What is tapas? Here is the Answer!

Tapas are small appetizers or appetizers served with beer and wine in tapas bars. Surprise: according to current knowledge, the finger food does not come from Spain at all. The Spaniards adopted the savory snacks from the Moors – the North African Berber tribes who lived in what is now the Maghreb states of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. They are therefore related to the oriental mezze. The word “tapa” means “lid”, “cover” in Spanish. The word is believed to derive from the fact that slices of cheese or ham used to be placed on top of wine and sherry glasses to protect them from insects.

The most famous tapas

Over time, these edible lids have become more and more sophisticated. They vary in size and consistency, contain vegetarian ingredients such as vegetables, but also pasta, sausage, meat, fish and cheese. Depending on the region, there are different bites on small plates and in bowls from northern to southern Spain.

These tapas snacks are among the most popular:

  • Albóndigas: Meatballs with tomato sauce. The original Albóndigas are made from minced lamb or beef.
  • Boquerones: anchovies marinated in vinegar.
  • Buñuelos de Bacalao: fried cod balls with garlic and parsley.
  • Caracoles: Land snails in a spicy sauce, often with diced ham and/or chorizo.
  • Dátiles/ciruelas con bacon: Dates/plums wrapped in bacon.
  • Gambas al ajillo: Prawns fried in olive oil with lots of garlic.
  • Jamón Serrano: Serrano ham.
  • Mejillones: Mussels.
  • Papas arrugadas: Salted wrinkled potatoes, mainly available in the Canary Islands.
  • Patatas bravas: fried potato cubes in a spicy tomato or paprika sauce.
  • Pimientos de Padrón: mini green peppers cooked in olive oil and seasoned with coarse salt.
  • Pinchos morunos: marinated small meat skewers.
  • Pulpo or pulpitos: octopus or mini octopus.
  • Queso de cabra: goat cheese.
  • Queso Manchego: hard cheese made from sheep’s milk.
  • Tortilla española: Potato, egg and onion omelette.

Tapas classic: Alioli

Many restaurants and tapas bars serve small appetizers with bread and alioli, a type of garlic mayonnaise that mainly consists of

  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • Salt

Milk, a piece of boiled potato or hard-boiled egg yolk are sometimes used as emulsifiers. The spicy cream is seasoned with lemon juice and black pepper.

By missionbarandtapas

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