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article - those tempting little spanish dishes

Terrific ... tremendous ... titillating ... authentic spanish tapas dishes are a truly temtping treat!

And, whichever Spanish bar you frequent, in whichever area of the country, you'll more-than-likely encounter a glorious array.

Recently, there's been a tremendous surge in their popularity, resulting in their rebirth to more sophisticated and fantastically-presented versions.

So ... what exactly are these delightful little dishes, and where do they originate?

Tapas are - essentially - snacks and the word literally means "cover".

Although there are a number of theories, it's believed the name originates from the card which used to be placed on top of your drink to protect it from flies.

At some point in time, it became popular to place a little snack on top of this card.

At first, this would have been a simple offering - nuts and olives ... a fresh slice of crusty Spanish bread plus topping ...

In those, not-so-far-gone days, the tapas were free.

That's not always the case these days, though you may well be presented with a small dish of crisps or olives to accompany your drink.

So ... how about trying your hand at concocting your own tapas?

Start off with this well-known potato recipe called "Patatas Bravas". It's an old Spanish favorite ... simple to prepare ... using basic ingredients.

However - as it's name suggests - this authentic spanish tapas dish should only be savored by the courageous as it's spicy ...


  • 750 g potatoes
  • 4 dessertspoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons mild paprika
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 dessertspoons red vinegar wine
  • 2 teaspoons tomato pur e


  • Peel potatoes and cut into chunks.
  • Fry in oil for 3-4 minutes until lightly colored.
  • Add salt and pepper to potatoes.
  • Cover pan, lower heat and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with paprika and cayenne. Increase heat.
  • Mix wine vinegar with tomato pur e. Add to pan.
  • Cook a couple of minutes, constantly stirring.
  • There should be no loose liquid or oil in the pan.

And that's just one of many authentic spanish tapas dishes you get to enjoy whilst relaxing in the shade in Spain.

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by Linda Plummer of Top Tour of Spain

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