What’s a tapa? World Tapas Day 2017

Tapas are probably Spain’s most known food and today, June 15th is World Tapas Day.

What’s a tapa?

A very common question with a not very straightforward answer.

Tapas are different in every city. In Seville they are small servings of a proper dish, and you pay for them. In Santiago de Compostela your drink always comes together with a tapa, which is free (your drink will be slightly more expensive) and it’s usually not very elaborate. While in the Basque Country and Navarra they call them pintxos and they’re usually two-bite affairs on the counter (which, again, you pay for), Granada is famous for its complimentary free tapas. In León you get both complimentary tapas AND you can choose and pay for them. In Madrid you can get all sort of things because, well, it’s Madrid.

Fried pumpkin toasts and olives, nice and not free tapas in Granada.

So sometimes you choose and pay for it, sometimes you get what the bar is offering; sometimes it’s just some chorizo and cheese, sometimes it’s a stew with chips.

We could gather that what all these have in common is the portion size; tapas & pintxos are small servings. But are they? Often you’ll go out “to have tapas” with friends and you end up ordering “raciones”, large platters.

What is a tapa for us?

We think that a tapa is best described as a way of eating. Tapas is something you do out in the street (not at home) and it’s about sharing food with friends or with someone else. You might go for tapas on your own but, really, why would you?

Happy #TapasDay to you, and come and share one with us soon!

Sardine and Padrón peppers on toast, a tapa in Santiago. This was not a free tapa, as it was offered during the yearly Tapa Competition.
Garlic mushrooms in Seville (picture by We Love Tapas)
A few Padrón peppers, a complimentary tapa in Santiago.
Half a “ración” of zorza in Santiago.
Tosta de morcilla, El Corcho, Valladolid
Blood pudding and red pepper on toast, (not free) tapa in Valladolid.
Cockles at Tarabelo, Coruña
A tapa of cockles in Coruña. Coruña is one of the few places in Galicia where you can still get to-pay-for tapas.

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