One of the reasons why Spain has became one of the most popular holiday destinations around the world is due to it prestigious gastronomy.
Spanish gastronomy is located on the top of the ranking between the most important cuisines of the world. Probably it popularity is because the huge amount of Spanish chefs and cookers that have developed their traditional recipes and have shared it with the rest of the world giving it the opportunity of tasting the most delicious savours of the Spanish popular dishes with both old and new shapes, tastes and colours.
Also, another reason that makes Spanish gastronomy so popular is because of it premium and quality ingredients. Spain is full of fertile soil, has very different landscapes and the perfect weather to let the most delicious products grow with facility.
Mediterranean food is full of premium and healthy ingredients that are also very tasty and give to Spanish recipes their touch to make it delicious and with health benefits at the same time.
One of the most well-known shapes of presenting Spanish dishes is by the tapas. Tapas have become to an identity mark to Spain being tasted by the huge majority of the tourists that chose this country as their destination or for those who eat in one of the Spanish restaurants seated around the world.
The tapas are appetizers that are served with a beverage (alcoholic or not). People in Spain usually go out for tapas (they call it “ir de tapas” or “tapear”) and is common to have lunch or dinner only with the tapas served with your drink.
The name tapas means covers, and it is thought that it became of the tradition of cover the wine glasses with bread, ham or something in order to avoid the entrance of insects or dust. Then waiters got that habit of serving an appetizer with every drink they served.
There are some famous Spanish tapas that are very popular around the world and are normally considered as an aperitif in itself, and there are also other ones that are cooked as traditional recipes and dishes of the Spanish cuisine but are considered as a tapa because they served it only a medium or small amount of the dish.
Then we are going to point out the recipes, the ingredients and the components of some famous Spanish tapas.
Spanish omelette is a thick omelette made with potatoes, white onion (it is optional), egg and olive oil. Almost of the Spanish restaurants served this traditional dish and Spanish people have been improving their recipes of this dish for centuries. Normally the tastiest ones do not have their eggs set at all inside the omelette.
It is a very popular dish on Andalucía and the south of Spain and it is more popular in summer. The salmorejo is a kind of tomato soup that is served cold and with vegetables (peppers), garlic, vinegar, olive oil and bread. Lot of people also add Iberian ham or hard-boiled eggs on the top.
Bravas are potatoes served fried, with a cube shape and accompanied with two different sauces, one made with spicy condiments (like chilli and paprika) and tomatoes called brava sauce, and the other one (called allioli) with garlic and olive oil.
The croquettes are one of the most typical Spanish snacks. They have some kind of ball shape and are filled with a white sauce called béchamel (made with milk, white flour, butter and spices) and with another ingredient like Iberian ham, chicken, fish, spinach or mushrooms, for example. The most popular ones are the Iberian ham, chicken or codfish croquettes.
This appetizer is prepared with fresh or frozen squid that is cut as rings and battered with flour. After the rings of squid are fried with olive oil and ready to be served.
In Madrid is very common to serve this calamares a la romana in a sandwich with mayonnaise.
This dish is more popular in summer because it is served cold but is one of the appetizers you should ask for if you go out for tapas. This salad is composed by a variety of vegetables (green beans, red pepper, peas and capers), boiled potatoes, egg, tuna and mayonnaise. You can add or remove some ingredients depending on your liking.
The manchego cheese and the Iberian ham are two of the most prestigious products of Spain. There are very popular and known everywhere and you can find it as a tapa in almost every restaurant and Spanish bar.
There are different varieties depending on the quality of the animals, the elaboration process and where these products come from, being for example the black label Iberian acorn-fed ham the best ham.
To taste this famous Madrid dishes- join a Madrid food tour or Madrid tapas tour!