The legend tells that when Alfonso XIII was visiting a bar on a beach in Cadiz, there was a strong wind coming from the windows, bringing inside sand. Trying to keep the sand away from the Jerez (sherry) the king had ordered, the barman used a piece of bread and ham to cover the cup. When the king asked surprised what was that, the barman hastily responded: “It’s a tapa, my king”. And so, the famous reign of tapas in the culinary history of Spain began.
The tapas are the most popular food in Spain. Anywhere we go, we can order so much variety of tapas. They are essentially little snacks of food served in bars and restaurants, usually with a beverage (alcoholic or not). There are also essential differences between types of tapas depending on what part of Spain you are.
The pinchos, or pinxos in euskera, are the way tapas are called on the province of Navarra. In essence, they are the same as tapas. It is also popular in Navarre the Pinxo-Pote or Juevinxos nights (a combination between Jueves-Pinxos), where the bars offer a pinxo and a beverage for only 2 euros. This nights are not only about culinary celebration, but it is a community celebration, where people of all ages go out to enjoy a night of culinary and friendship festivity.
The montaditos are little snacks of all types, but that have something in common: they are over a bread. The montaditos are popular all over Spain, and they are allegedly older than sandwiches. The montaditos are also famous for the franchise 100 montaditos, a fast food spanish-styled restaurant, who has spread all over Spain on the last years, and gained much success, especially on Wednesdays and Sundays, when all the montaditos on the menu are only 1€.
There are some classical tapas that can be found in every bar across Spain, such as Patatas bravas, which are baked potatoes covered with brava sauce, or the classical tapa with bread and ham, sometimes with goat cheese or bree in it. Another tapa usually found in Madrid, is a shrimp covered with shreds of fried potato and sauce. The variety of tapas and pinxos is never ending: each bar and region has it’s signature type, each one more delicious than the other.
Whether they are montaditos, tapas or pinxos, these little snacks are a central item on the Spanish cuisine and have conquered the hearts, and the stomach, of both tourists and spaniards.
Learn how to cook tapas and impress your friends! This video of 6 minutes describes different kinds of tapas, and if you go directly to minute 1.30, you will find the ingredients you need and the recipe to prepare amazing spanish tapas and montaditos