It sounds strange, but it’s true. Tapas are almost a way of life in Spain, as well as a way of eating.
On World Tapas Day, people across the globe flock to their nearest tapas bar or restaurant to experience this way of life, whereas others cook great Spanish food at home.
It takes place on the third Thursday of June every year, but if you missed it this week, worry not – because below are five delicious Spanish tapas along with easy-to-follow YouTube videos explaining exactly how to make them!
Gambas al ajillo (Prawns in garlic)
Gambas al ajillo takes a matter of minutes, but it’s not convenience that make this tapa so great. It’s made with just a few main ingredients including prawns, garlic and olive oil. And if these ingredients are good, you won’t be able to put your fork down once you start eating.
Gambas al ajillo is eaten mostly in the south and centre of Spain but is enjoyed across most of the country, including the islands. Give it a try with fresh, local Irish prawns and a roll from the bakery – you won’t be disappointed!
How to make gambas al ajillo (in English)
One of the tastiest (if not the tastiest) tapas from Andalucía is Salmorejo cordobés. As the name suggests, it originated in Córdoba, like many other famous dishes like Rabo de Toro and Flamenquín.
Salmorejo is most popular in Córdoba, where it is almost taken for granted that it will be included in any order of tapas, but is also enjoyed across the other provinces of Andalucía and in other regions of Spain.
Sometimes described as a cousin of gazpacho, it’s simpler and thicker, and the ingredients combine together to produce something incredible. It’s best eaten with a good chunk of bread and all you need are tomatoes, garlic, salt, yesterday’s bread and some good extra virgin olive oil. And maybe some chopped jamón and a diced boiled egg for serving … y ya está – that’s it!
How to make salmorejo cordobés (with English subtitles)
Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette)
The famous Spanish omelette is another dish with very few ingredients. Tortilla de patatas – or Tortilla española – is popular across most of Spain, and is best eaten with some bread and a smidgen of mayonnaise on the side (and of course an array of other tapas!) Forget about bacon, cheese and a random mix of herbs and vegetables because a tortilla has just fried potatoes, olive oil and eggs. Onions are optional – some bars in Spain add onions, some don’t. So that’s up to yourself!
How to make Spanish tortilla (in English)
Croquetas or croquettes are also one of the most popular tapas in many regions in Spain – and for a good reason. They’re delicious. They normally have a ‘filling’ (mixed into the béchamel) – jamón is probably the tastiest – but you can add oxtail, mushrooms or chicken. Or anything you like really, within reason. Vegetarians can enjoy croquetas too by not adding meat!
How to make croquetas (with English subtitles)
Pulpo a la Gallega (octopus)
Octopus is not something we tend to eat too often in Ireland – but we’re missing out. It is considered a delicacy in many countries – and its popularity is rising here too. With the meaty octopus, simplicity is key. The pulpo is the star of the show, always, but there might be room on the plate for a little bit of mashed potatoes or purée. Pulpo a la Gallega – from Galicia is one of the most famous tapas in Spain, and you just must try it… It’s indescribable.
How to make Pulpo (choose English translated subtitles [Cc])