Tapas: Iberian Appetizers Article - Allrecipes.com
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Tapas: Iberian Appetizers

Originating in southern Spain, tapas are assorted snacks and nibbles typically shared over a drink with friends.

Small Servings

Like the antipasti of Italy and mezze of Greece, tapas are small plates of food enjoyed as a leisurely first course, or even eaten instead of a main meal. The word tapas comes from the Spanish tapar, "to cover," referring to a slice of bread or meat laid across a glass of sherry or other wine.

Create a fun, innovative meal by displaying an assortment of salty, savory dishes, warm and chilled foods, and a variety of crisp, chewy and soft, succulent textures. Roasted almonds, olives, cheese, bread and seafood--sardines, anchovies, tuna, cod--are standard fare.


Start with a colorful array of marinated olives, marinated red peppers and hot and spicy pecans.  (To make it more traditional, substitute Marcona almonds for the pecans, and Pimenton, smoked paprika, for the chili powder.) Spanish sheep's milk cheeses, such as Manchego, are commonly served with dried fig cake or Membrillo, a thickened, sliceable quince jelly. Serve breadsticks (picos) or crackers. Lavosh--a crisp flatbread--is Armenian, not Spanish, but it is a perfect accompaniment on your tapas table.

Many dishes can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature or chilled.

Hot Plates

Once your guests have taken the edge off their hunger, reawaken those appetites with these hot delicacies. (Note: Bacalau must be prepared 24 hours in advance.)


In addition to dry (Fino and Manzanilla) or medium-dry (Amontillado) sherries, offer cold pitchers of sangria and chilled Spanish or Portuguese white wine (Vinho Verde).


If you choose to make a meal of tapas, finish off with individual custard cups of Spanish Flan or any of these sweet ideas:

Aug. 26, 2010 8:54 am
You put it all together. Can't wait to try it. Great info!!!
Nov. 6, 2010 4:28 pm
Tapas are wonderful for a meal. My husband and I do "Tapas Night" at least once a month. We go to our local food mart and hit up the olive bar/cheese shop and munchie isle and do it up in front of the TV as a little date night. Awesome advice for new date night treats. Thank you.
ela roza 
Jun. 26, 2011 8:25 pm
Sounds great ! We love an international food and we will do it very soon. Great recipes !!
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