Typical Spanish food includes fresh vegetables, meat, eggs, chicken, and fish. Most fried foods are cooked in olive oil. Breakfast is generally a light meal of coffee or hot chocolate, bread and jam, or sometimes churros (a batter made of flour and butter, deep-fried and sprinkled with sugar). A substantial meal is eaten at about 2:00 p.m., and it usually includes soup, a salad, a dish with some kind of fish, a main dish, and fresh fruit. Around 5:00-6:00 p.m., Spaniards eat a snack meriendalt, usually a sandwich or sweet bread or crackers with tea or hot milk. Dinner is usually at 9:00 - 10:00 p.m. and is not as large as the midday meal. It may consist of breads and cold meats or other light foods.
At a formal dinner, the host or hostess indicates seating arrangements for guests. For example, ladies, older people, and guests of honor are seated first. At any meal, the continental style of eating is followed, which means one holds a fork in the left hand and a knife in the right. The knife is used for cutting and for pushing food onto the fork. Traditionally, hands are kept above the table at all times and are not placed in the lap during the meal. However, elbows are not to rest on the table; it is best to rest the wrists or forearms on the table edge. Hosts appreciate compliments on the meal. For family meals, the father sits at the head of the table. It is considered poor manners for adults to eat while waking down the street.