Spanish tapas are the equivalent of appetizers here in America. But in Spain, tapas have developed into a sophisticated cuisine in which many different tapas are sometimes combined to make a full meal. In fact, dining on tapas is a significant part of the culture.
Dinner in Spain is customarily served late by American standards — between 9 and midnight — and lunch is usually served between 2 and 4 p.m. As a result, when Spaniards frequent bars they often dine on tapas after work and before dinner, or around noon before lunch.
Bars and small restaurants typically have 8 to 12 different kinds of tapas in warming trays flavored with garlic, chilies or paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, saffron and olive oil.
A few years back, FriendsEAT founders Blanca Valbuena and Antonio Evans traveled to Spain and photographed some of the sumptuous tapas they enjoyed in Barcelona.
Here is a sampling of some of the tapas they enjoyed.
Since tapas are the perfect introduction to Spanish cuisine, we’ve handpicked 17 delicious recipes to get you started.
(Click ‘Next’ to see all 17 Luscious Spanish Tapas Recipes)