WIAW: While Abroad

Hey ya’ll! It is that awesome time of the week again, What I Ate Wednesday, thanks to the lovely Jenn. Unfortunately I’m going to have to recap some of the past today because I don’t have time to write an elaborate post about what I have been eating lately. Plus I’ve been slacking on the picture taking front. I have been too busy studying for my advanced nutrition midterm and working on my lab skills, such as blood pressure. I’ll probably kick the butt of all of it, but I would rather be overprepared for everything. So I’m going to recap the rest of my Spain trip in this awesome post because I realized that I forgot to share the rest of the trip with ya’ll. Get ready for some delicious, appetizing Spanish food porn coming your way.

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When we were in Barcelona, we went to heaven. Also known as La Boqueria. It is this huge outdoor market. It was amazing. There was so much to see inside. There were also little restaurants spread throughout the place. I pretty much wanted to gobble up everything that was in sight. It was really hard to just choose a few things to snack on because we really wanted to sit down and get some tapas too.

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Isn’t this beautiful? I thought so. I really just wanted to rob the entire candy stand. I’m not gonna lie, but I totally kept taking free samples of everything when the Spanish woman working the shop wasn’t looking. Sometimes it is hard to tell if a candy is good or not, so I thought why not test taste. Since we were getting tapas in a little bit, my brother and I decided to each get a huge bag of candy to take home with us on our long journey. Well he ended up eating his all before we even left Spain, but I got to enjoy mine when I was back in America and on my long journey. This candy was the bomb. I really miss it actually. It was pretty cheap too.

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Since it was a pretty hot day, we ended up getting smoothie/juices. It was a mix between a smoothie and a juice. It was really delicious. I ended up getting the pineapple coconut one. You could taste the fresh pineapple chunks in it mixed with the creaminess of the coconut. My brother got a watermelon one. It was really good too. His was more juice like while mine had the consistency of a smoothie. These were all over the market too. Pretty cheap. At some places, you could get a small one for one euro. I like cheap things.

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After walking around the market a bit, we decided to sit down and get some tapas. We ended up getting calamari of course. This was actually some pretty good calamari. It was salty, but when sprinkled with the lemon juice it became a little more acidic. It was really good. I wish there would have been more to enjoy because you can’t go wrong with ordering anything that is fried. Especially squid. It is definitely always a win win (lies though because I was poisoned by horrible food at this place in Sevilla – trying not to think about it).

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Of course we were getting patatas bravas too. These were very hasbrown like, which was delicious. It is always a safe choice to go with patatas bravas. As long as they aren’t just drenched in sauce then you are good to go. I think we ordered a few other things, but apparently I blacked out at this point in the meal and stopped taking pictures. I think we were in a rush that day because we were taking the train back to Madrid. This feels like forever ago too, which is sad because it was only a few months ago. I definitely miss this trip. It was amazing.

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I know when I was recapping my Spain trip that I wrote about the greatest meal of my life, but I lied. This meal was definitely tied with it. We went on a day trip to Malaga, which was so beautiful. It was a nice coastal town where we could look out at the ocean. I wish we would have gone to the beach while we were there, but it was a long drive from where we were staying, so we couldn’t stay that long. Anyways this restaurant we went to while we were there was AMAZING. This is caramelized apples with foie gras. Ummm YES. It tasted as good as it looks. The crispy sweetness of the apples went well with the foie gras. My life belief is that you should always treat yourself to foie gras. You won’t regret it.

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These were definitely some of the best croquetas I had on my trip. Actually the dipping sauce was amazing. It was like a spicy mayonaisse. That is definitely want you want to be dipping fried cheese balls in. I think that these were just your basic jamon (ham) croquetas. They may have been simple, but definitely packed a ton of flavor. I think that all croquetas should come with a delicious sauce like this.

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These were some really interesting things. At first I thought I was at an Asian restaurant, but then I remembered that I was in Spain. I thought these were eggrolls, but I’m still not really sure what they are. Anyways they were the best things EVER. They had duck in them, which was tender and delicious. The sauce that went with it was sweet and tangy, which went nice with the crunch of the fried wrapper. I was sad that I couldn’t remember the name of these because I am always looking for them at tapas restaurants in the city.

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This was a tapas from the gods in heaven. It was toasted bread with mushrooms, shrimp, and a creamy ranch sauce. It was so good. I was sad that we had only gotten one order because we each only got to enjoy one piece of it. The shrimp was cooked and seasoned perfectly while the mushrooms had been sauteed in butter and oil providing a nice texture along with the crunch of the bread. The sauce was amazing. All creamy, fattening sauces are good anyways, so this was just like mmmmmmmmmmm.

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Well we couldn’t go anywhere without having an order of patatas bravas. Since this was one of the best meals of my life, these were obviously going to be one of the best patatas bravas on the trip. I loved how they used not only the spicy traditional sauce, but also drizzled some mayonaisse based sauce on top too. When the sauces blended together, it gave a creamy spicy combination to go along with the crunchiness of the fried potatoes. Man, how I miss these things. I seriously dream about these little bites of heaven all the time because it is so hard to find traditional and delicious patatas.

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Since we are totally fatties and it was our vacation, so we were treating ourselves, we had to get a dessert. It took a bit to pick because I wanted those eggroll things, but in dessert form. However they had ran out of that, so we settled for this cinnamon apple dessert. It was definitely a winning choice. It was amazing. It had caramel, cooked apples, cinnamon, vanilla icecream, and walnuts. I died. Literally. It was perfection. It was literally gone in about less than a minute. My brother and I of course had our typical spoon fight over the last few bites.

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Breakfast of champions right here. I’m not even sure what any of this is, but my dad stopped at a pastry shop and just picked a bunch of things for my brother to have. I got the doughnut looking thing. It was not your typical doughnut. It sort of reminded me of this cronut craze that is going on. It was more pastry like on the inside and then topped with a sugar glaze.

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Here was my breakfast of champions. I think this was called a bombello or bombom or something along the lines with the letters bom in it. It was like eating cake for breakfast. Actually it literally was. The inside was a sweet buttercream. The pastry was a cream puff that had been dipped in rich dark chocolate. It was good. The other thing was just a basic little pastry roll stuffed with sweet cream. Everyone was grabbing to get a bite of my big pastry. It was that good. I was in a sugar coma though after breakfast. Not a bad way to start the day.

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We stopped at this interesting little tapas place in Barcelona. You pretty much picked all the tapas you wanted from a bar and went back to your seat to enjoy them. You paid by the amount of toothpick and the size of the toothpick, so that was pretty interesting. It was a good place to go to get a little snack before we went on a long adventure for the day. Some of the stuff was really good while some of the other things were just all right. It was overall an experience.

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I obviously have to share some more sweets, specifically helado. I love ice cream. In Spain, it was actually pretty delicious. This was more of a gelato style kind of ice cream place. I ended up getting white chocolate with raspberry and chocolate chunks in it. It was really good. I think the owner said that it was one of the most popular flavors. After I had a few bites, I knew why. The tartness of the raspberries went along well with the rich flavor of the chocolate. It was so good. A nice treat for a warm day (although the weather was never really that hot while we were there, which was nice).

Well that is all I have for ya’ll today! I hope you guys have an awesome Wednesday. Now it is back to studying for my exams. I am ready to kick some butt though. I know I’m good when I have literally memorized every single thing and can repeat it without looking at any notes. I could practically teach the class.

Where is the best place you have traveled and eaten the best food?
What was the best meal of your life?

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The Greatest Meal of My Life

Hey ya’ll! It is my favorite day of the week: What I Ate Wednesday! I am so happy to be back in the country to participate in this. Luckily for ya’ll, I’ve been holding off to post for this special day, so that I could share the best meal I had on my trip with ya’ll and the rest of the foodie community! Thanks so much to Jenn for hosting this weekly event! Girl, you are a genius. Anyways now time for my meal. This was when we got to Sevilla. The day after we went to Toledo and went back to Madrid, we woke up the next morning super EARLY and hopped on a train to Cordoba where we would only spend a few hours. Thank god before we left I ate a Luna bar to tide me over.

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Our first stop on the itinerary in Cordoba was to go to La Mezquita, which is a sort of catheral and mosque. It was amazing. I am a huge art history buff, I even took a course in my undergraduate studies. Near the end of the course we studied this famous architecture because it has a huge Moorish influence. The arches are probably one of the most notable features of this place since they go on and on forever. The columns themselves are also gorgeous. You can learn a lot about the time period of a building by looking at the crown of the column, which has the decoration part on top of the pillar. All of the carvings in the wall were very intricate too. It is amazing that such beauty like this can be created years and years ago when there was not that much technology and tools.

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More arches and columns. Don’t worry I won’t torture ya’ll so much. I have about a million pictures of this one place. It was so beautiful that I just kept snapping away at everything. My eyes were a bit overwhelmed by everything, so I wanted to take enough pictures to be able to remember it later. There was a small amount of stained glass in the building, which was seriously breathtaking. I am a huge fan of stained glass (Jewish probz – or maybe art lover problems). I really just love art and architecture in general. If I could do something else in life (I wouldn’t because I love nutrition and health too much), but if I did it would have to do with art and architecture. I love it.

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After La Mezquita, we headed off into these really small alley ways to find a synagogue. However the synagogue was closed for renovation, but luckily the Sephardic museum was open! I’m an Ashkenazi Jew, which means that I come from Eastern Europe. Sephardic Jews come from Spain, Morocco, etc etc. The museum was really cute though. It was three stories with each room being a different part of Jewish history in Spain. They had tons of old Spanish Jewish artifacts like a seder plate that was painted in the brightest colors. I liked that the Sephardic Jews were into very bright and vibrant things. It makes everything so much more beautiful. After this museum, our train was in an hour, so we didn’t have time to sit down and eat anything. We went back to the station and got on our train to Sevilla. Once in Sevilla we were starving, so we went to look for something that was open to eat. However it was siesta around this time, so we were getting nervous that nothing was open. Luckily we ended up at La Azotea, which had the best meal of our entire trip.

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This may have been my favorite tapas plate of the entire meal. It was wontons with goat cheese and shrimp inside topped with a spicy aioli sauce and scallions. Ummmm yes. It was like an asian fusion with spanish food. The wontons were really hot, but the cheese just melted into your mouth as you bit into it. The shrimp was chopped very finely, so that the texture was not a bothersome at all. It was the perfect dish. I could have eaten about two or three plates of these and called it a meal.

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This was a fish plate. It had a small filet of fish on top of a bed of greens, tomatoes, and this garlic sauce. It was also topped with parmesan flakes. This was a medio portion, which meant that it was half of what the ration is. It was cooked perfectly. The fish was extremely flaky and fresh. The tomatoes were so good too. When you mixed everything up with the sauce, it was the perfect bite. There were some other good looking fish plates that went by us as we sat waiting for our food. We wanted to eat everything.

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This looks extremely weird, and a little bit like sushi. However it is just some brown rice and meat stuffed into a seaweed wrap and topped with either an egg or caramelized onions. When I first saw this dish on the table, I was a bit worried. It looks a little sketchy, however it is an explosion of deliciousness when you shove it in your mouth. You expect it to be a bit bitter, but instead it is extremely sweet in a savory sort of way. I would have definitely ordered this again.

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Croquettes! We obviously couldn’t have gone one meal without eating at least one of our favorite traditional Spanish foods. These were AMAZING. It was like a sweet duck sauce underneath the croquettes, which were just simply filled with ham and cheese. They were fried super crispy too, which gave the outside a nice crunch as you got into the soft inside. These were definitely one of the best croquettes I had on the trip.

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I believe that if you are having the best meal of your life, you definitely need to order dessert. Since this restaurant was so amazing, it was obvious that all of the desserts were going to be equally amazing. It was really hard to pick, but in the end we ended up choosing a chocolate orange souffle. It was mind blowing. When we broke it open, chocolate ganache spilled out of the cake. We ate it up in about five minutes. They must have thought we were American pigs, but oh well. It was good. Definitely the best meal of the trip. I wish we could have gone back at least one more time to try other things on the menu since there were so many tempting options.

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Instead of having dinner like a normal person, we decided to head over and eat some helado (ice cream) for dinner. Such a good option in my opinion. We went to Rayas, which is a very popular heladeria in Sevilla. It was definitely worth the trek (later on we found out that there was one literally a foot from our hotel lol). My brother ended up getting strawberry cheesecake and dulce de leche. The strawberry cheesecake was definitely my favorite of the two. It was so creamy and rich.

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I decided to go pretty simple and just get coconut. It was delicious. There were small flakes of coconut within the ice cream. I love fruit flavors of ice cream. I wish we would have gone back to get more because I would have gotten lemon or mango. You can’t go wrong with something simple. If I had my way, I probably would have just snuck behind the counter and sampled every single flavor. Yeah, I like ice cream. Foreign icecream is just so much better in comparison to American. I could live off gelato in Italy, but that is a whole different story. Back to Spain!

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After we got our ice cream, we ate it and walked around Sevilla. We ended up at this awesome castle/church thing. I’m not really sure what it was, but it was gigantic. It looks cool at night. We walked through the Juderia (Jewish neighborhood) and even ended up attending some neighborhood party. Actually we think it was some political rally, but it felt like a neighborhood party to me. It was super awkward in my opinion and I wanted to leave. Eventually we ended up back at the hotel and went to rest for the next day ahead of us.

I hope everyone had a good WIAW! We are halfway through the week. I’m not sure why I count down the week anymore since I pretty much do nothing besides coach volleyball. It is just a habit I guess or I’m just super excited for the Maccabi games and graduate school. Who knows!