Desayuno The Spanish don’t really do breakfast. Not at home. El Segundo Desayuno, the Second Breakfast, however, is another story. Crucial to the smooth running of the country, this is when office workers, bank managers and bricklayers recargan las pilas (charge their batteries) after having dashed out of the house at 7am and crawled in traffic for an hour on a cup of reheated coffee and a stale madalena (fairy cake minus the wings). Just never try to buy a stamp or arrange a mortgage between nine and 11 in the morning. If you get fed up with queueing for said stamp or mortgage, you can always nip into the nearest bar and join said office workers, bank managers and bricklayers as they tuck into double cafés con leche, glasses of brandy or anisette, and toasted rolls the size of small torpedoes drizzled in garlic oil, rubbed with tomato, stuffed with ham and cheese and bacon, or topped with delights such as sobrasada (bright red spicy sausage spread) or manteca colorá con tropezones (bright orange pork dripping with lumps of fatty pork sticking out of it). On the other hand, you might just prefer a plain old cruasán (official don’t-want-all-these-bloody-foreign-words-in-our-language spelling of croissant).
From: In The Garlic: Your Informative, Fun Guide to Spain by Valerie Collins and Theresa O’Shea
New edition coming soon.