For Andrea Arrechea, a Marquette senior from San Sebastián, Spain, adjusting to the birthplace of the Big Mac hasn’t been too hard. She’s a pro when it comes to chowing down on American classics. Here, she dishes out the surprising cultural differences between Spanish and American food.
Cultura: So hot dogs and burgers were easy to swallow, but how about Wisconsin favorites like brats and cheese curds?
Andrea Arrechea: I had cheese curds, but I don’t like the feeling I get after I eat them. I feel so gross. Your stomach feels really heavy.
C: For Americans, time is money, and this motto is transferred onto the way we eat. How do you feel about fast food?
AA:Everything back home in my region is made fresh. We go where they prepare fresh food in time for you and have healthier food that is much cheaper than it is here. You cannot go grab fruits in Walgreens.
C: The U.S. isn’t exactly known for its healthy cuisine or small portion sizes. What is the most unhealthy thing you’ve seen?
AA: In your vending machines, you have a lot of coffee and juices, but, like, no water. And you have flavor powder to put in your water.
C: Here, going out for a pitcher of cheap beer is how American college students socialize. Is that true for you in Spain?
AA: We eat later than you and spend more time [with people] during our meals. It’s a time to talk and meet people, like going [out for] pintxos. It’s like tapas, or finger food. You go to a bar and you can get just a little thing to eat with a drink. It’s a great way to talk and meet people.
C: What’s the craziest meal or drink you’ve eaten in the States?
AA: The drink that most shocked me was at a baseball game was Coca Cola with ice cream. I was, like, “What?”
Andrea’s MKE Faves
- Screaming Tuna
- Café Hollander