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The secrets to be found in cultural customs.

It quite possible that you have heard the saying “no comerse una rosca”, and you didn’t understand it. A rosca is a kind of sweet bread roll but the saying is figuratively speaking. It means something like not to get off with anyone. When you learn a language, the cultural and idiomatic aspects of it are important. That’s why studying and interacting with the locals in a country is highly recommended.

The above expression has a lot to do with Madrid and its local festivals. One of these events is San Isidro, where these shortbreads that are called rosquillas or roscas, are the protagonists. There include the “listas” dipped in fondant sugar, and the “tontas” without any icing.  During San Isidro in May, thousands of these are sold in the Pradera de San Isidro, a place where customs and traditions are religiously followed.

In those days when there were no apps or mobiles to meet and flirt, everything was slower and “sweeter”. Boys and girls went to the “verbenas” street parties often eager to meet the love of their life. It could start in the most innocent way, usually with a dance in which the couple talked and got to know each other to the tune of a chotis, (a typical Madrilenian dance).


Often before the dance during the initial contact, you presented the person with whom to wanted to dance, a rosquilla. If the person accepted the bait, it was a good sign. To give this sweet was the first step of a possible relationship.  However, if you went to a verbena and you were not successful in attracting any romantic interest, you would go home without eating a rosca. For that reason, many years later when someone is unsuccessful in chatting up someone, we colloquially say “no se come una rosca”.

Interesting, isn’t it? Learning the language is a key thing to do if you want to blend in with the locals in a country. At ih Madrid we have courses that will not only give you the experience in the classroom, but also daily activities so you can get to experience Madrid like a local. 

What are you waiting for? Come to Madrid and experience Spain! 


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