Tapas are a Spanish snack or appetizer usually taken with a drink at lunchtime or in the early evening. But back when Tapas were first created they were just hunks of bread put over a glass to keep out dirt and insects. Tapa actually means cover or lid. The Spanish hardly drank without food, so it made sense to have an accompaniment to their drink. Some historians believe that the tapa was born when, due to an illness, the Spanish king Alfonso the 10th, had to take small bites of food with some wine between meals. Once recovered from the disease, the king decreed that no wine was to be served in any of the inns in the land of Castile , unless accompanied by something to eat. Other than the story of the royal disease there was the theory that the tapa first appeared because of the need of farmers and workers of other unions to take a small amount of food during their working time, which allowed them to carry on working until time for the main meal. Although we don't know for sure where the first tapa originated, we know many theories. Once taverns and bars became common throughout Spain, the supposed king's decree held its place. For that reason, the glass or jar of wine was served covered with a slice of either smoked ham or cheese. This was the origin of the tapa, a solid food that covered the wineglass but also a word rooted in the Spanish tradition. And so the tradition of the tapa spread throughout Spain, and continues right up to this present day. Many other countries have adopted the tapa, serving it in many different ways.
Tapas recipes vary according to the taste and traditions of each region. But the tapas most often served are usually those including the many variety of olives, dry nuts, as well as many kinds of cold cuts. Nowadays, the tapa includes many other recipes for appetizers. Tapas recipes use a wide variety of animal-derived products, such as meat, fish and eggs and also agricultural products such as vegetables. Tapas are supposed to be simple food that don't require alot of perparation.

Foie Toast with Jamon Iberico

This delicious and Special Ham deserves its own space. external image foie-t1.jpgIt should be eaten at room temperature, never cold.
  • 1 lb. onions
  • 8 olive oil spoons
  • 1 sugar spoon
  • 4-8 big slices of bread
  • 4-8 duck foie filette
  • 4-8 Slices of Jamon Iberico
  • salt


Slice the onions and put in a pot with the olive oil and sugar.
Cook at low fire for 1 hour (microwave 15 minutes). Cover the pot.
Cook for another hour without the cover at low fire.
Toast the bread and spread the mixture on it.
Lay one slice of Jamon Iberico on top.
Prepare a pan at high fire and when it's very hot cook only for 30 seconds each side of the duck foie.
Lay it on top of the Iberian acorn ham and pour some kitchen salt on it.

Green Asparaguses with Fresh Salmon

This is an innovative tapa with fresh ingredients: salmon and green asparagus! Healthy and full of flavor!
  • Diners: 4
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes


  • 24 green asparaguses
  • 12 sheets of fresh salmon
  • 7 oz. of butter
  • 15 fl. oz of fish broth
  • Salt, pepper, parsley


Peel the asparaguses and cook them with water and salt, during 10 minutes. Drain them and let them to cool down, wrap them in pairs with a salmon sheet, so that the tips are not covered, add some fish broth and bake them in the oven for 5 minutes.
Drain the broth and keep the asparaguses warm, add to the broth the chopped parsley, some salt, pepper and the butter to mount it with a mixer until it is very bound.
Place in each plate three bundles and season them with the very hot sauce.


Tuna and Goat Cheese Empanadillas

Empanadas are crisp turnovers that can be filled with anything from ham and cheese to spinach or yesterday's leftovers. Altough they are often associated with South America, empanadas originated in Spain. Empanadillas, the smaller, pocket-size versions of empanadas, are generally served as tapas. They don't require silverware, which makes them a great party food!
  • Serves 6 to 8
  • 60 minutes preparation


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons minced onion
  • 6 oz canned tuna, packed in olive oil
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 3 oz pimento-stuffed olives, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 5 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 16 oz puff pastry, defrosted if frozen


Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Using a fork, mash the tuna with the onion, garlic, goat cheese, pimento-stuffed olives, pine nuts, capers, paprika, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many dough circles as the dough will allow, rerolling the dough sheets if necessary. Cupping each dough round in your hand, spoon about 1 teaspoon of the filing into the center of each dough round, then brush the edges with a little water. fold the dough over the mixture to form a crescent. Pinch the edges of crescent to seal the dough closed. Use the back of a fork to further press the edges of the dough together.