Food-and-Drink Now, I’m not what you’d call a ‘Big Bloke’, but I do like my food and I especially like Spanish Tapas which are essentially small tasty snacks served with drinks in Spanish bars and cafes. Rather than dine in a single place, the ever-social Spaniards go out for Tapas. You could call it the Iberian equivalent of a ‘Pub Crawl’, but without the falling over bit at the end of the evening. There are many different styles and varieties of Tapas, many taking the flavour of locally available ingredients and tastes. Widely consumed all over the Iberian peninsula, Tapas are now also enjoyed by diners all over the world, but let’s face it, Spain is the Daddy. The thing I love about Tapas, is that they’re available everywhere. If you’re feeling a bit peckish, you don’t have to settle for a bag of crisps or a soggy meat pie from the service station. They’re there, everywhere from the town centres to the roadside cafes. I luv em’. I, being a simple kind of soul, favour ‘Carne con Tomate’, which means simply, ‘Meat with tomato’. I know, it sounds a little bit boring, but you really have to taste it to appreciate it. Another similar Tapa is ‘Albondigas’ ( meatballs), ‘Magro’ means lean, another Tapa served in tomato sauce. Of course you don’t have to take the carnivorous route. Spectacular Salads sprinkled with Olive Oil (I’m not talking about Popeye’s girlfriend here) can be wonderful during the summer months, or how about a tomato stuffed with rice and other goodies? What about the seafood?’ I hear you cry. Well, what about the seafood? I don’ t like it myself. Ok, ok…I know a lot of you do, so I’ve included a little photo of ‘Pulpo’ (Octopus), which puts me right off, but I know a lot of you will be drooling at the sight of it. One advantage I suppose is, if there’s few of you, you don’t have to argue over the legs. Seriously though, my point is that Tapas .e in all shapes and sizes, and there really is something for everyone. Other favourite Seafood Tapas include Fried White Anchovies, Squid with bacon. Gambas pil pil (prawns in garlic sauce), Roasted Clams etc, etc, etc. I could go on, but I’ve probably gone on long enough. I do go a bit you know. Did I ever tell you about the time I…ouch! That was my wife slapping me across the back of the head with a Salted Cod. I suppose it’s now be.e an Assaulted Cod…or is it me… The history of Tapas can be traced back to the Moorish presence in Spanish between the 7th and 15th centuries AD. The Moors had a love for small dishes with exotic ingredients such as peppers, almonds, garlic and saffron. This influenced a cross over to Spanish culture and has be.e one of Spain’s most renowned culinary traditions. There are several theories to as to the origin of Tapas. The word "Tapa" means, "cover" in Spanish and a .monly cited explanation is that Tapas were placed on the top of a drink to protect it from flies. Perhaps not the most hygienic of theories! Another is that the ailing king Alfonso X on the orders from his doctors ate small portions of food with wine as part of his medical treatment. Having been cured of his ailments the learned king continued the practice and was soon imitated by other members of the Spanish court and nobles. Well, I’m not sure if any of that is true, but I do know that they taste good, so if you’re ever feeling a little peckish whilst on the road or in a Spanish town, be sure to pop into the nearest bar and enjoy a Tapa. Some of the most satisfying ‘Tapa’ experiences I have enjoyed, has been as a member of a group. We all select a Tapa each, then delve into each others dishes. This, of course, is highly enhanced by a bottle or two of Spanish wine, or a tubo of cerveza. This way of enjoying Tapas is also a fantastic way of trying different ones to see where your tastes lie. One thing’s for sure; once you’ve tried them, a soggy pie will never seem the same again. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: