Tapas – Light Meals, Delightful Tastes
Many cultures around the world have variations on tapas, but their origin is in Spain. Tapas are small dishes that people eat between meals, usually with wine. Tapas received their name because they were used to cover wine against bugs and impurities.
Tapas are not just a type of food, they are a style of eating. They can be served cold or hot and consist of breads, meats, cheeses, potatoes, olives, omelets, meatballs, red and green peppers, fish, squid, eggs, peanuts and croquettes (breaded balls filled with meat, fish, vegetables and cheese).
In Spain, people serve dinner between nine and midnight, so there is a long period between lunch and dinner. In between, people like to enjoy tapas with friends. In general, people will snack between six and eight in the evening. Bars usually serve eight to twelve types of tapas. There are several spices commonly used in tapas, garlic, chilies, saffron, salt, and pepper and many sauces, such as tomato sauce and olive oil.
Many cultures have influenced the history of tapas. When the Romans invaded the eastern coast of Spain they brought olives to the country. African Moors brought olives, onions, citrus fruits and fragrant spices south. The discovery of the Americas led to the addition of tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans and potatoes. Spain has a good climate for growing these plants.
The Spanish Omelet is one of the defining dishes of Spain. This delicious tapa is composed of eggs, potatoes and onions, and is simple and easy to make.
Here’s the recipe! Give it a try and let me know how it worked out for you…
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 8 eggs beaten
- 3 large potatoes peeled and sliced thinly, lengthwise
- In a large pan, over medium-high heat, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent.
- Add potatoes and sauté gently until soft.
- Add eggs and allow to cook, 5-7 minutes, loosening the omelet from the pan with a spatula.
- When the omelet is browned on one side, place a plate, larger than the pan, over the pan, and flip!
- Slide the omelet back into the pan on its opposite side and cook until browned.
- Cut omelet into small portions and serve on toothpicks with wine.