Food plays an important role in my travels. So important that sometimes my itinerary revolves around it. Some of the greatest cultures have the most exquisite and exotic flavors on earth. Spain is one of those.
Spanish food is one of the core cuisines I grew up with so many of the flavors and dishes are familiar to me. But beyond the estofadas, paellas, empanadas and jámon, my favorite is the culture of tapas. I blame my love for trying as many new things as possible for this. That and the ‘happy hour’ culture Yuppies grew up in where we thrive on appetizers and snacks instead of full-sized meals because we would rather drink more.
But there’s nothing like Spain’s tapas.
There is a wide array of tapas selection from cold dishes (cheese, potato salad, olives) to hot (fried calamari, chorizo, croquetas) to spicy (patatas bravas, gildas). After spending almost a month in Spain, I was able to try different kinds of tapas from various cities. Regional food at its best.
Here are some of my favorite tapas dish all over Spain:
Each city has their own unique taste and I enjoyed them all! I admit there was a time that I needed to break away from tapas because that was all I ate. I think it was during my first night in Barcelona. I just came from Málaga where I lived right above the tapas bars and where you can get one order for only €2.50 (versus Barcelona’s €7.50). Naturally, I feasted on tapas in Málaga and tried every single one on the menu from every single restaurant in the plaza. So when I got to Barcelona, I wanted to eat a full meal of a good ole pasta bolognese. The best one I had, by the way.
After Barcelona, I went to Portugal for a few days and needless to say I missed tapas (and sangria) SO MUCH! I was craving it like a lunatic that when I came back to Spain by Salamanca, I scoured the city for tapas like a maniac.
So, gracias España for introducing the world to tapas…and for scarring me for life.
Have you been to Spain? Which tapas dish was your favorite?