What do you think of when you hear the word ‘tapas’? Choice morsels of spicy, flavorsome fare; platters and bowls to share with friends or savor over a glass of wine in a Spanish bar? For the uninitiated, tapas is small portions of traditional Spanish dishes, typically served as snacks for a mid-afternoon meal or alongside a glass or wine or beer as appetizers before dinner. Tapas has taken off in the UK in recent years, and is a firm favorite amongst the country’s food-lovers.
Tapas originates from Andalucia in the Southern Province of Spain, and can range from a simple snack like a bowl of olives to elaborate meat and fish dishes. Naturally, this makes them immensely appealing to people looking to enjoy a night out without a sit-down meal but still need something to line their stomachs with!
The legend behind the origins of tapas is fascinating; when King Alfonso the 10th fell ill, he began to take small bites of food and wine between his meals. Once recovered, the King decreed that no wine was to be drunk in his court unless there was food to go with it. It might seem unreasonable, but actually this turned out to be beneficial for some of his courtiers, who often consumed alcohol on an empty stomach because they could not afford to fill their bellies with food. Since then, the phenomenon of tapas become a cultural institution, with eating and drinking going hand in hand.
If you’re planning to visit Spain, then you really must try to put in some time for the country’s wonderful tapas. Here are some tapas dishes you have to try while holidaying in Spain:
A traditional dish that’s often served in bars, Patatas Bravas is an incredibly popular tapas dish. A bit like potato wedges, these potatoes are boiled, friend and covered in a delicious spicy tomato sauce.
Gambas al ajillo
Tapas is humble and simple to prepare, but sometimes that’s exactly what you want. Gambas al ajillo is simply a plate of grilled prawns, cooked with garlic and chilli for a great combination of flavours.
A classic taps dish, and with good reason. The Spanish omelet offers a huge amount of variety, made with fried potatoes and onions, with chorizo and other ingredients serving as fantastic additions. These are easy to make at home, but nothing beats the real thing!
These are small, bread crumbed rolls of fried food, and like the Spanish omelet, are great for mixing and matching flavors and ingredients. For example, ham and cheese croquetas are very popular and make for an excellent bar snack.
Do you like Tapas? Have you ever had them in Spain? Share your experiences with us!