Spain is popular for many reasons, its elegant Romanesque and Gothic architecture, sandy beaches, and of course, world-famous cuisine. A must try when visiting is the ever-popular tapas. Not only is this essential to Spain’s culinary culture, but has become a way of life, playing its part amongst gatherings and social events.2021 June 16
These delicious bite-sized eats are normally served in separate dishes and can be enjoyed across many local bars and restaurants (order a drink in some places, and you can sometimes get a side of tapas thrown in for free!). With just about everything you could imagine, from fresh olives to flavoursome seafood, there’s no better way to round off a day of exploring the sights and sounds of a vibrant Spanish city like Barcelona than with a selection of tasty tapas on a summer’s evening.
If you’re wondering what the best tapas to eat is when visiting Spain, feast your eyes (and your stomach) on our selection of popular Iberiean delights to keep a lookout for.
One of the most popular tapas dishes that you will find is Jamón Serrano. This quintessentially Spanish dish is made from locally sourced dry-cured ham and is normally served on fresh bread or accompanied by green olives. Its deep salty flavour usually compliments a refreshing white wine when eaten.
Another common yet flavour-packed dish that you will come across is Gambas al ajillo, best known as garlic prawns. Fresh prawns are served in a garlic-infused olive oil and topped with some fresh parsley and sometimes a sprinkle of chilli or cayenne pepper. The dish is usually served in a clay pot and is most commonly found in central or southern Spain.
A staple of Spanish tapas has to be Patatas Bravas. These mouth-watering cubes of deep-fried white potatoes are plated up with a spicy tomato sauce traditionally flavoured with paprika, chilli powder and a pinch of salt and sugar for a sweet and spicy kick to tingle the taste buds. Whether you’re simply eating it as an appetiser or as part of a larger meal, these famous spuds are sure to bring a taste of Spain to your tapas gathering.
The crown jewel of tapas, Croquetas or croquettes are deep-fried bechamel balls (I mean, who doesn’t love anything cheese based?) that are coated in breadcrumbs for a golden brown finish and can be filled with a variety of ingredients, the most common being ham (Jamón). These little balls of joy are easy to make and are a classic tapas dish that’s loved by many.
While not necessarily specific to tapas, Tortilla (or Spanish omelette) is also traditionally enjoyed as part of a smaller bite-sized platter. Perfect for vegetarians, this well-liked dish consists of only three main ingredients: potatoes, onions and eggs. Tortilla is usually served at room temperature and can be enjoyed at any time of day.
Lovers of seafood will appreciate this popular Galacian dish made up of octopus, olive oil and sprinkled with some salt and pepper. Once the octopus is nice and tender, it is diced, served on a wooden board and is best accompanied by a glass of red for maximum flavour.
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