A tour around Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without heading to a bar for tapas, and, of course, a glass or two of good wine. If you want a true taste of the Spanish lifestyle, get to know these mouth-watering treats and dig in.
Diving into Spanish Culture
In its many forms, tapas are ingrained into Spain’s culture, as described by an article in the Spanish language learning website donQuijote.Org. Apart from being one of the most economic choices when it comes to local culinary offerings, the dish has always accompanied alcoholic drinks, especially during midday or evening sessions with wine or beer.
Traditionally, Spanish tapas are created in small portions, and can include slices of cold meat, potatoes, or cheese, cooked with other simple ingredients, and herbs and spices chosen according to the season or region. Mixing and matching the wide variety of ingredients bring endless culinary possibilities!
An excerpt from the donQuijote.Org article gives visitors a preview of the challenging but worthwhile task of decoding the tapa varieties:
No self-respecting Spanish bar would risk being caught without an intriguing array of tapas arranged across its counter. These saucer-sized bites, as much a part of Spanish culture as the siesta and the fiesta, come in infinite varieties and, more often than not, are completely unidentifiable to the untrained eye. However the art of ir de tapas is one that the Spanish have honed to perfection and, once mastered, is arguably the most enjoyable way to enjoy ‘fast food’ with friends!
Giving Tapas a Twist
Contemporary takes on tapas merge culinary elements to make for more unique and interesting tastes, as you will experience with fusion tapas in Barcelona. Fusion restaurants that have distinctly Arabian elements, such as Ziryab, give the traditional appetiser a dash of Middle Eastern flavour. The result is a more savoury and more fragrant feast for the taste buds.
Take for instance a luscious pan con tomate platter with a kick of Jordanian zaatar or thyme, and drizzled with the finest virgin olive oil from Palestine. The dried herb (usually mixed with sesame seeds, sumac, and salt) and the premium organic oil combined with other spices render the dish more exquisite, with a highly aromatic flavour.
Sweet dates and strong-tasting Halloumi cheese, among many other Arabian ingredients and seasoning, also blend well with Catalan meats and produce. Indulge in these delectable tapas en Barcelona for a culinary experience of a lifetime!
(Source: Spanish Tapas: A guide to the wonderful world of tapas…and some handy phrases to use while de tapeo, donQuijote.Org)