13 Sep Top 4 Tapas in Barcelona
One of the most popular dishes of Spanish gastronomy is “tapas”. In today’s blog of Hotel Arc La Rambla you will discover their origin, which are the most typical and where to eat them in Barcelona.
What is this culinary delight?
Tapas are appetizers served in bars and restaurants as an accompaniment to drinks and to whet the appetite. In some areas of Spain they are offered as a courtesy of the house and in others in small portions that must be paid for.
Each region is known for its most characteristic tapas and this tradition is so popular in Spain that it has become one of its culinary hallmarks.
What is clear is that one of the favorite plans for Spaniards and tourists is to go out for tapas or “tapear”. An experience not to be missed if you are a food lover and you are visiting Barcelona.
A peculiar origin
Behind the origin of the word tapa there are many versions, almost all related to the monarchy: from the Catholic Monarchs to King Alfonso X the Wise. However, the most widespread story is that of King Alfonso XIII.
It is said that the king was passing through Cadiz and entered an inn to drink a glass of wine. The hygienic conditions of the time were not the best and the tavern was full of dust and flies. To prevent dirt from entering his majesty’s drink, the waiter put a piece of ham on top of the glass. When the king asked what it was, the waiter replied: a tapa (in Spanish the word “tapa” means lid). In the next round the king asked again for a “copa con tapa” ( a cup with a lid) and it is said that from then on he asked for it wherever he went.
The most popular tapas
There are tapas of all kinds: hot, cold, meat, fish, fried, baked, in sauce, salty, sweet… What’s more, there are different versions of the same tapa. As the variety is infinite, we will focus on those most typical of Barcelona. The ones you must try:
1. Patatas Bravas (Spicy potatoes)
The success is in the simplicity. This appetizer is usually shared among diners while waiting for the first course or having a beer with friends. Its preparation is simple: fried potatoes in the shape of a cube, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The secret is in the sauce that accompanies them, each bar has its own. The “salsa brava” (spicy sauce) is made with tomato, garlic and spices and has a very peculiar flavor. They are also usually accompanied with alioli, the famous Catalan sauce.
If you want to try the best ones, you have to go to Bar Tomás.
2. Ensaladilla rusa (Russian Salad)
Don’t be fooled by the name, although it is a salad, it is not light at all. This dish is made with pieces of carrot, peas, potatoes and boiled egg. It is served cold and is topped with tuna and a large amount of mayonnaise. It is typically accompanied with croutons.
3. Las Anchoas y Los Boquerones (Anchovies)
Not suitable for all tastes. These foods come from the same family of fish and both are served filleted. The difference between them is the color and the preparation. In the case of anchovies, they must be marinated in vinegar for a few hours until they turn white. They are served with oil, garlic and parsley. The preparation of anchovies is a little more laborious: they are left in salt for between 6 and 8 months so that they reach their optimum curing point. After this time, when they are already brown, the salt is removed and they are served in oil.
Both preserves have a strong flavor, which is why not everyone likes them. However, there are those who consider them a delicacy of the gods. For this occasion you have to go to the mythical Bar Pinotxo. It is located in the heart of the Rambla and is a symbol of the Boqueria and Barcelona. A place where you will enjoy the best market cuisine.
4. La Bomba (The Bomb)
This tapa lives up to its name. It is an explosion of flavor and cholesterol. The bomba recipe consists of boiled potato balls stuffed with spicy meat and tomato. They are then floured, coated in batter and served with allioli. Everyone who tries it agrees, this tapa is addictive.
We hope you find our suggestions useful and that you enjoy one of the best things about Barcelona, its food.
Enjoy your meal!