It’s impossible to imaging Spain without Spanish tapas. Wthout a doubt it is one of the countries with an incredible variety of dishes, as it combines 17 different cuisines from all Spanish regions. Each area of Spain has its own traditional products and recipes, but the main culinary concept that unites the gastronomy of the whole country is tapas.
Spanish tapas are dishes served in small portions (or not so small 😊) as an appetizer to beer, wine, or other drinks.
Spanish tapas are not just food, it is a whole culture!
Good weather, bright sunshine, and fresh air invite Spanish residents and guests to enjoy Spanish food, away from home. Share lunch or dinner with family and friends, and what could be better for this than Spanish tapas?
For this the reason, we have done this list. To get you familiar with the most famous tapas and tell you how and from what Spaniard are making them .
1. “Las patatas bravas”
“Brave potatoes” is the Queen of the tapas! This simple yet delicious dish is one of the most famous and common Spanish appetizers. Crispy potato bites are served with a traditional garlic mayonnaise called alioli and a spicy tomato sauce. No one can resist to try!
This is probably the only Spanish tapa that has such an incredible number of variations. Croquetas are breaded béchamel balls that are crispy on the outside and incredibly soft on the inside. Ham croquetas are the most traditional. However, you can also find croquetas made from cheese, chicken, mushrooms, and many other flavours!
3.“Chorizo a la sidra”
Spanish sausages – chorizo cooked in cider will be an excellent option for lovers of spicy tastes!
4. “Ensaladilla rusa”
The Spaniards love this appetizer salad for its simplicity and creamy taste. Its recipe is very simple: potatoes, carrots, eggs, peas, canned tuna, and some fresh red pepper with mayonnaise dressing.
5. “Pimientos de padrón”
Small green peppers fried in olive oil and generously sprinkled with salt. There is one funny thing to be prepared for: even though these peppers are not hot, you can be the lucky one who gets one single hot pepper from the whole dish!
6. “Calamares a la romana”
One of the most popular seafood tapas is squid, which is cut into rings and fried in batter or olive oil. Further, this tapa is served with a slice of lemon to give the dish a fresh flavour.
7. “Boquerones al vinagre”
Another fishy snack you will find in any bar is anchovies marinated in vinegar. They are served in olive oil with garlic and parsley.
8. “Tortilla de patatas”
Another iconic Spanish dish you should try! This is a fluffy omelette made with potatoes and onions. At first glance, this is a simple dish, but the Spaniards have a whole technique for preparing it!
Seasonal shellfish are usually served with a traditional Spanish dressing – olive oil with garlic and parsley. This tapa goes well with white Spanish wine.
It is also one of the most traditional appetizers in Spain – small meatballs served in tomato sauce.
11. “Gambas al ajillo”
Another tapa for spicy lovers – prawns cooked in olive oil with garlic and some chili peppers.
12. “Pimientos al piquillo”
This is a colourful aperitif prepares from small red peppers that are usually has inside goat cheese or tuna. This dish can serve hot, in tomato sauce, or cold, in this case, in olive oil. Both are delicious!
13. “Pan con tumaca”
Fresh crispy white bread, fragrant tomato grated with garlic and seasoned with olive oil, a little salt … and the tapa is ready!
14. “Pulpo a la gallega”
This tapa is from Galicia. Boiled octopus is served on a potato bed, seasoned with paprika, salt and olive oil. If you love seafood, then this tapa will undoubtedly become one of your favourites.
This tapa goes well with a beer or glass of wine. These are small skewers with ingredients such as olives, anchovies, red peppers, and pickles.
16. “Pescadito frito”
This tapa is more popular in Andalusia. They fry fresh small fish in the olive oil until golden and crispy. You will not even notice how the plate becomes empty!
17. “Huevos rotos”
Spaniards love this dish because of its simplicity and satiety: fried potatoes with a lightly fried egg and ham. There are also options with black pudding or chorizo.
We cannot ignore the famous vegetable tapa soup. Meanwhile, made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and garlic, this refreshing cold soup saves lifes many tapas lovers in the hot Spanish summer.
Tigres are mussels stuffed with béchamel with the addition of sea flavours and fried in breadcrumbs. Moreover, this is the original croquetas alternative.
20. “Tabla de jamón y queso”
In short, the most typical Spanish tapa that will decorate any festive table is a cheese plate with ham. This aperitif will be an essential part of the Spanish wine tasting experience.
In conclusion, as you can see, in Spain there are a huge number of tapas recipes – meat, fish, vegetable… that can satisfy everyone’s wishes. This is not only a great way to eat delicious food and learn Spanish culture, but it is also a perfect excuse to share your favourite dishes with your family and friends.