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 An Introduction to Spanish Tapas Recipes

The Spanish word tapa can be translated as lid. Tapas originated in Andalucia where it became a custom to serve wine and sherry with a lid on the glass. It is thought that this was to stop flies contaminating the drink. The bartender would place a small amount of food such as bread or an olive on the lid to eat with the wine.

The custom spread throughout Spain but tapas became food in its own right. They are snack sized food made with local produce such as tomatoes or olives. Over the last 30 years their popularity has grown to such an extent that they are now served all over the world.

Typically they are eaten along with a glass of beer or wine. A night out can consist of going from bar to bar and sampling their tapas and drinks.

Tapas are rarely served with knives or forks in Spain. Eating with the hands is normal and some bars in Spain even put saw dust on the floor so that shells and the like can be discarded on the floor.

A full meal of tapas would normally include a selection of around six tapas dishes. Many are served cold, others are hot dishes.

If you visit a tapas bar in Spain, below are some of the ingredients and dishes you may be offered. We give the English translation to help. Click on any item which is in red for more details. On the right are small pictures of the tapas recipes we have cooked, all with step by step pictures.

Article by .

INGREDIENTS

TAPAS DISHES

Aceite Oil Ahumados Smoked fish
Aceituna Olive Alioli Mayonnaise & garlic
Alitas de pollo Chicken wings Albondigas Meatballs
Almandras Almonds Alubias con Chorizo Beans and Chorizo
Almejas Clams Bienmesabe Marinated fried fish
Anchoa Anchovy Calamares Roma Squid in batter
Anguillas

Eels

Cazuelita Small hot casserole
Arroz Rice Croqueta de bacalao Salt cod croquette or balls
Aves Poultry Croqueta de jamon Ham croquettes
Azafran Saffron Empanadas Filled pastry parcels
Bacalao Salt Cod Ensaladilla rusa Russian salad
Boqueron Anchovy Flamenquines Fried pork with salsa
Callos Tripe Gambas al ajillo Prawns fried with garlic
Carabineiros Large prawns Gambas en gabardina Deep fried prawns
Caracoles Snails Huevos
rellenos
Stuffed hard boiled eggs
Carne Meat Huevas Fish roe
Cecina Dry cured beef Longaniza fuet Firm, thin sausage
Cerveza Beer Mojama Dried, salted tuna
Chipirones Small squid Montados Bread with a topping
Chopitos Small squid Pan con tomate Bread topped with tomato & olive oil
Chorizo Spanish sausage Patatas bravas Fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce
Cigalas Crayfish Pimientos de Padron Small fried green peppers (some hot)
Gambas Prawns Pincho Bite sized tapa
Higado Liver Pinchito Bite sized tapa
Huevo Egg Pisto
manchego
Ratatouille with meat and egg
Jamon Ham Pulga pulguita A filled roll (small)
Jerez Sherry Queso en aceite Cheese in olive oil
Manchego Sheep's milk cheese Racion Small plateful
Morcilla Black pudding Revuelto Scrambled eggs
Necora Crab Rinones al Jerez Kidneys in sherry
Olivas Olives Salpicon Chopped salad
Pan Bread Salsa Sauce
Patatas Potatoes San Jacoba Fried ham and cheese
Perdiz de huerta Lettuce hearts Sobrassada Paprika sausage
Perejil Parsley Soldaditos de pavia Salt cod fried in batter
Pescado Fish Tascas Tapas bars
Pollo Chicken Tigres Mussels in spicy tomato & bechamel
Queso Cheese Torrezno Pork crackling
Quisquillas Shrimps Tortilla Spanish Omelette
Sepia Large squid Tosta Toast with topping
Setas Wild mushrooms Zarajo Grilled sheep stomach
Sidra Cider    
Vieiras Scallops    
Vino Wine    
Zamburinas Small scallops    

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