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  • Writer's pictureErin

Your Bite-sized Guide on Tapas

Let's pretend you've landed yourself in Spain and are ready for your first bite of local cuisine. Take our advice and start with small plates...skip the full sized meal and experience the power of tiny tantalizing tapas. As you pass indoor food markets or corner bars you'll be tempted by each and every palm sized appetizer.

Tapas are usually consumed before a meal or take place of a meal if multiple are ordered. You'll find that most are savory and served with an alcoholic drink like beer, wine, or sangria.


Common items you'll notice on menus: Cheeses, meats, olives, tomatoes, empanadas, and various seafood. Not too scary right? Depending on the tapas bar / food market you visit, items may come on a slice of bread or alone.

On the left, I labeled 5 tapas in Spanish that you can take with you on your next trip. Queso brie, Queso Crema, Jamon y bacon, Manchego, and Pollo.

In English with a little description those tapas are: 1. Brie with tomato, olive, and picked pepper on bread 2. Creamed cheese with berry compote on bread 3. Manchego cheese with honey + walnuts on bread 4. Ham + bacon + onion spread on bread 5. One seasoned chicken leg on bread.

Small fried "logs" filled with warm cheese and ham are called Croquetas, very similar to what you'd find in France or Cuba. Patatas bravas are lightly fried cubed size potatoes with mayonnaise + spicy sauce on the side. Ensalada Rusa is a summer selection equivalent to potato salad but with fish, peppers, and eggs. And a personal favorite, Carrillada, the cheek cut of either pork or beef served in a whiskey sauce with chips on the side.

Larger appetizers that are on most menus include plates of Iberian ham, manchego cheese, fried chicken wings, and pieces of bread smeared with tomato paste and drizzled with olive oil...

We hope this helps for your next trip! Do you have any favorites we did not list? Be sure to let us know so we try them next time.


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