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53 posts categorized "Food and Drink"


CIEE Alcalá de Henares LA study abroad FALL 2013 Newsletter 5.



To make the day a bit less bitter, we must not forget that we remember all the deceased, the popular wisdom generated the custom of eating special foods.

I will mention the sweets, because almost all the students have a sweet tooth, but diabetics or “top models” should refrain from trying them! If you peek into the window of  pastries shops in Alcalá de Henares, you’ll be able to see some of them and I’m sure you’ll want to go in and taste them.


  Saints’ bones. (Huesos de santo)

  Huesos-de-santo2 Foto de huesos de santo

If there’s one typical sweet for All Saints’ Day, it’s the “saints’ bones”. Made with a marzipan dough, these sweets are covered with a syrup and have different fillings. They are shaped like bones, which is where its name comes from. The saints’ bones make up part of the pastry and baked goods in Castile and Spain in general, and it’s very common to eat them across the peninsula on November 1st.


 Wind Fritters (Buñuelos o buñuelos de viento)


Buñuelos rellenos

Though they are perhaps more well-known toe at during “Holy Week”, these fritters are also eaten for All Saints’ Day. They’re very simple to make, and the recipe basically consists in a dough made with flour, sugar and a filling that could be one of many flavors. The fritters are cheaper and lighter than the Saints’ bones, and their roots go back to the “Deep Castile”.


  Quince Jelly (Dulce de membrillo)


This is a very fall treat because it’s during this time when the fruit is harvested from the Quince tree and a type of jelly or compote is made in the home. Careful, though: quince can’t be eaten raw. The jelly is made simply by boiling the pulp of the quince with the same amount of sugar, resulting in a block of jelly that can be cut to go with or fill different types of culinary dishes.


 “Pestiños” (There is no English translation!)



It’s tradition to eat them at this time of year. They’re pretty easy to make, since there are only three main ingredients: flour, olive oil and sugar, but the key is in frying the dough, and that’s another story. There are lots of variations of the recipe, sometimes adding lemon, honey or Jerez wine.


  Roasted chestnuts (Castañas asadas)


 Since All Saints’ Day is celebrated in fall, it isn’t strange that one of the most typical nuts is eaten to celebrate it: chestnuts. When they’re roasted they are very tasty, and can be easily eaten. The most common way to roast them is over a hot griddle, though they can also be roasted in the fireplace, in a bonfire or even in the oven.





CIEE Alcalá de Henares LA study abroad FALL 2013 Newsletter 4.

Last October 4-6 CIEE Alcalá Fall 2013 group went to Seville. It was our second 3 days field trip, and it was amazing.
We went  by speed train called AVE. From Madrid to Seville just 2 hours and a half. 
Ángel de Quinta, a CIEE Seville Art and History professor, helped us on Friday and Saturday when we visited the city.

We visited different nice parts of the city. It was a walking tour on Friday and  "Reales Alcázares" palace visit on Saturday morning until 14:00pm. 
On Sunday morning we went to "Parque Mª Luisa" and !Plaza de España".

But after a trip so interesting, the best thing was hearing my students when we were arriving to Alcala: "We're home"!!!!!





Caminando en España


Ya que he llegado a España, he caminado mucho. En mi casa en California tengo un coche que uso frecuentemente y desde que llegué aquí he disfrutado caminando alrededor. En Alcalá de Henares es fácil ver toda  cuidad en tan sólo unas pocas horas. Por eso,  estoy familiarizada con la mayor parte de la ciudad. Todos los edificios y las iglesias son preciosas, y me encantan. Mi lugar favorito es la calle mayor, la calle más popular de la ciudad. Hay un poco de todo en la calle, incluyendo tiendas de ropa, restaurantes, la casa de Miguel Cervantes, helado y mucho más.

Foto 1

Todos las días camino por la calle simplemente para ver a la gente. La mayoría de las veces no estoy de compras ni voy a comer, sólo camino. Estoy fascinada por las diferencias entre los españoles y los americanos. Una de las mayores diferencias es el estilo de ropa: hay marcas de ropa, zapatos y también relojes aquí en España que no existen en los Estados Unidos. También cuando estoy caminando por la calle, hay muchas personas que se sientan afuera para comer y beber, y me gusta ver lo que la gente está comiendo.

Foto 2

Yo vivo en la residencia Universidad de Alcalá  y necesito comprar comida para mí. He aprendido caminando a casa que la comida no es fácil. Es importante comprar sólo alimentos que realmente necesito, porque si compro demasiada comida mis bolsas son muy pesadas. Además de tener que llevar bolsas pesadas me gusta caminar por todo el supermercado porque compro alimentos que no estoy acostumbrada a comer. Esta es una de las principales diferencias que he encontrado desde que estoy viviendo en el extranjero, pero caminar y comer han sido mis dos cosas favoritas para hacer aquí en España.


Walking in Spain


Since I have arrived in Spain, I have walked a lot! At my house in California I have a car that I use frequently, but since arriving here I have enjoyed walking around. In Alcalá de Henares it is easy to see the entire city in just a few hours. Because of this, I have become familiarized with most of the city. All of the buildings and churches are beautiful and I like them very much. My favorite place would have to be calle mayor or Main Street; it is the most popular street in the whole city. On the street there is a little bit of everything including; clothing stores, restaurants, Miguel Cervantes house, ice cream shops, and much more.


Every day I walk down the street to simply see the people. The majority of times I am not there to go shopping or get food, I am just there to walk.  I am very fascinated in the differences between Spaniards and Americans. One of the biggest differences is the style of clothing; there are brands of clothing, shoes, and even watches here that do not exist in the United States. When I am walking down the street there are a lot of people sitting outside eating and drinking and I like to see what the Spanish people eat.

I live in the residency here at University of Alcalá and need to buy food for myself. I have learned that walking home with food is not easy! It is important to buy only food that I really need because if I buy too much, my shopping bags are too heavy. Even though I have to carry heavy bags, I like walking around the supermarket because I buy things here that I am not accustomed to eating. This is just one of the many differences I have faced since living abroad, but walking around and eating food has definitely been my two favorite parts about Spain so far. 



CIEE Alcalá de Henares LA study abroad FALL 2013 Newsletter 3.



We all went together to Valencia from the 20th to the 22nd, which is a successful trip because of the good weather and the beach. But, let’s not forget our cultural walking tours through the old part of the city. 

We went by AVE (Spanish speed train) to Valencia.


Our hotel was amazing: good rooms and very good breakfast.


We visited the old part of Valencia and also the new area called "Ciudad de las Artes y de las ciencias".



But I really think that the favourite place for the students was the Oceanographic.


It was an amazing week end. The students tried paella and horchata. 


We enjoyed this first field trip.







Comida de Alcalá


La comida en Alcalá es muy diferente, pero muy buena.  Primero, el horario de la comida es diferente del horario de la comida en los Estados Unidos.  En los Estados Unidos estoy acostumbrada a desayunar a las ocho en la mañana, mi almuerzo a las doce o una de la tarde y mi cena a las cinco y media o a las seis de la tarde.  Aquí en España, yo desayuno a la misma hora que en los Estados Unidos, pero almuerzo y ceno más tarde en el día.  Almuerzo a las tres de la tarde y ceno a las nueve de la noche.  También en España, muchas personas comen con su familia,  mientras que en los Estados Unidos yo como con mis amigos cuando estoy en mi universidad, con mi madre o mi hermana a veces o sola cuando estoy en mi casa. 


¡El tipo de la comida de España es muy rica!  A mí me gusta muchísmo la comida de mi familia en España.  Mi madre en España me da mucha comida cada día y esto es típico de muchas madres en España.  Mi familia cocina varias tipos de comida, algunas como la comida en los Estados Unidos.  Mis favoritos son la tortilla, los espaguetis  y las empanadas.  La tortilla tiene huevos y patatas, los espaguetis es casi como los espaguetis en los Estados Unidos, con un sabor diferente, y las empanadas tiene pescado y huevos dentro.  Una comida típica de España es la paella.  La paella es un plato con arroz, verduras, mariscos  o pollo.  Unos postres típicos de España son las rosquillas de Alcalá.  Las rosquillas son masa frita con cobertura de huevo.


Los restaurantes aquí tienen comida barata.  Muchos restaurantes tienen un menú del día o tapas.  El menú del día tiene un primer plato, un segundo plato, una bebida y un postre.  Las tapas son comidas pequeñas y baratas.  Puedes pagar por una bebida y obtienes una tapa gratis, así pagas dos o tres euros sólo.  Hay varios tipos de tapas, como empanadas, pasta o bocadillos pequeños. 






   Food in Alcalá


The food in Alcalá is very different, but very good.  First, the meal schedule is different from the meal schedule in the United States.  In the United States I am used to eating my breakfast at eight in the morning, my lunch at twelve or one in the afternoon, and my dinner at five-thirty or six at night.  Here in Spain I eat my breakfast at the same time in the United States, but I eat lunch and dinner much later in the day.  I have lunch at three in the afternoon and dinner at nine.  Also in Spain, many people eat with their family.  In the United States I eat with my friends when I am in school, with my mom or my sister sometimes, or buy myself when I am at home.


The type of food in Spain is very good!  I really like my family’s food in Spain.  My mom in Spain gives me a lot of food every day and this is typical of many moms in Spain.  My family cooks various types of food, some like the food in the United States.  My favorites are the tortilla, the spaghetti, and the empanadas.  The tortilla has eggs and potatoes, the spaghetti is almost like the spaghetti in the United States with a different flavor, and the empanadas have fish and eggs inside.  A typical food from Spain is paella.  Paella is a dish with rice, vegetables, seafood, or chicken.  Some typical desserts from Spain are rosquillas.  The rosquillas are fried dough with icing.


The restaurants here have cheap food.  Many restaurants have a menu of the day or tapas.  The menu of the day has the first plate, the second plate, a drink, and a dessert.  The tapas are small and cheap meals.  You can pay for a drink and get free tapas, so you only pay two or three Euros.  There are various types of tapas, like empanadas, pasta, or small sandwiches. 




CIEE Alcalá de Henares LA study abroad FALL 2013 Newsletter 2.



Last Friday September 7th 2013 we went to Madrid down town. We enjoy the city and the weather.  The students could learn the public transportation system with their B3 orange cards.

  B3 sin datos

Now you can have a look at the pictures.




CIEE ALCALÁ- SUMMER 2013 (SESSION 2): Valencia by Samantha Walker (Carnegie Mellon University)


So back to the East, to Valencia! With the majority of my time spent on CIEE tours ["not that I don't enjoy seeing the outside of buildings... -Abby] and learning the cultural facts and fantastically old buildings, I got to do and see some really cool things! But really, I did enjoy the tours, especially to the Museum de las Fallas, a tradition of making huge wooden/other material masses (like parade floats) and ultimately all but one piece stays in the museum, to welcome the springtime.
2013-07-20 11.15.22

The first night, me, Katie -my roomie-, Lisa and Kristen made sure to enjoy the traditional foodstuff of Valencia, Paella (without seafood for me), Agua de Valencia (mix of orange juice and white wine, I believe?) and Horchata de Chufa. We also wandered the night streets getting slightly lost but ultimately getting to know the area better, which helped a bunch for the next two days.
And then what all of us were waiting for on the second day: THE BEACH. Ahh, yes. The wonders of the Mediterranean on la Playa de Malvarrosa. But yes, it was great to plunge into the waves, tan in the sand, and even play ball in the water with a more than kind Spanish family. 

Later, getting lost served us well once again on Saturday night: We found a mini-performance of a string quartet and then found a huge crowd of people around traditional Valencian dancers.The best part was that ~ordinary citizens~ began joining in as well. It was also nice to recognize the last song as the traditional song of Valencia, one that Fausto, our ever wonderful tour guide sang to us on the bus ride there.
Luckily, we ended up on the right track to the election of las falleras, kind of like a beauty pageant where women, and even a section for young girls, from all over Valencia strut their stuff in elaborate, gorgeous gowns to represent the community in March during las Fallas. All the women and the gowns and downright detail were stunning! And ~watch out~, the next day we had a mini-tour where Fausto explained more about how the dresses are made, the hairstyles are done, etc. He also mentioned that the woman there, hosting the mini-museum of falla dresses, was actually the designer of them all and was very humbled at his accolades of the styles and hard work put into them.
Due to supreme beach exhaust (and not to mention burrrrrneeeeedddddd skin), only me and Lisa went out at midnight to see the fireworks on the Playa de las Arenas. It was a pretty long show, about 15 minutes, and it was nice to take in the cool beach breeze. After the show, we took advantage of sand that didn't burn layers off our feet!
2013-07-20 21.17.49
2013-07-21 00.12.53

More than just a visit to the community in which my Spanish father was raised in, all-in-all, this was a supreme adventure and a great way to start wrapping up my time here in Spain with my Session Two friends and most importantly, the directors here, Cristina, Eero and Fausto. I'm gonna miss you guys so much!
2013-07-21 11.17.14




Classes began on Monday, July 1ST in the Instituto Benjamin Franklin. 

Many things have happened during the first week of July.  With the Instituto Benjamin Franklin activities the CIEE students have been able to go to "Barrio de las Letras in Madrid" (it is a nice neibourghood where some famous writers lived centuries ago as Cervantes and Lope de Vega) and Soria in Castilla-León.
 We should not forget some of the individual trips that the students have taken. One of them was Pamplona on July 7th in order to see some of the running of the bulls in San Fermín.  The CIEE staff spoke seriously with the group in order to tell them that they should not run with the bulls but rather watch from behind the barriers.
While others went  Madrid´s Gay Parade.
Stay tune, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


CIEE-ALCALÁ- SUMMER 2013 (Session 1): ALCALÁ DE HENARES families.



Me encanta mi señora. Ella es muy generosa y agradable. Ella siempre sonríe y hace chistes, aunque yo no entiendo a veces. Nos gusta ver Pasapalabras y Lo Sabe y No Lo Sabe en la televisión. En el almuerzo y la cena, charlamos sobre cosas cotidianas. ¡Me gustan todas sus comidas también! Mi favorito hasta ahora es jamón con garbanzos, pollo y otras verduras. Me ofrezco a ayudar a preparar la cena, pero ella no lo permite. Sólo puedo poner la mesa y preparar las bandejas para el almuerzo y la cena. Lava mi ropa cada día también. He pensado ya en el día que la tendré que abandonarla. Me siento triste, pero quiero disfrutar del tiempo que tengo con ella. Desearía que a veces hablara más despacio para mí, porque no entiendo todo el tiempo. Me siento bendecida por tenerla como mi mamá española. Ella me llama su hija, niña, su corazón. Ella es mi familia.



I love my host mother. She is very generous and nice. She always smiles and jokes with me albeit I do not understand her sometimes. We like to watch TV game shows together, “Pasapalabra” and “Lo Sabe No Lo Sabe.” At lunch and dinner time, we chat about everyday things. I like all your meals too! My favorite so far is a chickpea soup, chicken and other vegetables. I offer to help her with preparing dinner, but she does not let me. I am only allowed to set the table and prepare the trays for lunch and dinner. She also washes my clothes every other day. I have starting to think about the day I have to leave Spain. It makes me feel sad because I enjoy my time with her. I wish she would sometimes speak more slowly because I cannot understand her all the time. I feel very blessed to have her as my Spanish mother Spanish. She calls me her daughter, her girl, her heart. She is my family.



Amelia Anderson

Indiana University







No tengo nada malo que decir sobre mi familia. Yo amo a mi familia española. Mi madre siempre me pregunta si quiero comer algo más, y ya estoy llena de comida. Como muy bien cada día y me encanta. Me ayuda también con ir al banco para recibir más dinero o prestarme una maleta pequeña para el viaje a Asturias. Mi hermanito es fantástico y me encanta jugar al ping-pong con él. Me siento muy feliz con todo.



I have nothing bad to say about my host family. I love my Spanish family! My mother always asks me if I want to eat something more even though I'm full of food. I eat really well every day and I love it.  My Spanish mother also helps me to go to the bank for more money and has lent me a small suitcase for our weekend trip to Asturias. My Spanish brother is also great, I love playing ping pong with him. I am very happy with everything.


Catherine Kuecker

University of Wisconsin Madison







Me gusta mi familia mucho.  Son muy acogedores.  Mi madre es muy agradable, y se asegura de que yo tenga suficiente comida.  Me gusta la comida, mi madre es una buena cocinera.  Mi hermana tiene mis mismos años más o menos, y me ayuda con mi español y ofrece ayuda con tarea.  Mi madre y hermana me prestan su ropa, lo cual es bueno.  Mi padre habla mucho conmigo, sobre los EE.UU. entonces mis conversaciones con él son muy interesantes.  Mi madre tiene un gran familia que vive en Alcalá también, entonces les conocí a otros personas de su familia.  En general ha sido una gran experiencia hasta ahora.  No hay problemas :)



 I love my home stay family very much. They are very welcoming. My Spanish mother is very nice and makes sure that I have enough food. I like her food, my mother is a good cook. My Spanish sister is very close to my age and she helps me with my Spanish.  She also offered to help me with my homework. My Spanish mother and sister also let me borrow their clothes, which is kind. My host father talks a lot to me about the U.S. so my conversations with him are very interesting. My mother has a large extended family living in Alcala and I have gotten to know other people in my home stay. Overall it's been a great experience so far.



Rachel Johansen

Indiana University





Me encanta Gema. Porque ella es muy joven, podemos hacer cosas juntas. Nosotras fuimos al cine juntas, y asistimos a un concierto con una de sus amigas. Como yo tengo un descanso entre mis dos clases (de 11,30h-15,30h) yo regreso a la casa mientras ella no está allí. A mí me encanta un poco de tiempo libre para mí misma en el apartamiento y hacer mis tareas. Por la noche siempre cenamos juntas, hablamos o vemos una película. Pasamos tiempo con su novio, Igor, que es simpático. Gema tiene mucho que contar sobre todos sus viajes a otros países por el mundo. Siento que yo no pueda decirle cosas importantes, y pedirle ayuda con mis tareas de clase.  Gema me corrige mi gramática y me gusta porque me ayuda a aprender, pero a veces es difícil cumplir un pensamiento propio cuando estoy pensando cómo prevenir errores.  Estoy contenta con mi familia.

I love my Spanish host, Gemma. Because she is younger we can do things together. We went to the movies and a concert together with one of her friends. Because I have a break between my two classes (from 11:30 am-3:30 pm) I return to the house while she is not there. For me, I like a bit of time to myself in the apartment for exercise, etc. In the evenings, we always eat dinner together, chat or watch a movie. We spend time with her boyfriend, Igor, who is friendly. Gemma has much to tell of all your trips to countries around the world. I feel that I can share important things with her and ask for help with my homework. Gemma corrects my grammar a lot, which I appreciate because it helps me to learn, but sometimes it is a little disheartening because I'm not able to get through what I'm saying. I am happy with my home stay.

Lauren Linder
University of Iowa


Familia española de Katherine S.


Orientation Friday afternoon was spent eating lunch (which is a 3 o'clock meal here) and dinner (which is a 9 or 10 o'clock meal) with a small siesta in between. Saturday was a whole new story... Waiting so long to meet them made us all very nervous, as we were not given any information whatsoever about our families before that day. During orientation we were given a photo and description of our family as well as the address of their home in Alcala. After much anticipation, I found out that my host family would consist of a single mom named Matilde and her16-year-old daughter named Eva. I have to say that I was very open-minded coming into the experience of living with a Spanish family, but I definitely was blessed to be placed with this one. They are both pretty talkative which is difficult for me to keep up with right now, but it will definitely help me to learn. Matilde works at the Universidad de Alcala de Henares which is where I go to school. She is a very sweet woman and I really appreciate how patient she is with my limited abilities in Spanish. She is a very good cook and prepares all three meals for us every day. Eva is very smart and spends a lot of time studying. She is a dancer which I think is really awesome, and she attends modern dance classes across the street from our building. Like me, she loves taking photos and said that she would help me to better understand my camera and help me improve my photography skills. Matilde said that they have hosted students for close to 8 years and that she got involved with the exchange program because she didn't really want Eva growing up as an only child. It sounds like they have really enjoyed doing this, and I am really glad to not be the first student they have hosted.
     Their apartment is really great, and I am very comfortable here because it is so inviting. We live on the 12th floor which is the very top, and the view from my window is gorgeous. I'm not facing the historic district of Alcala where all of the interesting architecture and plazas are, but I can see small mountains in the distance, and I love being able to see the "everyday life" of Spain happening outside my window. My most favorite parts in el piso (our house) are the little pieces of art all over. Matilde has A LOT of books, and they cover any empty space that might have ever been. There is also a pencil drawing of Matilde done by one of her friends and a painting of Eva as a young girl that I just love amongst many other treasures. The home just has so much character, and I am really thankful that they have welcomed me here.


Katherine Schlimm

Indiana University

CIEE-ALCALÁ- SUMMER 2013 (session 1): Katherine Schlimm impressions.

Katherine y su indentificación


This is an amazing blog!!!!!!