& COOKING ARTICLE
to the world of real Spanish Tapas
invite you to come with us on a journey of tapas discovery,
limited only by how long you can sit here reading
before your mouth starts salivating and you simply
have to get up and try a tapas recipe!
you will discover everything you ever wanted to know
about the small plate with the big flavour
. . . the tapas.
lots of other Spanish facts and fancies that you may
not have realised you wanted to know!
. . . 'The small plate with the BIG flavour'
aim is simple: we hope that if you are interested
in cooking, preparing or serving the enormously varied
tapas recipes of Spain, then you will come back to
visit us time and time again.
is so much of interest to learn about the fascinating
origins and history of tapas. I am still learning
something new every time I go out to a local bar,
or when I chat to the proprietor at the Jamon y Queso
(ham and cheese) shop.
did I not mention that we are lucky enough to live
in Andalucia, southern Spain?
is the diversity of tapas that in bars all over Spain
and the world you can order virtually anything that
takes your fancy. From an exotically-flavoured, spicy
Moorish dish to a simple bowl of olives. The choice
is entirely yours.
oh, my friend, what a choice tapas are!
about a plate of succulent, wafer-thin slices of serrano
ham or jamon iberico? If you havent tried this
yet then you have missed out on one of lifes
truly are heaven on a small plate!
glass of Manzanilla sherry with some salty and nutty
Manchego cheese is a very popular tapas with the Spanish
doesnt come much simpler and it takes some serious
these wonderful flavours and we havent even
started cooking yet!
means friends and family
can keep it simple or you can make it as complicated
as you like. But whichever way you prefer it, tapas
is best served with an early evening drink among friends
and lively company.
will not, I promise you, find a more pleasurable and
flavour-filled experience than tapas anywhere in the
you live, these 'little tapas dishes' will give you
a tasty little mouthful of Spain.
sit back, take your time and enjoy your tapas to the
full. There is no better way to sample the real essence
of Spanish life and culture.
origins and history of tapas
The origin of tapas is the subject of many an argument
in the local bar. (It seems to depend on which area
of Spain you are from!)
is said that the first tapa was simply a hunk of bread
which was placed over the glass to keep the flies
out. Hence the word tapas was born. Tapa
literally meaning cover or lid.
the beginning somewhere must have been the olive -
plain and simple, on its own. What better accompaniment
to a glass of dry fino sherry than tapas?
perhaps some almonds . . . fried in olive oil, sprinkled
with salt and served while theyre still hot?
These are the original tapas, the simplest of foods,
requiring little or no preparation.
the tradition developed, tapas became more of an elaborate
event, with each region developing their own specialities.
They were still 'little tapas dishes' but the personalities
of thousands of bar owners all over Spain has stamped
them with the identities that they have today.
landscape is extremely diverse and covers areas such
as mountain ranges and dusty plains, olive and fruit
groves plus fertile orchards and rich arable lands,
also has climate extremes. Regions that are cold and
wet, regions that are hot and dry, and just about
everything in between.
It has a huge coastline, facing both the Atlantic
ocean and the Mediterranean sea.
fishing industry is one of the most active, and pro-active,
in Europe. Hardly surprising then, that the cuisine
of its coastal regions is very heavily based on fish
regional methods and local ingredients have been influenced
throughout the country's long history by the incorporation
of many ingredients and influences from different
cultures and countries.
east coast was invaded by the Romans, who introduced
the olive and irrigation methods. The invasion of
the Moors also brought olives to the south, as well
as almonds, citrus fruits and fragrant spices. The
influences of their seven hundred year occupation
remain today, especially in Andalucia.
discovery of the New World brought with it the introduction
of tomatoes, sweet peppers (capiscums), chilli peppers,
beans and potatoes. These were readily accepted and
easily grown in Spain's ideal micro-climates.
food, and especially tapas, is based on simple methods
and the imaginative use of seasonal vegetables and
local ingredients. Tapas is essentially hearty and
unpretentious. Ingredients are fresh, flavours are
robust and recipes are easy. Preparation and presentation
is generally pretty straight forward.
find no 'pan-fried' this and 'sun-blushed' that here,
my friend. The success of a tapas dish is purely down
to one basic criteria: whether or not it tastes good.
Which, I hope you agree, is how it should be.
Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org