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Archive for March 17th, 2017

Tapas take over the world! While a few years ago tapas were only offered in Spain, they are becoming a trend in bars all over the world: Greek tapas, Cajun tapas, Thai tapas or the traditional Spanish tapas – everybody loves them!

Commonly, you can refer to the name “tapas” when it’s a small portions to accompany a drink. Throughout the time, most restaurants started to charge money for serving tapas which used to be for free when ordering a glass of wine or beer.

tapas1

tapas, (source: Instituto Mediterraneo Sol)

There are many speculations and legends about the origin of tapas and several regions such as Andalusia and Castile claiming for its invention. While some stories involve King Alfonso XIII’s illness to have small portions of food and a glass of wine in between meals, other legends mention King Fernando XVII who got served wine with cheese over top to protect the wine from bugs and dust. Some people believe it was the working class who needed a glass of wine and small snacks to endure the long working days.

wine with tapas

wine with tapas, (source: Instituto Mediterraneo Sol)

Wherever tapas are from, over the time it has established a form of national identification and it seems like you need to experience tapas to understand the hype and discover the Spanish way of life – socializing with others while savouring delicious tapas and a glass of wine.

experiencing tapas

experiencing tapas, (source: Independent)

Although simple slices of cheese and bread might have started it, there is a huge variety of tapas nowadays. Each region has develop its own tapas attributable to its taste and traditions. However, some tapas are well-known and loved all over Spain.

tapas2

variety of tapas, (source: el telegraph)

A lot of bars love to serve olives as it is simple and loved by everybody. Fried balls are called coquetas and Spaniard can’t get enough of them whether filled with meat, fish or vegetables.

coquetas

coquetas, (source: hogarmania)

Additionally, calamares a la romana (fried squid rings) belongs to the favourites of Spaniards. Tortilla de patatas (omelette made with potatoes) is probably the most famous tapa and an absolute must try when in Spain! What we love the most about tapas is the ability to discover more than one of these tasty dishes without feeling stuffed afterwards.

To be known as the best place to have tapas is the aim of almost every Spanish city due to the culinary importance of tapas. Thus, the competition is extensive and fierce. There are countless tapas events happening in various cities to showcase the quality and originality of tapas. Many language schools and universities organize private “tapas evenings” for their students to familiarize them with the Spanish culture. Street food events such as Van Van Barcelona and MadridEat are often used to demonstrate superior quality of tapas and make tapas even more well-known. Moreover, tapas festivals such as “tapa a tapa” in Sitges, “TaPalma Tapas Festival” in Mallorca and “Palmarés de la Feria de Tapas” in La Roda offer the perfect occasion to find out more about the finest food the villages have to offer for often cheap prices. During these celebrations the best tapas of the year get awarded by either a jury or public.

Personally, we love to have our tapas in Andalucía, especially in Granada as it is one of the best places to get free tapas. Moreover, Alcala de Henares in Madrid and Valencia count to our top favourite places for having tapas. A real insider’s tip for those who like to have high quality tapas is the province of Castilla and León with cities such as Valladolid and León. However, we can truly say that almost every city has its own charm when it comes to experiencing tapas. When traveling through the Basque Country, don’t be surprised when you get pintxos served instead of tapas which are similar but generally speaking smaller. Pintxos are typical for this region and not less delicious than tapas!

pintox

pintox, (source: groupalia)

Regardless where you have tapas (or pintxos), here are some tips for your first visit in a tapas bar: Change bar after having some tapas as the idea is to have a gastronomic bar crawl and make sure to combine the right tapas by asking the waiter for his help! Don’t confuse tapas (small portions) with “raciones” (meal sized servings) and keep in mind that instead of splitting bills, everybody pays for a round in Spain. These simple rules will help you to experience tapas to its fullest!

tapas bar

tapas bar, (source: the culture trip)

We would love to help you understanding the hype about tapas! Get to know the Spanish tradition and experience tapas together with culture by booking your tapas tour through us!

mapatapas

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