Breakfast in Spain can vary quite a bit depending on where you are. Some say that there are 1001 different ways to enjoy the first meal of the day and anyone that’s traveled a bit in Spain knows that you could easily get a college degree in Spanish breakfast practices. There are regional dishes, different schedules and a variety of other preferences.
According to one survey, 80% of Spaniards eat breakfast everyday. Most of them eat it at home, too. But what about the Spaniards that don’t eat breakfast? The lack of time isn’t the most important reason behind their decision. In fact, the most common reason that Spaniards don’t eat breakfast is that they’re not hungry in the morning. What’s more? One quarter of Spaniards that don’t eat breakfast say it’s because they wake up too late. That sounds like the life to us!
While the majority of Spaniards eat breakfast at home, how much time do they dedicate to the most important meal of the day? According to one survey, the average time spend eating breakfast is between 5 and 10 minutes. In some regions like Andalucía and Catalunya, breakfast is a little longer (between 10 and 20 minutes) but in others like Murcia and Aragón it barely lasts 5 minutes.
And what time do Spaniards eat breakfast? Well besides the few Spaniards that wake up at a time that’s more appropriate for vermouth than orange juice, the typical Spanish breakfast is between 7 and 8:30. Of course this changes quite a bit on the weekends, when most Spaniards will have their breakfast between 8:30 and 10.
Spain is a very caffeinated country when it comes to breakfast. About 70% of Spaniards drink coffee with their breakfast. The second most popular breakfast drink, milk, is a distant second with only 35% of Spaniards taking part. Breakfast with a cup of coffee is a fundamental element in many regions of Spain but especially in Andalucía, Asturias, Baleares, Cantabria, Catalunya, Valencia, Extremadura, Madrid, Murcia, and the Basque Country. While there are so many ways to have your coffee around the world, in Spain the clear winner, at least in the morning, is café con leche (literally, coffee with milk). 75% of Spaniards drink their coffee this way. Another firm Spanish custom is to add a little sugar or sweetener to the morning cup of coffee. Approximately 80% of Spaniards take part in this practice. While Spain is a very caffeinated country, it may not be as caffeinated as you thought. Just over half of Spaniards say that they limit themselves to only one cup of coffee a day.
Another question that divides Spain is what should accompany the morning cup of coffee. When it comes to deciding between sweet and salty, is seems that sweet is the victor, but just by a bit. 55% of Spaniards prefer sweet. Interestingly, young people and men are both more likely to prefer something sweet for breakfast. In terms of regional differences, Aragón and Castilla y León are the two regions with the biggest appetite for a sweet breakfast. Catalunya and Andalucía, at the other extreme, are the two regions in Spain that are the most likely to prefer a salty breakfast.
Lastly, what exactly do Spaniards eat for breakfast? Well the answer to this question could possibly be as long as the number of towns there are in Spain. Perhaps we’ll leave it to our next blog post. Stay tuned!