When asked what the favorite highlight was of a trip to Malaga, many a tourist says: "The tapas"!
Yes, tourists and tapas, it's a never ending love story.
What is a tapa?
A tapa is the small bite you can order with a drink.
It can be just a small plate of olives, to dozens of little appetizers.
Such a tapa used to be automatically added, and for free. Today this is rarely ever the case.
But they can be ordered basically everywhere, for the love for tasting is deeply rooted in the Andalusian culture. From just a few choices a few decades ago, one can now go for all sorts of new inventions, styles and 'designer tapas'.
Are you more hungry than that? Then simply order a 'racion' or a portion. It is very common to order a portion even if you are 2, 3 or more people sitting at the table. The portions are then put in the middle of the table and everyone picks what he or she likes most.
Origins of the tapa?
The word 'tapa' stems from tapar, or to cover. Which comes from the habit of putting a small plate on a beer or wine, to cover the it from sand, dust or falling leaves. And for reasons of a nice presentation one might as well put some olives in that plate.
Usually it were rather salty products, for they would whet the thirst.
The 3 most popular tapas with tourists?
The Number One tapa? Hands down?
Generally served in thin slices, this dry-cured ham is made from the landrace breed of white pig.
It's the culinary symbol of Spain and immensely popular, by Andalucians and tourists alike.
A very nice bite, in combination with 'picos', the mini breadsticks with traditional olive oil.
Also liked by almost everyone: cubes of roasted potato, in a spicy tomato sauce. Especially when you feel your stomach can use some 'real' food.
As said though, the choice is limitless. A very good idea is: to follow the Spaniards.
When it is crowded and you see many Spaniards eating… you know it's the place with the best tapas!