The Culture of ‘Tapas’ in Spain
Tapas – Small Dishes to Share
If you’ve been to any restaurants in Spain, you’ll notice that people are usually sharing several small plates instead of ordering their own personal dishes. These small plates, known as tapas, can be either warm or cold dishes and vary greatly by region and season.
Tapas can be served at any meal, but are especially common for dinner since it is typically a small meal in Spain (eaten late at night). Ordering finger food or small dishes is easy and fun since it allows you to try different things!
The Spanish love tapas so much, they made a verb out of it. The phrase “Vamos a tapear!” means “Let’s go eat tapas!” Many times rather than sitting down to dinner at a restaurant, a group of friends may decide to meet and tapear, (make the rounds at their favorite tapas bars) – this is especially common in the south of Spain where one small tapa is often served gratis (free) when ordering a drink.
There are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of different tapas. A few of the most popular tapas which can be found all around Spain are listed below:
- – Tortilla Española: Spanish Omelet, or omelet made with potatoes and onions
- – Patatas Bravas: potatoes with spicy tomato sauce
- – Croquetas de Jamón: Ham Croquettes are small, lightly breaded and fried fritters, made with bechamel and ham.
- – Gambas al Ajillo: Shrimp in Garlic
- – Calamares a la Romana: Fried Squid Rings
- – Jamón, Queso y Chorizo con Pan: Ham, Cheese and Chorizo with Bread
- – Pulpo Gallego: Galician-Style Octopus, cooked octopus served with boiled potatoes, olive oil and sweet Spanish paprika.
- – Ensaladilla Rusa: Spanish potato salad
Find out more about what types of cultural activities you can participate in with Euroace here.