Tapa Tuesday

April 26, 2011

Contrary to what we see in the United States, the Spanish tapa is not a fanciful and overpriced niblet.  Rather it is the simplest of traditional foods like tortilla de patata (Spanish potato omelet) or  a nub of chorizo served with a slice of bread.  Note that a tapa is an individual portion and can be consumed in one or two bites while a ración is the sharable option among friends.  It used to be that you were gifted a tapa when you ordered a drink; however, there are few bars these days that honor this custom (with the exception of the city of Granada which offers tapas in generous quantities).  Nevertheless, tapa bar hopping is an inexpensive and excellent way to taste your way through the distinct culinary regions of Spain.  Here is a list of some of my favorite tapas:

Shrimp Fritters or Tortillitas de Camarón (pictured above)

Spanish Potato Omelet or Tortilla de Patata

Galician Octopus or Pulpo Gallego

Ham Croquettes

Shrimp with Garlic or Gambas al Ajillo

Note: A crusty baguette, some Spanish Jamón Serrano, and a bowl of olives would be welcomed additions to your tapa party.

Photo by: Leah Rodrigues