- For the place in California, see Merienda, California.
Merienda is a light meal in Southern Europe, particularly Spain, Italy (merenda), Croatia (marenda), as well as Latin America and the Philippines. Usually taken in the afternoon or for brunch, it fills in the meal gap between lunch at noon and dinner, or between breakfast and lunch. It is a simple meal that often consists of a piece of fruit, cookies, yogurt, and other snacks paired with juice, hot chocolate, coffee, spirits, or other beverages.
It is typical for Argentines and Paraguayans to have merienda or "tea" around 5pm, between lunch and dinner. It generally consists of an infusion (tea, mate, coffee, mate cocido, etc.) and a baked snack (scones, bread, toasts, cake, facturas, etc.), usually accompanied with dulce de leche, honey, butter or jam. North Americans may relate this light meal as a type of "second breakfast."
In the Philippines, merienda (Filipino: meryenda or minandál) refers to the light meals that would otherwise be referred to as brunch and afternoon tea. Merienda taken in the early evening just before dinner is referred to as merienda cena.
In Catalonia, the Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands, it is known as berenar o 'bereneta' in Catalan. 'Bereneta' is mainly used in Menorca. It is commonly eaten with pa amb tomàquet and a few slices of cured ham or chesse. It can also be sweet, like fairy cakes, croissants and small cakes and also fruit which children eat after school. Simplicity is typically key as the meal is not meant to spoil one's appetite for the proper dinner.
- Solomon H. Katz. (ed.). ""Spain." Encyclopedia of Food & Culture". Vol. 2. Gale Cengage, 2003; http://www.enotes.com, 2006. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- "Merienda in the Philippines". http://liveinthephilippines.com. July 3, 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Doreen G. Fernandez. "Filipino Food/Cuisine Glossary". Palayok: Philippine Food Time, On Site, in the Pot. Manila: Bookmark Inc., 2000; http://www.seasite.niu.edu. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- "Pleasures of the palate and beverages to quench your thirst". How to survive in and even enjoy Croatia, A guide for smart foreigners. Retrieved 27 December 2010.