Everything you need to know about Tapas!
What is Tapas?
Tapas are a collection of small, flavorful dishes that are a cornerstone of Spanish cuisine. These appetizers or snacks are often served alongside drinks and are enjoyed in social settings in bars and restaurants. The word «tapas» comes from the Spanish verb «tapar,» which means «to cover.»
What is the history of Tapas?
The origin of tapas is believed to date back to the 16th century in Spain. Legend has it that Tapas originated through bartenders and innkeepers – they would place a small piece of bread or a slice of cheese atop wine glasses to prevent flies from entering. Over time, this evolved into serving various bite-sized snacks on top of the glass, creating the modern concept of tapas.
What are some typical tapas dishes?
The history of tapas is deeply rooted in Spain’s culinary traditions, and each region in Spain has its own specialties. These can range from simple olives, cheese, and cured meats to more well known dishes such as patatas bravas (fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce), croquetas (fried breadcrumb-coated rolls usually filled with ham or cheese) or tortilla española (Spanish omelet with potatoes and onions). A typical tapas dish in Valencia for example would be «Ensaladilla Rusa» a salad that consists of diced potatoes, carrots and peas, mixed together to make a creamy texture.
Tapas culture is not just about the food; it’s also about the social experience. Spaniards often enjoy tapas with friends or family, hopping from one tapas bar to another in a practice known as «tapeo.» This tradition encourages sharing and sampling various dishes and the movement to different bars and restaurants, as apposed to just staying in one place for the whole night!
Tapas is different wherever you go in Spain!
Would you believe us if we told you that in some parts of Spain you can have Tapas for free? Well it’s true! In some cities such as Granada and Leon it is very well known to give customers free tapas dishes with their drinks.
In the Basque region (the north of Spain) they have a different variation of Tapas called «pintxos». The main difference is that they are served on top of a slice of bread and have little sticks to hold them up. If you ever find yourself in the north of Spain you’ll definitely notice them as they are most often on display on the counters for people to choose their favourites! Yum!
Where are the best places to try Tapas in Valencia?
Here are some of our favorite places to try the best tapas in Valencia:
L’alpec: A restaurant located just next to the «Torres de Serrano» which also offers a tapas menu that includes all traditional and homemade Valencian Tapas.
Tapeando: A tapas bar that features both traditional tapas dishes as well as different flavours from world cuisines. This spot also features «pintxos» on display as soon as you walk through the door. Don’t miss it!
La Bodeguilla del Gato: A traditional Spanish restaurant which also serves dishes such as paella and seafood. You will definitely be able to indulge in all of their rich tapas dishes.