When Spaniards eat out with family and friends they order a selection of different dishes to share. They’re not over-bothered about nutritional balance, they’re all out for the taste.
We veggies and vegans like to be a little selective about combining the right elements for a complete meal, especially where it comes to protein. Fortunately tapas makes the task easy and hugely pleasurable.
What we usually order here in Spain is “raciones”. A tapa, or cover is a small offering placed on a saucer to protect your drink from flies and other pests. They’re still served free here in Extremadura, but the custom is dying out in other parts, tapas being replaced by slightly larger dishes – for a price.
As a meal tapas is a medley of simply cooked very flavoursome dishes where the ingredients are king – and queen. With little to mask the pure taste of the ingredients you need to go for best in freshness and flavour.
Our (London) friends Hideto and Hisako love Spanish food because it reminds them of their native Japan where dishes are equally simply prepared, every one a work of art. I think Spanish food is earthier and less refined than Japanese. The latter is a beautiful symphony where all parts are perfect and the whole is sublime. Spanish tapas are more loosely bound, more like a rhapsody producing an explosion of flavour, colour and emotion.
What followws is recipes for tapas from which you can choose any number to make up a complete meal.