to you, that is) eating schedules? Well, the legend goes that at the beginning of the XX century, when workers started to claim their rights and gain more money and therefore social status, the “capitalists” changed their eating times so they would not share their meals with their workers. As a consequence, the workers wanted to look like their masters…so they also changed their schedules accordingly…….and everybody ended having their meals later than usual…

That´s why our banking and working hours, as well as educational time, is divided into two long sections of the day…..