Tapas are a Spanish institution. Their origin comes from the word “lid” or “tapa”. A hunk of bread, a slice of cheese or jamón or a small plate of food were placed as lids over drinks to prevent flies entering the glass and hey presto, Tapas were born. Pairing became the norm and Tapas style dining has taken the world by storm.
Food plays in important role in all our tours. We love to share with our guests the delicious Spanish cuisine and what better way to showcase the best of what Spain has to offer than in Tapas sized portions to accompany your refreshing glass of beer or wine. The TOMA & COE team have compiled their favourite Tapas to share with you.
Porra (My favourite)
“Only known as Porra if you’re in Antequera or Archidona and nearby towns, it is otherwise known as Salmorejo. This delicious cold soup is a sister dish to gazpacho and is traditionally made with fresh, local ingredients such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumber and thickened with bread crumbs. It is served in a small dish and topped with the best jamon, boiled egg or even tuna. You can also make Salmorejo with alternative ingredients such as orange or garlic.”
Ajo Blanco (Mayte loves this one)
Another version of the classic Salmorejo or Porra; “Ajo Blanco is a cold soup made with breadcrumbs, ground almonds, garlic, water, olive oil and salt. All the ingredients are raw and it’s served cold so no cooking required; just fresh, healthy food, blended into a smooth, mouth-watering, refreshing soup, often garnished with flaked almonds or grapes.”
Ensaladilla Rusa (Manni’s favourite tapa)
“Also known as Russian Salad, this dish has been a staple of Spanish tapas bars for an eternity. Every bar or restaurant has its own recipe and they can range from rustic (but always amazing), including boiled potatoes, eggs and tuna, to the gourmet versions which can include crab meat or caviar. It is a different taste experience in each place so we highly recommend you try it wherever you go.”
Berenjenas con miel (This one is Fernando’s)
“Otherwise known as fried aubergine with cane honey. This dish comes from the Arabs and it has been hidden for years. Now you can find almost everywhere. It is vegetarian, healthy, full of flavour and easy to cook. It is very important to put the sliced aubergines in water a day before and fry them with clean and very hot oil.”
Carne con tomate (Matt loves this tapa)
“I love so many tapas, but one of my all time favourites has got be to carne con tomate, just such a classic, no nonsense tapa that is tasty and satisfying.” This simple tapa is made of pork, slow-cooked in a delicious, garlicky tomato sauce. Matt also says… “Sometimes you just can’t beat a piece of queso curado or jamon with a glass of decent, dry red wine.”
Habitas con Jamón (This one is Karim’s)
“This tapas dish is baby broad beans with tiny pieces of jamon, either cooked in meat stock or fried to make a simple yet delicious dish. There are alternatives to the classic too which include different types of bean such as fava bean and you can use other meats such as chorizo for a different flavour altogether. Classic is usually best though.”
Rabo de Toro (A classic Córdoban tapas dish from Pablo)
“Rabo de Toro is bull’s tail and is usually slow cooked, on the bone, often in wine or stock until it dissolves in your mouth. It can be served as a main meal too, accompanied with potatoes and vegetables, but as a tapa it is often simply served with a piece of fresh crusty bread. Tapas doesn’t get nicer than this and if you get the chance to try a Rabo de Toro croqueta you really should go for it!”
Puntillitas (this one from Lindsay)
“Guess it’s more of a Racion, but my summer beachside fave is hot crispy Puntillitas with a fresh squeeze of lemon.” Puntillitas are deep fried baby squid and an absolute must-try whilst on the Costas. Lindsay also says “In winter I love the salty-sweet combo of Datiles con Bacon or a pincho of Cordero Moruno with Moroccan spices.” These are dates wrapped in bacon and lamb kebabs.
Lindsay has this to add too “One of the nicest tapas I had was at a gluten-free restaurant, an Almadraba Tuna mini hamburger with caramelised onion. In fact anything to do with red tuna so long as it’s fresh caught, Tataki being a fave. Oh and feed me Gambas pil-pil at any time!”
Another personal favourite tapas dish of mine (Diana) is boquerones, tiny anchovies which can be served pickled in vinegar or lightly battered and deep fried, either way is delicious. I also love a simple slice of tortilla de patatas, potato omelette, sometimes just known as Spanish omelette.