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Food Tourism, Tapas.

SPAIN | Friday, 9 March 2012 | Views [1131]

There’s only one thing that I love more than travelling and that’s food. Sampling new flavours and cuisines can be something which really makes a holiday. One of the most iconic and delicious cuisines is Spanish tapas. Tapas are small portions of food, traditionally served with a drink but now you often find restaurants serving tapas as an alternative to lunch or dinner. There’s something so incredibly simple and delicate about small portions of a large range of freshly cooked food; they encourage conversation, relaxation and contentment. There’s really nothing better than sitting with a group of friends and family, sharing stories, laughs and tapas.

 

Tapas themselves are as culturally diverse as you can get: olives were introduced by the Romans, spices and dried fruits were introduced by the Moors and the discovery of the New World meant the Spaniards had access to tomatoes, peppers, chilli, beans and potatoes. The range of flavours and dishes mean that tapas can cater to everyone’s pallets.

 

I went to the Algarve in Portugal last year and caught the ferry from Vila Real de Santo António to Ayamonte in Spain in order to sample fresh traditional tapas. The short and inexpensive journey transports you across the river which separates the two towns and throws you an hour ahead. The sun soaked streets twist between the white washes houses and shops leading to numerous bars and cafes, each one selling a range of fresh and delicious tapas. We decided on a cafe which seemed to have several locals sitting and eating together, taking this as a sign that this cafe must be good. And it was. We got a range of plates, croquettes, calamari, chicken in a creamy sauce, patas bravas, bread, olives, the list goes on. Each dish was amazing in its own right, and worked beautifully together. I would happily go on a tapas tour of Spain, sampling the variety of dishes which each bar specialise in. I have a feeling that any bar or cafe full of Spaniards is a good one and any time you are in Spain you should not pass up the opportunity to try Spain’s wonderful creation.

 

I’m longing to go back to Spain and laze with a cool glass of Sangria and a huge array of tapas before going for a stroll along the warm beach where I can feel the sand beneath my feet and sea lapping on my legs. I’m just counting down the days until I hand my dissertation in and can jump on a plane...   

Tags: algarve, bar, cafe, spain, tapas

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