In Spain, as we said in our article Meals and Culture of Spain, breakfast or el desayuno is the smallest meal of the day. It is usually café con leche, a large cup containing a small amount of very strong espresso coffee with a lot of very hot, frothy milk and a sweet roll or magdalenas, lemon-flavored cupcakes or sugary churros.
Children may drink a cup of thick and creamy Spanish hot chocolate or cold chocolate milk and a roll, although cereals have become popular with children in the last 20 years.
A simple roll with jam or a sweet roll is usually served with café con leche. However it is not unusual to see toast accompanied by butter or a mild, soft cheese and/or cooked ham. At home, many families will eat magdalenas or “Maria” crackers. They are a round cracker that is sweet – and look a bit like a Ritz cracker. Churros are a very traditional breakfast food - lightly fried dough similar to a doughnut, sprinkled with sugar or honey. Another popular breakfast food are called torrijas, which are Spanish Bread Pudding topped with sugar and cinnamon or rich honey. Any type of breakfast you eat in Spain should tide you over until noon, when you’ll most likely be whisked off to the local bars for a few glasses of wine and some tapas before lunch!
If you'd like to prepare café con leche like a Spaniard, brew strong coffee and heat the milk before mixing the two together. Suggestions for a good cup of café con leche: