I had my graduation party last weekend and when my dad said he wanted to make Spanish food instead of just grilling hamburgers, I was a little umm....hesitant.
In my opinion, Spain is not known for their food. When trying to decide what I want to eat for dinner I've never said "Spanish food sounds really good." Nope. You will probably never hear me say that. In comparison, Chinese food I'm always up for, Mexican food is delish, and Japanese sushi is a guilty pleasure. But Spanish food? No thanks.
I mean, there are the exceptions. Paella is one of my favorite dishes ever, and tortilla española is aaaa-mazing.
But-- the jámon (ham), the lack of spices, and the beef-less hamburgers I could definitely do without. (I just learned the their hamburgers usually come from veal or a combination of beef and pork....this would explain why they never taste very good.)
Oh yeah, and the way they won't put cheese on a pizza unless you specifically ask for it. And even when you ask for it, they use a weird type of cheese. And their ability to hide ham in just about everything, including potato chips and spaghetti ("is there meat in the spaghetti?" "oh no, just ham." True story).
It took me a solid month last time I was there to get used to the food (and by "get used to" I mean not analyze what I was eating before I ate it). I still have issues with seafood, ham, and chorizo. Which anybody who has been to Spain before realizes is a major problem, since those are Spain's staple foods. Oops.
Wish me better luck this time!
mmmmm...paella con carne
They sell cans or bottles of tinto at the grocery stores, and a lot of bars will just use these for their tinto during busy times. Still good, but a little bit sweeter than the home-made version.