Tapas vary a lot. You may be wondering what exactly they are if you have no idea at all about Spanish cuisine. They are very flexible and can be made from anything and everything, and served at any time of the day. They are these little snacks or appetizers that sometimes come free or complimentary in restaurants and served to guests visiting a home. An example of tapas is a cold plate of olives and cheese and another is a serving of battered and fried squid. Some versions are evenly combined and altered in such a way that it can serve as a filling meal in itself.
Eggs, potatoes, onions, seasoned with salt and pepper—this Spanish omelet is pretty much the most common dish in the country. It comes out in different textures, consistencies, thickness, but always with the same basic ingredients at its very core. This simple but filling dish is at the heart of every Hispano and is not only a breakfast staple but also an all-around fare.
If you are craving something more traditional and regional, you might want to look at Valencia’s Paella. This rice-based dish is a colorful fare that is filled with chicken, vegetables, duck, rabbit, snail, beans, and different spices. There is also a seafood variety that replaces the poultry and meat with seafood, as well as a “mixita” variety that combines seafood and meat. You may say that Paella, in itself, is also a complete meal already, given that it has all the elements of a meal–protein, grain, vegetable, and a whole lot of flavor.
If you have ever been to Spain, you may have noticed an abundance of produce, especially when it comes to tomatoes, onion, garlic, and olives. This dish makes the most of this abundance by combining these produce together to form a versatile yet always remarkable dish. You may get it in a hot or cold soup or stew form, with the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and garlic blended in with some olive oil, salt, and vinegar.
You may also have gazpacho in the form of salad. The presentation will most likely vary, but you will always get the same set of flavors from the same set of ingredients that are reminiscent of the Spanish countryside.
Although some may argue that this simply is a Spanish translation for the French crème brulee, there are subtle but important differences between the two. The crème being baked and served hot, while the crema served cold. Instead of it being laced with Vanilla like the traditional French recipe, it is infused with lemon and cinnamon for a lighter and fresher dessert experience, especially given the warm Spanish climate.
This has been featured quite a couple of times in lifestyle and food channels when hosts tread through Spain. There is nothing that feels more Spanish than sipping your favorite beverage in a bar while a server cuts you paper-thin slices of cured ham.