Tapas Spain

Tapas Spain

Culinary Adventure in Barcelona, Spain

Sometimes, we are dreaming of distant and exotic places but the real beauty is relatively close to us. A place I like to return to over and over again is Spain. This country has it all: the richness of culture, history, architecture, dance, music and amazing landscapes. However, what makes Spain so unique for me is the food it offers, and rather the ways the Spaniards got creative with their food. Therefore, visiting a tapas bar is one of many unforgettable experiences that one must make while visiting Spain.

Tapas Bar and Football Game

If you want to meet locals you should definitely try to go to one of the many tapas bars in Spain depending on the city you will be visiting. The best option is to go and see a football game. The bar is full and you can really soak up the atmosphere of passion, conversation and culinary feast. The Spaniards eat relatively late at about 9 p.m. but the food is already in the bars waiting for clients by 7 p.m.  If you want to avoid crowds I advise you to come earlier.

Our Experience

One day while sightseeing Barcelona we came across one bar. We were hungry and we wanted to see the football game, so we decided to step into a typical Spanish bar. The bar was actually very cozy and it had a lot of traditional details on the walls. We came rather early, so there was nobody there except us. The football game was about to start and we saw more people coming in. There was almost no place to sit and people were still coming trying to squeeze themselves into a very small space left. In the meantime, we ordered some tapas and beers. The atmosphere was amazing! The people in the bar were cheering for their teams and we ended up sharing our tapas with a total stranger that offered us his tapas to try.

What are Tapas?

Tapas are small appetizers or snacks that can be served hot (like baby fried squid) or cold (like olives or cheese, or cold cuts of meat). They might come with a piece of bread. Tapas combined with the right choice of wine or beer make the food experience even more enjoyable. My usual order are „patatas bravas” which are sort of fried potatoes with „allioli” (mayonnaise and garlic sauce), wild muschroom „croquetas” served on a piece of bread with some béchamel on top of it. I also order „gambas al ajillo” (garlic shrimps) which is just amazingly good, and of course „jamón serrano” which is s a type of dry-cured Spanish ham.

To sum up, trying the local food in a bar seems to be a good recipe to meet some native people and soak up their culture. Meeting strangers in a foreign country is certainly a bold move, but once you break the ice, it will give you a chance of a deeper understanding of local culture, and perhaps, if you are lucky, you will make some friends for a lifetime!

Vocabulary

culinary – of, relating to, or used in cooking or the kitchen (kulinarny)

unforgettable – impossible to forget; indelibly impressed on the memory (niezapomniany)

depending on – to be conditioned (usually followed by on or upon )(w zależności od) –

soak up – absorb, take in (nasiąkać)

squeeze in – to press forcibly together (pakować się)

cheering – a set or traditional form of shout used by spectators to encourage or show enthusiasm for an athletic team, contestant, etc., as rah! rah! rah! (kibicować)

squid – any of several ten-armed cephalopods, as of the genera Loligo and Ommastrephes, having a slender body and a pair of rounded or triangular caudal fins and varying in length from 4–6 inches (10–15 cm) to 60–80 feet (18–24 meters) (ośmiornica)

dry-cured – to cure (as meat) by drying : dry-salt  (wędzony)

bold – courageous (odważny)

you break the ice – make a start (przełamanie lodów)


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