Today is World Tapas Day. Wondering what Tapas is? Well, in Spain, every restaurant serves you some traditional savoury dish or other every time you go to a bar unlike in India, where you would be lucky if you get some snack with your drink for free at a bar or a lounge. The savoury dish is called Tapas, which the Spanish people care a lot about.

So what really are these tapas? Well it’s not one single dish but a variety of different delicacies that the restaurant chefs of Spain prepare to lure their guests. A Tapa is just a small bite usually served along with a drink. However, Tapas are much more, they are a part of the Spanish gastronomical culture and they prove the passion for life of Spaniards, because Tapas are not only about enjoying good food but also about socialising.

Small in size but full of flavour, tapas offer diners the chance to explore a myriad dishes without feeling stuffed. There’s a huge variety of savoury, sweet, and spicy tapas to taste across Spain. From succulent prawns cooked in garlic and chilli peppers to a refreshing serving of gazpacho.

A variety of Tapas include Salmorejo (cold Andalusian soup), Patatas Bravas, which is also Madrid’s most-preferred tapa, Gambas al Pil-Pil, Pintxos and txakoli, Paella or Valencia’s rice tapa. For the uninitiated, Patatas Bravas are fried potatoes which have been diced into irregular shapes of about two centimeters, and served with a spicy tomato sauce while Gambas al Pil-Pil is garlic prawns.

World Tapas Day
World Tapas Day (Pic by STP)

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“Chefs in Spain express their heart with tapas. They strive to elaborate their most original taste. There are many advantages of tapas. First and foremost being the fact that they are their most original food then they are also lighter and easy and quick to cook. It is also much cheaper than the traditional food which means that it is in reach of everybody and it is a very important dimension,” said Jose Ramon Baranano, the Ambassador of Spain at a World Tapas Day event in New Delhi.

He added Tapas are basically a way of friendship as it is a way of going out with friends and making merry.

A good tapa can really make or break a restaurant’s image in Spain and that’s what the women of the country believe. “Sometimes I’ll go back to a certain bar just for the tapa they make because it is so delicious and it also happens many times that a bar loses its customers because they did not like the tapa they make,” said Alicia Reboredo de Diego, International trade Advisor of the Embassy of Spain.

Paloma Sanchez Lucas, who is originally from Spain, agreed with Alicia and said that though it is free and the bar’s way of welcoming its guests, people sometimes do pay for them.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I am quite kicked to learn about tapas and can’t wait to try it!