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19 Popular Types of Spanish Tapas – All You Need to Know

Tapas come in small sizes but are packed with flavors, allowing diners to have a bite of many dishes without getting their tummies full. They are typically eaten as snacks or appetizers in Spanish cuisine.

Tapas have come to mean small servings of any type of Spanish cuisine and can be served cold or hot. Did you know that tapas can be combined to get a full meal?

You are spoiled for choice once in Spain since there are tons of savory, sweet, and spicy tapas to sample and enjoy the various flavors. Here are some of the best Spanish tapas to look out for to excite your taste buds when you get to Spain:

 


 

Croquettes

In most bars and restaurants in Spain, there is a high chance that you will be served croquettes. Usually, these are fried balls whose deliciousness is just indescribable. They can be made from a variety of vegetable fillings, fish, and meat with the most commonly used ingredients being ham and cod.

Gilda

Gilda is comprised of anchovy, olives, and chilli peppers on a skewer to make a simple assembly of edibles. This tapas is a classic among food lovers from the Basque county where they have given tapas the name “pintxos.”

For a chance to taste gilda and other amazing Spanish tapas, you need to get yourself a spot in one of the tapas bars in Melbourne, and you can check out one of the best at Vamos.

You will certainly savour every moment there as you eat some of the best tapas and wash them down with your choice of drink as you listen to awesome live music from great bands and musicians.

Patatas bravas

If you set foot anywhere in Spain, you are likely to be served this tapas as it is common across all of Spain. The only thing that stands out is the manner of serving it since it is different from one region to another.

It is made of finely-cut potatoes fried in oil, after which it may be served with a spicy tomato sauce as it is the case in Burgos. Alternatively, it can be accompanied by aioli like it is done by the food enthusiasts in Valencia and Catalonia.

Gambas al ajillo

This tapa is a product of fresh prawns that are cooked in garlic oil. To give the prawns a flavorful punch, garlic and chilli peppers are added during the cooking. You will certainly enjoy the taste of this tapas if you like chilli and garlic.

Paella

This is the most common dish in the Valencia region. Rice is the main ingredient of this dish and vegetables are included. Depending on the particular type of paella dish you are having, meat or seafood is typically eaten alongside.

Gambas a la plancha

The dish is made from whole unpeeled shrimps roasted on a flat iron grill after salting them. To enhance the flavor of this tapas, the heads of the shrimps are not removed.

Montanditos

Montanditos comes as small sandwiches that are usually served toasted with different types of vegetarian fillings, meat, or fish.

Cured ham

Visitors like this tapas so much among the wide array of Spanish products. It is made from pork from the leg that has been specially preserved and is typically served alongside bread or picos as well as colines (small crunchy bread that is common in Spain).

Cheese

Cheese is one of the best and simplest of tapas and it comes in a wide variety of flavors. Manchego is one of the most common cheeses, although there are other types to choose from that have different origins, strengths, and consistencies.

It goes well when cut into pieces and offered on a platter. You will certainly like the great taste when you mix cheese and figs or other fruits that blend perfectly with it.

Other varieties of cheeses include Idiazábal, which is common in Basque Country, Roncal, which is synonymous with people from Navarre, Mahón, which is popular in the Balearic islands, and Majorero, which is associated with people from the Canary islands.

Ensaladilla Rusa

The dish is made of potato salad blended with tuna, mayonnaise, and vegetables such as peas and carrots. Although its origin can be traced back to Russia, the dish is one of the most popular in eating places all over Spain.

Albondigas (meatballs)

You can buy the meatballs ready-made or make them yourself. Once the meatballs are cooked, they are put into tomato sauce and allowed to marinate for some time before being served. The tomato sauce that is used to marinate the meatballs can be simple canned sliced tomatoes to which salt, garlic, olive oil, pepper, and any other spices of your choice are added.

Pimientos de Padrón

Small peppers, whose origins are Galicia in northern Spain, are fried in oil and salted to make Pimientos de Padrón. Sometimes, the peppers will have too much spicy flavor.

Papas arrugadas

This tapas is made of very small potatoes boiled in salt water. The water is then drained and the potatoes are slightly roasted and then served with mojo, a sauce that is made of garlic, red pepper, paprika, olive oil, and at times may also have cumin.

 

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Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a cold soup whose origin is Andalusia in southern Spain. The soup is made by chopping veggies like cucumbers, garlic, onion, and peppers, and then mixing them with oil and vinegar. The product is a great and refreshing soup that is so perfect for the sweltering summer months.

Chorizo

This is smoked spicy Spanish sausage that is served in various ways in different parts of Spain, but it is mostly sliced and offered alongside bread. Chorizo can be enjoyed in so many ways, and one of the best ways to have it is covered with honey, garlic, and red wine glaze.

Chipirones

Are you looking for a perfect snack? Then chipirones can be a good pick. They are made of small squids which are normally fried or grilled whole to get a very sumptuous and healthy snack.

Pulpo a la gallega

From the sea to the kitchen, this dish is made with freshly caught octopus. They are boiled in salty water to soften them and then sliced up, drizzled with some olive oil, and have paprika sprinkled on them to give them a spicy flavor. Although it is typically eaten as main meal, you could have it on a small plate to act as a tapas. Although it is common in Galicia, you will easily find it served anywhere in Spain, but it still maintains the unique Galician-style flavor.

Flamenquín

This is a long roll filled with slices of Iberian ham covered with pork loin. It is then breaded and fried to a lovely golden brown color. This tapas is a favorite of the people of Córdoba and other parts of southern Spain.

Fried cuttlefish

This is dish made of tender and delicious fish that is typically cut into long slices which are then fried to get a satisfying crunch on the outside and a very soft texture on the inside. It is referred to in Spain as choco.

Conclusion

While in Spain, you have a myriad of tapas to enjoy whether as snacks, accompaniments to your drinks, or as a meal, in which case you can eat different types of tapas together. In addition to those we listed above, you can also try others like Spanish omelets, salmorejo, black pudding, and migas, among many others.

 

Resources: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tapas