The world of tapas in Spain is endless. There are as many types of tapas as there are gastronomic products and each region of Spain has its best-known and most typical ones according to its own gastronomic tradition and culture. As a large agricultural, livestock and fishing producer, the Iberian Peninsula is immensely lucky to have the best raw materials from around the world, from which our chefs, some of whom have great global reputation, make the most of them by creating exquisite gourmet or signature tapas. However, if there is something special about tapas, it is that as long as the product is good and of quality, it does not need to take a long time to prepare or have many ingredients. As the saying goes, a good thing, if it is brief, is twice as good.
Origin of the tapas
The taste and love that we Spaniards have for tapas (or going for tapas) is well known, so much so that it has become a symbol of our identity and the main feature of our gastronomy worldwide. When tourists from other countries visit us, on their list of things to do, going for tapas is among the first, if not the first, and they tend to repeat it a lot until they return to their countries again. Outside our borders, there is no Spanish cuisine restaurant that does not offer tapas and this hobby comes from very far away.
There are several theories or versions about the origin of this wonderful custom. We are not going to mention all of them but we will mention the most notable ones and the first dates back to the 13th century with King Alfonso too fast in the lead” and avoid avoidable brawls. But in reality the idea was not his but a waiter's. It seems that the king, in one of his stops along the way, entered a tavern and the waiter offered him a glass of wine and since there was a draft coming in, he had the idea of taking a slice of ham and putting it on top of the glass in lid shape, to prevent foreign bodies from entering the king's cup. The king was delighted after eating the “tapa” of his glass, he drank the wine and then ordered another one but with another “tapa” of the same type. The rest of the members of the court requested the same.
Enrique Tomás' tapas
Another popular explanation is that it was an idea that arose from the economic interest of innkeepers who offered a little salty food (precisely ham) to make customers thirstier and keep them drinking and spending.
Be that as it may, we see that ham is the origin of tapas, talking about tapas is talking about ham...over the centuries this obviously became an attraction for travelers who sometimes took one route or another depending of the fame of its tapas. And today, in the 21st century, they are not only an attraction, but every chef worth his salt has included signature tapas in his professional career to be known throughout the world.
- Fish (mussels, squid, anchovies, anchovies),
- Various croquettes
- Different types of tortilla
- The famous super delicious Spanish olives,
- Various vegetables
- The incredible patatas bravas
- And of course Ham.
There is much more to choose from such as Mediterranean paella, Andalusian gazpacho, Squid, Galician-style octopus, Fideuà, the best Iberian barbecue meats and many many more things such as Manchego cheese, various sandwiches and lots of ham, as it could not be otherwise.
All made by chefs specialized in our Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. In addition, ham is present throughout the premises with our expert cutters who make cutting ham a culinary art.
WHAT ARE TAPAS?
Although we imagine that few people do not know what tapas are, we are going to briefly describe them. Tapas are small amounts of food served in bars to accompany a drink. In Spain it is very common to go for tapas: a tradition that consists of going from bar to bar with friends to eat and drink (usually beer or wine).
ARE THERE GOURMET TAPAS?
Of course, and signature tapas. If the original idea of tapas was to accompany a drink, today there are much more of them in many restaurants, since they are their reason for being and they have a special wine list to accompany the tapas. Most great chefs have their own tapas creations based on seasonal products and their personal creativity.
Therefore, they are much more than a portion of food to accompany a drink. Today, they are part of high-level Spanish gastronomy as any refined dish can be. They can be eaten as an appetizer before the main meal or eaten exclusively as a variety of tapas.
DO ALL RESTAURANTS SERVE TAPAS?
In Spain, almost all restaurants have a tapas offering and outside of Spain, Spanish cuisine restaurants make them their most prized attraction. However, not all restaurants that offer tapas outside the Iberian Peninsula serve what we understand as tapas, and unfortunately some give this name to food combinations more in line with a low-quality “fast food” than otherwise. It is well known what tapas really are, they can distort their authentic origin and quality.