Guide to Tapas

What to Order: Our Tasty Guide to Tapas

April 6, 2017 10:00 am

No culinary visit to Spain is complete without their popular bar bites. Check out a quick guide to tapas classics below

From grilled squid to starchy potato salads, tapas bars are a staple of Spanish food culture and are a fantastic way to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing. With hundreds of different tapas recipes out there and long menus sure to intimidate even the savviest foodie, figuring out what the staples are can be a bit of a challenge. To make things easier, we’ve whipped up a quick guide to tapas for you below.

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Tortillas

Forget everything you ever thought about tortillas – in Spain, these are delicious savoury wedges of potato and onion omelette. They’re a tapas classic and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bar that doesn’t have these on the menu.

Pan con Tomate

Unique to the Catalan region, Pan con Tomate (or pa amb tomàquet in Catalan) is a simple comfort that hits the spot. These tapas are made by rubbing fresh tomatoes on bread and finished off with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.

Guide to Tapas
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Jamón Iberico

These juicy slices of cured ham are a charcuterie essential at any tapas bar. Made from free range pata negra pigs, they feed on a diet of acorns, grass and other herbs resulting in its unique, addictive taste. Enjoy an introduction to this delicious traditional Spanish ingredient at Jamon Experience.

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Patatas Bravas

These addictive fried potato wedges are the perfect snack after a long day spent pounding Barcelona’s pavements. Served with indulgent alioli (a decadent garlic mayonnaise) or a tomato sauce with a kick, you’ll be reaching for these all night long.

Gambas al Ajillo

As a coastal city, Barcelona’s fresh seafood is second-to-none and feature heavily on tapas bar menus. Gambas al Ajillo are a classic favourite and comprised of fresh prawns cooked in olive oil, tossed in garlic and chilli for a fiery mouthful.

Albóndigas

Albóndigas are small meatballs comprised usually of pork or beef, cooked in a mouthwatering tomato sauce. Served both at tapas bars and as appetisers at standard restaurants, they’re a great warm dish that will please even the fussiest eater.

Chipirones

These tiny squid are almost too cute to eat. Served either deep fried or grilled a la plancha, they can sometimes come with a side of allioli for dipping.

Gazpacho

Cool down on a hot summer’s day with a refreshing bowl of gazpacho, a chilled vegetable soup. Comprising generally of cucumber, garlic, peppers and onions, the recipe hails from southern Andalusia and is a dish you’ll crave when the heat starts to really kick in.

Croquetas

Croquetas, or Spanish croquettes, are a staple of every tapas bar and will have you reaching over the counter for more. Substituting heavy mashed potatoes for bechamel, anything from bite-sized pieces of chicken, ham, fish, cheese or spinach are coated and then fried to create an indulgent fried morsel.

Russian Salad

It might seem strange to consider Russian Salad a tapas classic, however this spin on a potato salad is a popular favourite at any bar. Served cold, this dish is made up of chopped potatoes, gherkins, carrots amongst other ingredients tossed in mayonnaise.

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