Tapas. Oh, How I love tapas! What are tapas? They are a small, personal appetizer you order. It’s an incredible way to try a variety of dishes and man, do I love trying new foods! They are available in almost every restaurant and cafes in Spain but what is offered, how much and if you choose depends on the region you’re in.
I’m lucky to live in one of the 3 regions (Almeria, Jaen y Granada) in Andalucia and nowhere else in Spain where tapas are complimentary to every drink you order- vino tinto/blanco (Red and white wine), vinto tinto de verano (Think wine and lemon soda), cerveza (beer), clara (beer with lemon fanta), mosto ( grape juice- before the wine has been fermented). Sodas, typically do not come with a tapa. I believe this is because all Coke products are served in glass bottles, so it’s not as cheap as a soda machine. These are the most common drinks to order. In the Almeria region, not only do you get a complimentary tapa with the drinks mentioned, you get to CHOOSE. Every restaurant has a tapas menu offering anywhere from 6- 100 tapas. Typically, restaurants offer 15-20 but I’m always prepared with a back up option because half the time, they don’t have one of the tapas I want to try!
In Granada, you get a complimentary tapa but the waiter decides what he’ll bring to everyone.
Yes, I’m spoiled. I eat very well. And this is why I go out for tapas 2- 4 times a week!
A very typical Spanish tapa:
If more than one person orders the same tapa, they put them on the same plate! Normally a tapa of Croquetas is 4-6.
An adventurous and delicious tapa- they bring it to your table and then light the bottom of the plate/bowl. The flame goes out on its own after 3-5 minutes!
Living along the coast, there are a lot of Fish/seafood tapas
Cazon is a type of white, flaky, mild flavor fish!
You know you’re in Spain when you have many Jamon options!
Sometimes your tapa is muy grande (very big). This is from a restuarant named La Cabana de Tio Tom (yes, Uncle Tom’s Cabin) who are known for big tapas and over 100 to choose from!
Green Salads are rarely on tapas menus. Ensalladilla Rusa (Russian salad= potato salad) and seafood salads are common. Imagine my surprise when I found a salad on the tapas menu and a Caesar salad at that! My new favorite tapas place with the unique choices!
What I love most about tapas in this region is there cheap! You pay based on the cost of the drink, ranging from 2-3 euros. Average price I pay per drink is 2.50 euros ($3.20). The bill never surprises you. Life is good.
If you live in the Andalucia region, how often do you go out for tapas? What is your favorite tapa?
If you live in a different region in Spain, have you found a good spot for “cheap” tapas?
Have I convinced any of you to come visit me yet???
Please, leave a comment below. Thanks.