Despite referring to the style of serving food, there are various classic tapa dishes that will be found in most tapas bars. Simply a small portion of food, going for tapas means ordering several small dishes and sharing them amongst company (or yourself!).
The common story behind the creation of the tapa is quite random, and definitely not how most people would know the cuisine today. Starting out as small slices of bread or meat served to patrons in bars, they were used to cover drinks, keeping those pesky flies out! The term ‘tapas’ is actually the Spanish verb for ‘to cover’ (the more you know!). Over time, the quintessential bar snack became more elaborate and is considered just as important as the drinks themselves.
So, what are some of the classic tapa foods? Say sorry to your stomach in advance and prepare to get hungry as we delve into some of the most popular dishes!
Photo credit: Nacho Carretero Molero
A culinary symbol of Spain, jamón serrano is one of the country’s most globally recognised food items. A dry-cured ham, it's very similar to the Italian prosciutto, however it's made from a specific breed of pig, the landrace white pig! You'll find it served on its lonesome or with small slices of bread.
Are you really having tapas without this iconic dish? Native to Spain, this dish made from crispy potato pieces topped with a spicy tomato sauce is super simple yet incredibly delicious. Yum!
Photo credit: Krista
Although most countries have their own version of a 'croquette', Spain's answer to the popular dish is mouth-watering! Called 'croquetas', the filling can vary, with the most popular options being mashed potato, ham and mozzarella chese and rice.
Photo credit: Jonathan Pincas
Tortilla de patatas
A signature Spanish dish, tortilla de patatas is basically a Spanish omelette. Combining eggs and potato with an optional onion, the dish is really easy to create and is usually eaten as a light snack.
Despite not being a cooked dish per say, olives are a large part of Spain's tapas cuisine. The ideal food for sharing, olives are the perfect accompanying snack and will be served in almost all tapas bars!
Craving tapas now? We don't blame you! Come with us and discover all the culinary delights of Spain on one of our small group tours.