Monday, March 8, 2021


(Note:  Links are in orange; see bottom of page for recipe links.)
Also see bottom of page for links to previous "Borderless Cuisine" Posts.

tapa (Spanish pronunciation: tah pah) is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine. It may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squid) and other hot tapas. In select bars in Spain, tapas have evolved into an entire, sophisticated cuisine. In Spain, patrons of tapas can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal. 

Today you hear restaurants serving "small plates".  This would be like a tapas (small appetizers to eat ) plate.

 I have chosen popular areas to feature in this post:

Basque (North central Spain & South central France)
Madrid (central Spain) 

Catalonia (Barcelonia or North eastern Spain)

A SIDE NOTE: Also, in some Central American countries, such snacks are known as bocas. In parts of Mexico, similar dishes are called botanas.

According to The Joy of Cooking , the original tapas were thin slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips. This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry. The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo, which are both very salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners created a variety of snacks to serve with sherry, thus increasing their alcohol sales. The tapas eventually became as important as the sherry.

They originated in Spain and are served in tapas' bars 

Tapas bars

and restaurants.  
Northeastern Spain

The Basque area is in North central Spain and South central France

LINK to Tapas or Pintxos or Pinchos Bars in the Basque

See Basque area area below in bright pink.

They are also served in:

In Portugal:  Petiscos are the Portuguese tapas. Iberian delicacies. Special little snacks that accompany drinks or make small tasty light meals or large meals made of small tasty snacks. This is another example of Borderless Cuisine due to the proximity of Portugal to Spain

In Mexico:  tapas bars are called "cantinas otaneras"  and the botanas (tapas) are similar.

In ArgentinaPicada is a type of tapas eaten, usually involving only cold dishes, such as olives, ham, salami and different types of cheese. (Tapas are served warm and cold)

In Brazil:  Tira-gostos  or petiscos are served in the bars of Brazil and are typical as tapas-like side dishes to accompany beer or alcoholic beverages. Since Portuguese is the main language of Brazil their tira-gostos or petiscos are of the same. 

In Italy:  Cicchetti are small tapas-like dishes served in cicchetti bars in Venice, Italy. Venetians typically eat cicchetti for lunch or as late afternoon snacks.


In Korea  a meal doesn't usually have an appetizer as Western meals do. Side dishes may come out first, but are considered part of the main meal, not as a prelude. These dishes, however, could be used as appetizers in a Western meal. They are called banchan. 

In Japan:  Izakaya food is usually more substantial than tapas or mezze. Many items are designed to be shared.

In France they serve appetizers called aperitifs.



LINK TO ThreeTapas aka Appetizers Videos Below


No comments:

Post a Comment