|Course||Appetizer or snack|
|Place of origin||Spain|
|Serving temperature||Hot or cold|
A tapa (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtapa] ) is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine.
Tapas may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squid).
In some bars and restaurants in Spain and across the globe, tapas have evolved into a more sophisticated cuisine. Tapas can be combined to make a full meal. In some Central American countries, such snacks are known as bocas. In parts of Mexico, similar dishes are called botanas.
The word "tapas" is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover", a cognate of the English top.
In pre-19th-century Spain tapas were served by posadas, albergues or bodegas, offering meals and rooms for travellers. Since few innkeepers could write and few travellers read, inns offered their guests a sample of the dishes available, on a "tapa" (the word for pot cover in Spanish).
According to The Joy of Cooking , the original tapas were thin slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips.This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry (see below for more explanations). The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo, which are both very salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners created a variety of snacks to serve with sherry, thus increasing their alcohol sales. The tapas eventually became as important as the sherry.
Tapas have evolved through Spanish history by incorporating new ingredients and influences. Most of the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Romans, who introduced more extensive cultivation of the olive following their invasion of Spain in 212 B.C.and irrigation methods. The discovery of the New World brought the introduction of tomatoes, sweet and chili peppers, maize (corn), and potatoes, which were readily accepted and easily grown in Spain's microclimates.
There are many tapas competitions throughout Spain, but there is only one National Tapas competition,which is celebrated every year in November. Since 2008, the City of Valladolid and the International School of Culinary Arts have celebrated the International Tapas Competition for Culinary Schools. Various schools from around the world come to Spain annually to compete for the best tapa concept.
Though the primary meaning of tapa is cover or lid, it has in Spain also become a term for this style of food. The origin of this new meaning is uncertain but there are several theories:
In Spain, : Ir de tapas) and eat tapas in the time between finishing work and having dinner. Since lunch is usually served between 1 and 4 p.m., another common time for tapas is weekend days around noon as a means of socializing before proper lunch at home.dinner is usually served between 9 and 11 p.m. (sometimes as late as midnight), leaving significant time between work and dinner. Therefore, Spaniards often go "bar hopping" (Spanish
In origin, a tapa was a free portion of food, generally small, served with any drink ordered. In Spain, tapas are traditional in Andalusia, Murcia, León, Extremadura, and Ciudad Real.
It is very common for a bar or a small local restaurant to have eight to 12 different kinds of tapas in warming trays with glass partitions covering the food. They are often very strongly flavored with garlic, chilies or paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, saffron, and sometimes in plentiful amounts of olive oil. Often, one or more of the choices is seafood (mariscos), often including anchovies, sardines or mackerel in olive oil, squid or others in a tomato-based sauce, sometimes with the addition of red or green peppers or other seasonings. It is rare to see a tapas selection not include one or more types of olives, such as Manzanilla (olive) or Arbequina olives. One or more types of bread are usually available to eat with any of the sauce-based tapas.
In Andalusia and certain places in Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Galicia, Castile and León, Asturias, and Extremadura, when one goes to a bar and orders a drink, often a tapa will be served with it free. As a drink, it is usual to ask for a caña (small beer), a chato (glass of wine) or a mosto (grape juice). In several cities, entire zones are dedicated to tapas bars, each one serving its own unique dish. In León, one can find the Barrio Húmedo, in Logroño Calle Laurel and in Burgos Calle de la Sombrerería and Calle de San Lorenzo.
Sometimes, especially in northern Spain, they are also called pinchos (pintxos in Basque) in Asturias, in Navarre, in La Rioja (Spain), the Basque Country, Cantabria and in some provinces, such as Salamanca, because many of them have a pincho or toothpick through them. The toothpick is used to keep whatever the snack is made of from falling off the slice of bread and to keep track of the number of tapas the customer has eaten. Differently priced tapas have different shapes or have toothpicks of different sizes. The price of a single tapa ranges from one to two euros. Another name for them is banderillas (diminutive of bandera "flag"), in part because some of them resemble the colorful spears used in bullfighting.
Tapas can be "upgraded" to bigger portions, equivalent to half a dish (media ración) or a whole one (ración). This is generally more economical when tapas are being ordered by more than one person. The portions are usually shared by diners, and a meal made up of raciones resembles a Chinese dim sum , Korean banchan or Middle Eastern mezze .
The term tapas narrowly refers to a type of Spanish cuisine. More broadly, a similar format of dining is referred to as “small plates”. Such dishes are traditionally common in many parts of the world, and have become increasingly popular in the English-speaking world since about 2000, particularly under the influence of Spanish tapas.
Upmarket tapas restaurants and tapas bars are common in many cities of the United States, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. As with any cuisine exported from its original country, there can often be significant differences between the original Spanish dishes and the dishes as they are served abroad.
In Mexico, there are not many tapas bars. However, the "cantinas botaneras" come close to the Mexican version of a tapas bar, but they operate on a very different business model. The appetizers ("botanas") keep coming as long as the patron keeps ordering beer, liquor or mixed drinks. The more the patron drinks, the more they eat. These establishments, some over a hundred years old, such as La Opera, are particularly popular around the Centro Histórico in Mexico City, but there are similar cantinas farther out in other regions of the city (as in Coyoacán) and its metropolitan area, or even in other cities like Guadalajara, Jalisco and Xalapa, Veracruz.
Due to the strong Spanish influence in the Philippines which was for 333 years a colony of Spain known as the Spanish East Indies. Tapas cuisine is usually served tapas-style to accompany liquor or beer. It is known locally as Pica-Pica , meaning finger food among the middle and upper class markets; or the Tagalog pulutan term used by the masses which literally means to pick up.
Picada is a type of tapas eaten in Argentina and Uruguay, usually involving only cold dishes, such as olives, ham, salami, mortadella, bologna, different types of cheese, marinated eggplants and red pimentos, sardines, nuts, corn puffs, fried wheat flour sticks, potato chips, and sliced baguette. It may also include hot dishes such as french fries, pizza or milanesa.
Tira-gostos (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈt͡ʃiɾɐ ˈɡostʊs] ) or petiscos ( [peˈt͡ʃiskʊs] ) are served in the bars of Brazil and typical as tapas-like side dishes to accompany beer or other alcoholic drinks. The better bars tend to have a greater variety, and rarer, more traditional, dishes (using, for example, lamb or goat meat, which are relatively uncommon in the diet of urbanites in southern Brazil).
People from the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, which had the most Portuguese and the second-most Spanish immigration in Brazil, are among those who are most proud of their bar culture as a symbol of the city's nightlife, but bars that serve a variety of tapas-like side dishes are common in all state capitals and cities with more than 700,000 inhabitants.
Many tapas typical of Spanish cuisine that are rarer dishes in Portugal are more easily found in Brazil, due to the presence of the cultural heritage of the Spanish Brazilians as a result of immigration.
Cicchetti are small tapas-like dishes served in cicchetti bars in Venice, Italy. Venetians typically eat cicchetti for lunch or as late-afternoon snacks.
In Korea, drinking establishments often serve anju (안주) of various types, including meat, seafood, and vegetables. In Japan, izakaya are drinking establishments that serve accompaniments similar to tapas.
Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Mediterranean, Balkan, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Eastern European and Armenian cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including those of Southeast Europe (Balkans), Central Europe, and Western Europe. The Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Mesopotamian cuisine, Greek cuisine, Levantine cuisine, Egyptian cuisine, Balkan cuisine, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia, creating a vast array of specialities.
Tripe is a type of edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals. Most tripe is from cattle, pig and sheep.
Puerto Rican cuisine has its roots in the cooking traditions and practices of Europe, Africa and the native Taínos. Starting from the latter part of the 19th century. Puerto Rican cuisine can be found in several other countries.
Meze,mezze, or mazza is a selection of small dishes served as appetizers in parts of the Western Asia,, the Balkans and North Africa. In some Western Asian and African regions where it is present, especially predominantly Muslim regions where alcohol is less common, meze is often served as a part of multi-course meals, while in Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans, they function more as snacks while drinking or talking.
A schnitzel is a thin slice of meat fried in fat. The meat is usually thinned by pounding with a meat tenderizer. Most commonly, the meats are breaded before frying. The breaded schnitzel is popular in many countries and is made using veal, pork, chicken, mutton, beef, or turkey. Schnitzel is very similar to the dish escalope in France, tonkatsu in Japan, cotoletta in Italy, kotlet schabowy in Poland, the milanesa of Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, chuleta valluna in Colombia and chicken fried steak of the Southern United States.
A dip or dipping sauce is a common condiment for many types of food. Dips are used to add flavor or texture to a food, such as pita bread, dumplings, crackers, cut-up raw vegetables, fruits, seafood, cubed pieces of meat and cheese, potato chips, tortilla chips, falafel, and sometimes even whole sandwiches in the case of au jus. Unlike other sauces, instead of applying the sauce to the food, the food is typically placed or dipped into the sauce.
Arab cuisine is the cuisine of the Arabs, defined as the various regional cuisines spanning the Arab world, from the Maghreb to the Fertile Crescent and the Arabian Peninsula. These cuisines are centuries old and reflect the culture of trading in spices, herbs, and foods. The regions have many similarities, but also unique traditions. They have also been influenced by climate, cultivation, and mutual commerce.
Czech cuisine has both influenced and been influenced by the cuisines of surrounding countries and nations. Many of the cakes and pastries that are popular in Central Europe originated within the Czech lands. Contemporary Czech cuisine is more meat-based than in previous periods; the current abundance of farmable meat has enriched its presence in regional cuisine. Traditionally, meat has been reserved for once-weekly consumption, typically on weekends. The body of Czech meals typically consists of two or more courses; the first course is traditionally soup, the second course is the main dish, and the third course can include supplementary courses, such as dessert or compote. In the Czech cuisine, thick soups and many kinds of sauces, both based on stewed or cooked vegetables and meats, often with cream, as well as baked meats with natural sauces (gravies), are popular dishes usually accompanied with beer, especially Pilsner, that Czechs consume the most in the world. Czech cuisine is also very strong in sweet main courses and desserts, a unique feature in European cuisines.
Italian cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine consisting of the ingredients, recipes and cooking techniques developed across the Italian Peninsula since antiquity, and later spread around the world together with waves of Italian diaspora.
Uruguayan cuisine is a fusion of cuisines from several European countries, especially from Mediterranean foods from Spain, Italy, Portugal and France. Other influences on the cuisine resulted from immigration from countries such as Germany and Scotland. Uruguayan gastronomy is a result of immigration, rather than local Amerindian cuisine, because the new colonies did not trust the native Charrúa people. Spanish influences are very abundant: desserts like churros, flan, ensaimadas yoo (Catalan sweet bread), and alfajores were all brought from Spain. There are also all kinds of stews known as guisos or estofados, arroces, and fabada. All of the guisos and traditional pucheros (stews) are also of Spanish origin. Uruguayan preparations of fish, such as dried salt cod (bacalao), calamari, and octopus, originate from the Basque and Galician regions, and also Portugal. Due to its strong Italian tradition, all of the famous Italian pasta dishes are present in Uruguay including ravioli, lasagne, tortellini, fettuccine, and the traditional gnocchi. Although the pasta can be served with many sauces, there is one special sauce that was created by Uruguayans. Caruso sauce is a pasta sauce made from double cream, meat, onions, ham and mushrooms. It is very popular with sorrentinos and agnolotti. Additionally, there is Germanic influence in Uruguayan cuisine as well, particularly in sweet dishes. The pastries known as bizcochos are Germanic in origin: croissants, known as medialunas, are the most popular of these, and can be found in two varieties: butter- and lard-based. Also German in origin are the Berlinese known as bolas de fraile, and the rolls called piononos. The facturas were re-christened with local names given the difficult German phonology, and usually Uruguayanized by the addition of a dulce de leche filling. Even dishes like chucrut (sauerkraut) have also made it into mainstream Uruguayan dishes.
Javanese cuisine is the cuisine of Javanese people, a major ethnic group in Indonesia, more precisely the province of Central Java, Yogyakarta and East Java.
Tunisian cuisine, the cuisine of Tunisia, is a blend of Mediterranean and Berber cuisines. Its distinctive spiciness comes from the many civilizations which have ruled the land now known as Tunisia: Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Spanish, Turkish, Italians (Sicilians), French, and the native Punics-Berber people. Many of the cooking styles and utensils began to take shape when the ancient tribes were nomads. Nomadic people were limited in their cooking implements by what pots and pans they could carry with them. The Tunisian tagine is very different from the Algerian or Moroccan dish. It is a type of a pie dish, made out of eggs, meat and vegetables, similar to the Italian frittata or the eggah.
The cuisine of Algeria is influenced by Algeria's interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations over the centuries. It is characterized by a wealth derived from both land and sea products. Conquests or demographic movement towards the Algerian territory were two of the main factors of exchanges between the different peoples and cultures. This cuisine is a Mediterranean and North African cuisine with Berber roots.
The cuisine of the Community of Madrid is an amalgamation of the cuisines of various regions of Spain developed, in part, by mass migration to the capital city starting during the reign of King Felipe II. As the city grew, it incorporated the culinary traditions of the municipalities it absorbed into the area now known as the Community of Madrid.
The bocadillo or bocata, in Spain, is a sandwich made with Spanish bread, usually a baguette or similar type of bread, cut lengthwise. Traditionally seen as a humble food, its low cost has allowed it to evolve over time into an iconic piece of cuisine. In Spain, they are often eaten in cafes and tapas bars.
Malaysian Indian cuisine, or the cooking of the ethnic Indian communities in Malaysia consists of adaptations of authentic dishes from India, as well as original creations inspired by the diverse food culture of Malaysia. Because the vast majority of Malaysia's Indian community are of South Indian descent, and are mostly ethnic Tamils who are descendants of immigrants from a historical region which consists of the modern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka's Northern Province, much of Malaysian Indian cuisine is predominantly South Indian inspired in character and taste. A typical Malaysian Indian dish is likely to be redolent with curry leaves, whole and powdered spice, and contains fresh coconut in various forms. Ghee is still widely used for cooking, although vegetable oils and refined palm oils are now commonplace in home kitchens. Before a meal it is customary to wash hands as cutlery is often not used while eating, with the exception of a serving spoon for each respective dish.
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