There’s more to Spain than its interesting culture and unique architecture. The country is significantly known for its appetizing cuisine, and one of the most loved Spanish foods are tapas. Over the years, there has always been a misconception about tapas— tapas are not a food genre because all foods can in fact, be tapas. Yes, these tasty treats have a lot of varieties, ranging from veggies delights like marinated olives and sautéed potatoes to sweet snacks like chocolate-topped churros and crispy tortas. “Tapa” just means they are normally served in small portions together with your drinks.
Tapas are literally crowd favorites because of its fun size and flavorsome taste that can be enjoyed during siesta moments or late night dinners, and not to mention— it could be free of charge, especially if the tapas were given to you without you asking for it. You will never have a hard time looking for these tasty tapas because these are charmingly spread all over the country through its local bars and restaurants. And if you want to fully enjoy your Spanish trip, don’t forget to savor some of the most popular tapas in the country.
Croquetas or also known as croquettes are deep-fried balls of chopped vegetables, ham, cod or fish. Making a croquette is as easy as 1, 2, 3 as you will only need to stuff the ingredients in your dough, and then pat it with some breadcrumbs before popping them into the frying pan. These small and tasty balls are very popular in most restaurants and bars in Spain. They are served as appetizers or snacks, and are best enjoyed with béchamel sauce and a glass of wine or beer.
Another popular dish in the country is the montados or montaditos. These flavorsome delights come with different toppings— beef, pork, chicken, prawns, sausages or veggies, and can be served either hot or cold. Montaditos are very simple to make and can be done in a minute or two. There’s no need for baking or cooking as you will only pile the ingredients on a slice of bread, creating a one-sided sandwich. Thus, you can create your own montaditos style and experience a gastronomical Spanish treat.
3. Gambas al Ajillo
If you are self-confessed lover of shrimps, then you shouldn’t miss the well-loved Gambas al Ajillo. This widely popular dish is definitely a great way to savor the tasty Spanish flavors. These are made of fresh prawns, bathe with olive oil and topped with garlic, chili peppers, and parsley for a more appetizing punch. Enjoy the entire dish and don’t let the tasty oil go to waste by devouring the flavorsome grease with some good slices of Spanish bread.
4. Patatas Bravas
Looking for a perfect snack for a wonderful afternoon in Spain? Patatas Bravas are your healthy and to-go option. Making these fried potato pieces are downright easy and effortless. That is why these healthy tapas are served across every food spot in the country. Patatas Bravas are mostly topped with some chopped fresh parsley and dipped with either a spicy tomato sauce or sweet mayonnaise. Enjoy these tasty small plates of potatoes with a glass of sangria, and for sure you’ll appreciate the unique Spanish eating culture.
5. Marinated Olives
For some healthier tapas on your selection, you’ll never go wrong with the nourishing and nutritious olives. Olives are distinguished veggies in the country, making them part of the popular tapas in Spain. Create your very own olive tapas by marinating them with some lemon zest, red chili pepper flakes, garlic and rosemary. These marinated olives are best enjoyed with a nice cold beer.
6. Almendras al Pimentòn
Another healthy tapas in the country is the Almendras al Pimentòn— toasted almonds seasoned with olive oil, garlic, salt, chili, paprika and cayenne powder. These crunchy and tasty nuts are insanely simple to make, and are great appetizers during cocktail parties. You’ll probably have a hard time stopping yourself once you start munching these healthy nuts.
7. Jamon Serrano
Jamón Serrano is traditionally served as tasty tapas in Spain, but over the years, this country ham has been used in different Spanish cuisines as a main ingredient or a side dish. The Spanish Jamón Serrano is unique from any other hams in the world because of its distinctive taste with less salt and fat. It has become a delicacy in the country, where almost all restaurants and bars across the nation feature this rather healthy slice of ham. The most renowned way to enjoy this dish is to drizzle it with some olive oil, fresh melon and vegetables, and serve it with some crusty bread plus a glass of red wine.
8. Tortilla Española
Tortilla Española or Spanish Omelet is a famous traditional dish in the country, with just minimal ingredients— eggs, potato and olive oil. Yes, just three ingredients and you’re off to enjoy a very satisfying Spanish meal. To achieve a perfect tortilla española, you need to gently cook the potatoes in an ample amount of olive oil, and then add the whisked eggs until it creates a smooth egg & potato mixture. This tapa is often served during breakfast or dinner, and best eaten with some pieces of baguette and a cup of cafe con leche.
A perfect cold and healthy vegetable treat during the summer heat is the gazpacho. Gazpacho is a tomato soup garnished with some vegetables like onions, garlic, pepper and cucumber, and seasoned with tasty oils and vinegar. Though the soup is served in almost every restaurant in Spain, its taste is always distinctive from all other soups in the country.
10. Churros con Chocolate
Churros are decadent dessert in Spain that can be eaten anytime of the day, from breakfast to late night snacks. Though the history of churros is still vague, these fried dough pastries have been linked with the Spanish shepherds as their substitute for bakery goods. From then, these bite-sized treats have spread all over the world, and are often queued by many because of its distinct style and taste. Enjoy these sweet goodies with some cinnamon powder and a hot cup of chocolate.
11. Tortas de Aceite
Cap off your sumptuous meal with some sweet olive oil tortas or popularly known as tortas de aceite in Spain. These crunchy and sugary yeast biscuits are ideal for your afternoon snacks or tea parties. And since these are widely appreciated in the country, you can find them in many bakeries and grocery stores, normally wrapped in sets of six.