Tapas 101, welcome to Spain

Every time you hear about Spain you hear about tapas, though your not completely sure what to expect of them. This is your post then!

Not really knowing what a cultural or typical thing of other country is a truly common feeling and today we will help to get to know tapas a bit better before you arrive to Madrid. So, let’s start with our tapas for beginners. We promise we’ll try to answer all your questions about the arts of tapas.

What are tapas?

The literal meaning of a tapa is a cover or a lid (something used to cover, for example, a cup), and historically they were tiny plates or bread pieces (with food) used to cover up wine glasses and protect the drink from the flies and the dust in the countryside. Nowadays, a tapa is a type of snack, a bite like food that you get when you order a drink in Spain. Most places offer you tapas for free, though they have become fancier and depending on the bar you can get them for a small extra fee.

So basically, a tapa is a small dish served as a snack that you get every time you order a beer or wine (but also with soda, and sometimes with coffee even!).

How do you do tapas?

Well, first of all you don’t do tapas. What you do is tapear, meaning that you hop from bar to bar drinking wine or beer and grabbing that bit of a snack. So basically you go to a bar and order a drink and get food for free. Hey! You cannot scrounge from your friends’ tapas, so play fair!

De tapeo in a typical Spanish bar

Where can you find tapas?

So, almost every bar in Spain offers a tapa. As we already said, some of them are as fancy as a piece of fish with a really delicious dressing and a beautiful aspect and others… well, some tapas are just chips, olives or croquetas (hey, they are for free so be grateful anyways!). The north and the south of Spain are really well know for their tapas –since you can really have lunch or dinner with them–, though there are plenty of places in Madrid where you can enjoy them. Also, if the waiter doesn’t serve the tapa right away you can always ask “una tapita, por favor”.

Near our school there are plenty of places. Just walk in a random bar in Madrid and find what they offer!

When can you eat tapas?

Have you ever found yourself out and wondering if it’s the right time to step into a bar an get some tapas? Well, don’t worry about it anymore: ANYTIME IS TAPAS’ TIME!

First things first, you know in Spain we have pretty heavy lunches around 2 or 3 pm, don’t you? So, if you are craving for food and it is not Spanish lunchtime yet that means it is the perfect moment for a bit of tapeo. Do you want an early (for Spain) dinner but cannot find an open restaurant? Well, tapas’ time! I guess you get it already….

Why don’t you go and try some tapas and let us know about your experience? Inhispania’s team is eager to hear them!

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