6 Spanish Tapas That Are A True Gastronomic Delight!

by Tania Tarafdar
Spain Tourism

Talk about Spanish food and the first food visual that comes to everyone’s mind, it would have to be Tapas! The appetiser is so loved world over that the origin country, Spain even celebrates a day dedicated to it – ‘World Tapas Day’. This is a yearly gastronomic event that takes place on the third Thursday of every June in different cities of Spain. Due to the pandemic, it got a bit delayed but for any kind of celebration, and it’s never too late. Here’s is all about Tapas food tradition and the best ones to try:

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Credits: © Instituto de Turismo de España – Turespaña.

What Is Tapas Food?

Tapas are necessarily appetisers popular in Spanish cuisine that are typically an aperitif of food that accompanies any drink, especially wine or beer and that is normally taken before lunch or before dinner or simply as an aperitif in the middle of the afternoon if you are going to have something out there without having to sit down and dine formally. Many times tapas or portions that are slightly larger tapas are ordered and with that one can already dine informally.

Ensaladilla rusa (Russian salad), pa amb tomàquet (white bread rubbed with tomato and drizzled with oil and salt), and patatas bravas (basically the french fries of Spain) are some well-known dishes. You can enjoy them over a conversation with your red sangria!

Credits: © Instituto de Turismo de España – Turespaña

The Origin Of Tapas Food

The word ‘tapa’; dates back to the days when small appetisers or dishes had to be covered with a lid or tapa; to protect them from the swarms of flies that inhabited the bars that served them. Today, Spain’s tapas has evolved into a sophisticated culinary scene, with many of the top chefs applying their talents to these bite-size tidbits.

Tapas: A Variety Of Humble Offerings

Tapas could be bit-sized offerings, but the variety is astonishing. When it comes to tapas, less is more. While olives, and small fried fish are standard throughout, each region in Spain also has its own specialities. Colder areas offer heavier fare like pimientos rellenos (stuffed peppers), patatas bravas (potatoes in spicy tomato sauce), and calamares a la romana (battered squid rings). The coastal regions mainly offer fish and seafood, and the Basque country has its
signature pintxos, slices of bread topped with many combinations of fresh ingredients. The increasing popularity of food tourism has helped the tapas tradition evolve, where gourmet tapas finds fame in many of the bigger cities.


Credits: © Instituto de Turismo de España – Turespaña

Tapas That Are An Absolute Must Try!

1. Croquetas: These are fried balls of deliciousness that come in a variety of meat, fish and vegetable fillings with some of the most loved including cod and ham.
2. Pimientos de Padrón: These are small peppers that come from Galicia in the north of Spain. They are salted and fried in oil, and a few of them also have a very spicy flavour.

Credits: © Instituto de Turismo de España – Turespaña

3. Ensaladilla Rusa: It is a mouth-watering potato salad mixed with tuna, mayonnaise, and vegetables like peas and carrot. The dish may have its roots in Russia, but it is famous all across Spain.
4. Papas arrugadas: These are finger-licking good tiny potatoes that are boiled in salt water, drained and are then slightly roasted before being served with mojo, a sauce with garlic, paprika and red pepper.

Credits: © Instituto de Turismo de España – Turespaña

5. Albondigas: These Spanish meatballs that come with a wide range of dishes at Tapas bars. The saucy meatballs made with pork or beef make for a succulent bite when you pop them into your mouth.

Credits: © Instituto de Turismo de España – Turespaña.

6. Tortilla de patatas, or tortilla española: This delectable omelette is made with potato bound with eggs and is flavoured with onions. They are typically served in small wedges.

World Tapas Day: A Chance To Discover Flavours Of Spain

You can enjoy tapas routes, master classes, workshops, competitions, and all kinds of activities organised in different cities all over Spain. It is your perfect chance to discover new flavours of Spanish cuisine while enjoying an authentic gastronomic event. The event is a total treat as you will also have the opportunity to taste tapas from Pais Vasco in the north of Spain to Andalusia region in the south. You will also get a chance to try special menus elaborated by renowned chefs and restaurants.

Credits: © Instituto de Turismo de España – Turespaña

So, if you are planning a trip to Spain, you know the best time to do it! When you are there relishing the burst of flavours, do not forget to grab a chilled beer and a glass of wine with your tapas!

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