Tapas is the catch-all term for the variety of appetizers and snacks that feature prominently in Spanish cuisine. What was once modest meals served in between glasses of wine is now a major food trend that is sweeping across the globe. Establishments that serve tapas encourage patrons to order different small plates to form one large and varied meal. While there are a good number of tapas restaurants around the world, purists would argue that Spain is still the best place to enjoy them.
An article on the Daily Mail Online dated August 18, 2014 details how Britain became enamoured with tapas culture. The article posits that it because tapas dining is a lot more informal than a sit-down dinner, it is quite the hit at parties. Indeed, the article mentions that a lot of customers are buying chorizos and olives to take home the tapas experience, but notes that 74% of respondents to a retail analyst’s survey say that “it is worth going to Spain specifically for the food and the wine.”
The beauty of tapas is that despite being served in small portions, each dish is a perfect blend of traditional flavours. While the more famous tapas get international recognition through tapas bars, there are some unique provincial delights that can only be enjoyed within Spain’s different regions. Those looking for the best tapas in Barcelona City will be pleasantly surprised to find out the variety of tapas that awaits them.
Before you start asking “¿Donde encuentro un buen tapas en Barcelona?” you might want to familiarise yourself with Spain’s history and culture for a bit. Thanks to contact with the Romans (who introduced olives and other produce) and the Moors (who introduced almonds, citrus, spices, kebabs, and so on), Spanish cuisine is actually a fusion of many Mediterranean styles, and tapas is no exception. Diners should not be surprised to be served the occasional Turkish kebab or mezze while drinking their sherry, because such dishes have long since entered Spanish cuisine.
Adventurous diners who want to try really good tapas should consider visiting establishments with a unique spin on their dishes, like Ziryab. Tapas is a constantly-evolving food culture, and it is not surprising to hear of one bar coming up with a completely new tapas. Authenticity is one thing, but diners should never forget that tapas is all about enjoying a good meal that compliments a good drink.
(Source: How Britain got the taste for TAPAS: From paella to patatas bravas, millions are tucking into their favourite holiday food at home, dailymail.co.uk, Aug. 18, 2014)