My cravings change with the time of day. Every meal it’s something different and when you grew up in one culinary culture it’s very hard to satisfy your crazy cravings when surrounded by another.
You see I crave American food! Last night I wanted a Cherry Coke Slushie, the kind you get at the movie theater with the straw with the itty bitty spoon on the end. Nowhere in Spain will I find a Cherry Coke Slushie. Sure, I may stumble upon the big Helados truck parked in front of the ayuntamiento selling soft serve and strawberry granizadas, the closest thing to a slushie here in Spain, but it’s just not the same.
So far everything I have been craving I have had to prepare myself, defeating the purpose of sending Joe out in the middle of the night for something weird and only found at 7-11.
I had to make a tuna melt from scratch because the Spanish just don’t believe in the 24-hour diner like us Yankees.
I had to make mac & cheese from scratch because last I checked there wasn’t a Cracker Barrel Restaurant in a 1,000 mile radius from my house.
Having spent 3 glorious years in New York City where you can have simultaneous deliveries of vegetarian Chinese food, fattening Mexican quesadillas, Indian curries, hot homemade pasta dishes and 1 lb. pastrami sandwiches from Katz’s deli, I would say I am spoiled. The Spaniards don’t do delivery or drive through or convenience stores. Now in some ways this is charming and quaint and what makes this historically beautiful country well, still historic and beautiful. You will find a McDonald’s but it will be built in an old architecturally-restored cathedral.
Maybe if I have a second child here in Spain and have been here longer than 3 months I will crave Spanish food but right now, a steaming plate of octopus just doesn’t cut it for the cravings. A bowl of snails, er, I mean caracoles doesn’t sound appetizing to me. I want a bagel. I don’t want to schmear my homemade scallion cream cheese ( because they don’t have New York style delis either, who knew?) and carefully placed tomato slices on Spanish bread. It’s not the same!
I am lucky to have a military commissary 1.5 hours away where I can stock up on things like frozen pizza, bread & butter pickles, peanut butter, mmm hot pockets. But it’s not somewhere Joe can hop in the car and run to at 11:00 at night when I say, “I could really go for some chocolate milk right now.”
Some things are great here, the fresh produce and fruit is excellent and lucky for me, I have been craving fruit morning, noon and night. But when I run out on a Sunday (when nothing, I mean nothing is open) I have to resort to peeling the tab off a can of peaches or crushed pineapple.
This is going to be an interesting 6 more months.