Tapas is a very Spanish way of eating by grabbing a bite here and there. The tapas concept seems to fill British taste buds with excitement. The problem is the misinterpretation of the concept tapas, which seems to have evolved into the following: Tapas; a really small version of a pseudo-Spanish dish for which you will pay twice the amount the full plate will cost.
It really looks like Chinese whispers to me. When travelling from Spain to the UK a simple, plain, straightforward concept has been turned upside down?
But let´s start from the beginning. What is a tapa? It is said that during the Inquisition, the Catholic Monarchs were travelling across southern Spain. It was August, the weather was exceedingly hot and those ridiculous clothes with millions of layers weren´t helping at all, so King Ferdinando, who was fond of plonk, fancied a stop at a pub for a drink. The poor Queen Isabella followed him shooing away as best she could the hundreds of flies hovering around.
The barman, aware of the importance of the clients, tried to avoid any unfortunate flies falling into the King´s brew by putting a slice of cured ham on top of the glass. "Your Majesty, here is your tapa", he said (explanation: "tapa" means "lid" in Spanish).
Since that day, the King, and subsequently all the aristocracy, required a tapa with every single drink they had. Soon, this turned into a tradition that has become famous all around the world.
Tapas is, therefore, a small portion of food that is served FOR FREE. That is, with every single drink ordered in a pub you get a free mini dish that may be not so mini in certain places.
In Granada, where I come from and the best place for tapas in my opinion, you can easily get a double cheese and bacon hamburger with fries plus half pint beer for just 2,5 euros.
Some places have a tapas menu, so you can choose which tapa you prefer. They normally allow up to 2 different dishes per round per group. In other places, there are a set list of tapas getting the food better the more drinks ordered. Also, there are places where you can get a prize if you drink a certain number of glasses of wine or beer. For example, every 10 beers you get a free bottle of wine, a double size tapa or even a pair of espadrilles (truthful example).
This week´s recipe could be a perfectly formed tapa: quick to make, quick to eat and perfect to go along with a cold beer.
WHAT DO YOU NEED
1 Puff Pastry Roll
300gr Bacon Rashers
WHAT DO YOU DO
Preheat oven to 225C.
Unroll the puff pastry. Lay the bacon in rows and with the help of a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the pastry in rectangles.
Put one date in each one of and roll them up carefully.
Put two rolls per skewer and bake for 15/17 mins.
Serve warm or cold.