Little Differences, Big Differences – Food in Spain

So one of the things that I knew would be different would be Food in Spain.  Obviously, there’s going to be new food.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not a Foodie.  I’m not as bad as I was, but I’m not overly ambitious when it comes to trying new things.  So along those lines, it’s nice to have some of the ol’ familiar fare.  Things from home as it were…

Shellfish and seafood is called "los mariscos"

Now not only are there big differences in the meals that people eat over here, there are small ones as well.  Take for instance mustard.  The mustard we bought for the house is good mustard.  It tastes good, but it’s just a teensy bit different than what I’m used to.  Ketchup, the same thing.  It’s good, but there’s a noticeable difference.

The other day all of us were at the store, and Heidi spotted some hot dog wieners.  Hot Dogs!  That’s something from home.  And, we were also able to find some hot dog buns.  Great!  We’re on a roll (get it?).

Side note:  Why do they sell wieners in packs of 5, and the buns in packs of 6?  I sense a conspiracy.

And The Verdict Is?

Heidi and I decided to surprise the kids with hot dogs for lunch after school.  She went to pick them up, and asked me to get started on the hot dogs.  I started cooking them up, and well, they cooked up a bit different.  They didn’t plump like I was expecting.

The kids get home, and they’re all excited about the food.  They don’t eat as many as normal which is a bit of a worry.  Now when I ate my hot dog, I was not thinking of the differences.  I just wanted some comfort food.  Alas, it was a different hot dog.  Again, not bad, just different.

Applying The Scientific Method

After some thinking, I decided to approach this in a scientific manner.  So I came up with a “Difference Factor” (patent pending).  For example, any food, drink, or edible in the U.S. has a default factor of 1.0.  If something here in Spain tastes better, the number goes up.  If  it tastes worse, then the number goes down.

So if I describe my Difference Factor mathematically, how does the Spanish Hot Dog compare to the U.S. Hot Dog?

Remember that the U.S. factor is always 1.  I call this factor Psi, or Ψ.  If we breakdown all of the hot dog components, we get:

Spanish Ketchup = .70Ψ
Spanish Mustard = .83Ψ
Spanish Bun     = .95Ψ
Spanish Wiener  = .90Ψ

If we multiply all of the hot dog components to calculate the total Hot Dog Difference Factor, we get:

.70Ψ × .83Ψ × .95Ψ × .90Ψ = .4968Ψ

So there you have it, our Spanish Hot Dog is slightly less than half as good as it’s U.S. counterpart.  Now if we get different condiments, like say, French’s Mustard, or Heinz Ketchup, then our Difference Factor (remember, patent pending) will go up.  Stay tuned for my in-depth research into the Hamburger Difference Factor, and my news-breaking report on Oreos (Spanish Oreos – Are They Really The Same?).

P.S.  If someone would send us some French’s mustard, I’d greatly appreciate it.

This entry was posted in Expat Planning, Food, Spain and tagged , , , , by Alan Wagoner. Bookmark the permalink.

About Alan Wagoner

Alan digs on technology and travel and is definitely the comic in the family. He's traveled all over the globe in search of cultural experiences. He has a fantastic wife and two great children that put up with his "humor", and luckily they all love travel as well. In Aug 2012, they sold their house and all of their possessions and moved to Spain to soak up the culture. He has written a book titled Live In Spain to help those wanting to obtain a Spanish Resident Visa. He also loves to write about the funnier side of the family's adventures.

8 thoughts on “Little Differences, Big Differences – Food in Spain

  1. there is an issue with your formula you should not multiply the factor Psi, or Ψ, you should calculate the average , the result should be :
    (.70Ψ + .83Ψ + .95Ψ + .90Ψ )/4 =.845Ψ,

    .845 is not a big difference , you should try chorizo al vino and tortilla , that’s the classic spanish combination .
    if I come to Riviera del sol this year I will definetly come and visit you….

  2. alan….m ake a list for me and i will try to bring what i can in february….of course, by then you will be used to your ‘new’ tasting food and i will have to lug a suitcase of food back to the States.

  3. Wait!!! So some people get your address, but others don’t?! Not Fair!! :'(

    You should add us to some sort of list, and email the list with your details… who knows, I may send you a couple of those free catchup packets from McD’s 😉

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