Talking about Iberian tapas to surprise is talking about an essential element of Spanish culture. What would our cuisine and leisure moments be without our famous tapas, diverse tapas, Iberian tapas, or the typical "let's go for tapas"! Tapas have no translation; they are known worldwide, just like chorizo, gazpacho, paella, and, of course, ham.
Compared to other foreign products, for instance, nobody would think of translating caviar or pizza. When we refer to tapas, we are talking about a culinary art as varied as the ingredients available to the cook, not to mention their imagination.
Origin of Tapas
We know for sure that the great value of tapas lies in their variety, not in their quantity, because, to be truly good and appetizing, we need to stay a little hungry to keep trying more with different ingredients: Iberian ham, tuna, green or red peppers, croquettes, meat, onion, egg, caramelized, assorted cold cuts, and countless other delicious flavors. What we don't know very well or isn't very clear is the origin of this magnificent tradition.
While we know that the custom of going from bar to bar and having tapas with a glass of wine or beer is very Iberian, very Spanish, we don't know exactly how it started.
There are several theories about it; for example, some think that the idea originated in taverns to cover drink glasses with a slice of bread to prevent dust or insects from getting in. Others trace it back to the Catholic Monarchs, especially Queen Isabella, who ordered that inns serve wine with some food to prevent people from getting too drunk and causing trouble. Another theory, which we love because it connects with our gourmet product, is related to the economic interest of innkeepers of that time, who would serve a portion of salted ham to their customers to make them drink more and, therefore, spend more.
Possibilities of Tapas
Be that as it may, ham is undoubtedly the quintessential tapa for any gathering of friends, family, or business associates, either alone or with some bread and a bit of olive oil. It's probably the quickest and simplest tapa to prepare and always a safe bet. Enrique Tomás knows a lot about Iberian tapas; in our stores and our online shop, you'll find ideas and ingredients to create some and surprise whoever you like.
Iberian Tapas to Impress from Enrique Tomás
Spanish omelette montadito with crispy serrano ham shavings
- Spanish omelette (with or without onions)
- Some shavings of serrano ham, baked for a couple of minutes. You can also serve it with a bit of bread or some "picos sevillanos" (crunchy breadsticks).
Iberian "Patatas Bravas" our way
- Delicious "patatas bravas" (baked or boiled)
- Iberian ham shavings with a special non-spicy "brava" sauce.
A platter of quality Iberian cold cuts, and of course, ham!
- Acorn-fed Iberian ham
- Acorn-fed Iberian chorizo
- Acorn-fed Iberian salchichón
- Acorn-fed Iberian loin
- Some "picos sevillanos" or "regañás" (crunchy breadsticks) to accompany.
Gazpacho with fine shavings of acorn-fed Iberian hamIngredients:
- Fine shavings of natural acorn-fed Iberian ham
- Chilled gazpacho. The basic ingredients are red pepper, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, a bit of wine vinegar, and some cold water.
If you don't have the shavings pre-cut from the most cured part of the ham or shoulder, just slice some well-cured ham into shavings and set them aside. Serve the gazpacho in a chilled bowl and add the ham shavings on top just before serving or serve them separately with a bit of bread.
The possibilities are as numerous as your imagination and your taste. Any cured meat, and of course, ham from Enrique Tomás, will make you look great if you have nothing to cook or simply don't feel like it or because you want to enjoy a traditional Iberian tapas experience. A little that's worth a lot, which, after all, is what should define any tapa, not by its price but by its flavor and quality!
Enjoy your tapas!