Hello little friends! On this occasion we want to invite you to enjoy some delicious Spanish tapas, simply because we love them. Don’t you think it’s perfect to be able to try delicious dishes in small sizes and with great variety?
We are going to take a tour of the wonderful world of tapas, learn more about the varieties that we can find and at the end of the article you will find ten spanish tapas recipes to make at home and show off at the next gathering with friends or family. Olé!
About Spanish tapas
Spanish tapas are, basically, small portions of food that are served as an appetizer or accompaniment in bars and restaurants in Spain. These delicacies can include a wide variety of ingredients and preparations, from cold dishes such as olives, serrano ham or anchovies in vinegar, to hot options such as patatas bravas, meatballs in sauce, or croquettes.
Tapas dishes are presented in small quantities and are generally enjoyed in the company of drinks, such as beer, wine, sangria or vermouth. “Tapas,” as it is often called, is an opportunity to try a wide variety of flavors and dishes in a single outing, making it a social and gastronomic experience.
What do Spanish tapas have and what types of tapas are there?
Spanish tapas have the particularity of combining fresh ingredients and intense flavors in small portions. What they all have in common is their ability to awaken the senses and satisfy cravings in a unique way. The types of tapas are as diverse as the regions of Spain, and each offers a different culinary experience.
In general, Typical Spanish tapas can be classified into four main categories: meat tapas, fish and seafood tapas, vegetable tapas and cheese and sausage tapas. The choice may vary depending on the region, season and personal taste. Some places even offer options fused with influences from other world cuisines.
The tapas tradition
The tradition of tapas in Spain is more than just a way of eating; It is a social and cultural experience. Spaniards often go from bar to bar, trying different types of tapas with friends and family.
This ritual encourages conversation, meeting, relaxation and celebration of life. In some regions of Spain, tapas dishes are served free of charge with drinks, while in other places you pay a small price for each tapa. In any case, tapas is a fundamental part of Spanish life.
The various types of tapas in Spain
Some of the typical Spanish tapas are:
- cold tapas: They include salads, olives, gazpacho and other preparations that are served at room temperature and are perfect for hot days.
- Hot Spanish tapas: They are those that are served fresh from the kitchen and usually include fried dishes, stews, meatballs and other delicacies that are best enjoyed while they are still hot.
- Tapas with fish: Seafood and fresh fish are essential ingredients in Spanish cuisine, and tapas with fish are very popular. Garlic prawns and pickled anchovies are usually some of the most popular.
- Tapas with meat: They can include meatballs, Moorish skewers, cider chorizo and other meat-based creations.
- Vegetarian Spanish tapas: For those who prefer healthier options or follow a vegetarian diet, vegetarian tapas offer a wide variety of options. From stuffed peppers to Spanish omelette without chorizo.
- Tapas with cheese and sausages: Spain is known for its wide selection of cheeses and cured meats, and many tapas are based on these delicious options. From cheese boards to montaditos with ham. A true delight.
- Tapas with bread: Bread is an essential component in many Spanish tapas. It can be a base for montaditos, toasts with tomato and garlic, or even to accompany seafood tapas.
- Tapas with sauces: Sauces play an important role in many tapas, whether it’s salsa brava on patatas bravas or Romesco sauce with asparagus. These sauces add a touch of unique flavor to the tapas.
- Tapas with egg: The egg is a versatile ingredient in Spanish cuisine, and tapas with eggs are very popular. The Spanish omelette is a clear example, but you can also find broken eggs with ham and other dishes with this wild card.
- Tapas with olives: Olives are a classic appetizer in Spain and are served in various ways. From dressed green olives to the famous “stuffed olives”, they are an essential addition to many tapas boards.
- Croquettes: Croquettes are small bechamel balls mixed with various ingredients such as ham, chicken, cod or mushrooms. They are coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy.
5 tips on Spanish tapas recipes
- Use fresh, quality ingredients to highlight the flavors.
- Experiment and play with different combinations of ingredients.
- Accompany the tapas with a good Spanish wine, cider, or a cold beer.
- Always have extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley, and paprika on hand for the final touch.
- Enjoy the preparation process and share the tapas with friends and family, which is part of the essence of tapas.
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Ten Spanish tapas recipes
1. Bravas potatoes
Potatoes bravas are a classic in Spanish gastronomy. These are diced fried potatoes, which are prepared with a spicy sauce and are sometimes accompanied with aioli. In this recipe Paulina proposes making the patatas bravas in two ways, traditional and an alternative version with tomato.
2. Garlic shrimp
Garlic prawns are one of the best-known tapas, not only in Spain, which can be enjoyed at any time. The most traditional version includes peeled shrimp and the much-mentioned “ajillo,” a mixture of minced garlic and olive oil.
3. Ham croquettes
Ham croquettes are an irresistible snack that is prepared with a smooth and creamy béchamel mixture mixed with chopped serrano ham (or cooked ham), and other ingredients such as onion, garlic and spices. As they are covered in breadcrumbs and fried, they are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. A delicacy!
4. Andalusian Gazpacho
If you are a tomato lover, you will surely love Andalusian gazpacho, a cold soup originating from the region of Andalusia, in the south of Spain. This dish is very popular, especially in the summer, for its refreshing flavor. In this video-recipe Paulina shares with us the preparation of Andalusian gazpacho, with the company of the Andalusian actress, Anabel Cherubito.
5. Galician-style octopus
Pulpo a la gallega is slices of cooked octopus cut into thick slices that are served on a plate, with olive oil, coarse salt and smoked paprika, often accompanied by cooked potatoes. This recipe details all the tricks to make the octopus tender and tasty.
6. Bread with tomato
Here they prepare bread with tomato (pa amb tomàquet), a Catalan classic that consists of a slice of toasted bread, which is rubbed first with garlic and then with a ripe tomato. After this, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle salt on top. A delight!
7. Mushrooms with garlic
Garlic mushrooms are a very simple and tasty appetizer that can be used as a tapa, but also with pasta or in a salad. These are mushrooms cut into slices that are cooked in a frying pan with olive oil and chopped garlic.
8. Potato omelette
The Spanish potato omelette does not need much introduction. In this video-recipe Paulina shows us how to prepare it step by step, with the best tips and tricks to make it perfect.
9. Cod croquettes
Cod croquettes are known for their sea flavor, with a salty touch and the aroma of cod. They are a popular dish in Spanish cuisine and other places with Mediterranean influence.
These croquettes are appreciated for their contrast of textures and flavors, making them a delicious option for those who enjoy seafood dishes.
10. Anchovies in vinegar
Anchovies in vinegar are small fish similar to anchovies, which are submerged in a marinade of vinegar, chopped garlic and parsley, and left to rest to take on flavor. Pickled anchovies are known for their firm texture and fresh, citrus flavor due to the vinegar. They are a popular choice in Spanish bars and restaurants and are enjoyed for their combination of flavors and refreshing character.