A tapa is much more than an appetizer from Spain. Tapa or tapeo is almost a way of life.
Tapas are served on terraces and patios, while catching up with old friends and discovering new ones. They are an occasion to celebrate community.
Tapas comes from the word, Tapar, which in Spanish means "to cover". Some believe the name originated around the 16th century when tavern patrons covered their drink glasses with slices of Spanish ham or cheese to keep fruit flies and dust away. This "cover," or tapa, would then be eaten as a snack. In Galicia or País Vasco, where you can find Pulpo a la gallega or “a cojonudo” (a slice of bread topped with smoked spicy chorizo, fried quail egg and a Padrón pepper), the tapa is a top-notch gastronomic experience.Tapas are a fun and delicious way to experience Mediterranean cuisine, where bite-sized portions of cured meats, savory olives, and crusty bread smothered in garlic and tomato pair perfectly with a glass of sparkling wine, a bit of sherry or vermouth– depending on where you are in the country.
Tapas are an invitation to come together with friends any time of the year, and, of course, when it is warm outside a refreshing glass of Albariño will pair perfectly with the food and weather.
If you are planning to stay indoors and want to get creative, tapas are perfect for casual entertaining. Most are really easy to make, and offer a range of flavors for different tastes.
Here is the recipe for one of our favorites: Pimientos al Padrón:
Enjoy tapas anytime anywhere and be sure to pair them with a nice Spanish beverage!
Author: Laura D’Ocon