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Tapas in Almeria

Almeria province is famous for its “tapas”, but what are "tapas"? Defined by the Spanish Royal Academy Dictionary as "Small portion of food served to accompany a drink", this concept is much more widespread throughout the country and is widely served as an appetizer in bars.

Historical reviews on the tapas

Although there are prominent references to taking a small portion of food, accompanying drink, before the main meal of the day: Cervantes in Don Quixote speaks of "covers" and Quevedo's "warners" or "reminders", so there is no doubt to consider "tapas" as a typical product of Andalusia which became generalized in the mid-nineteenth century and since then has spread throughout the Spanish geography.

In a sense, one can consider that the tapa was just a kind of security measure, as early tapas were, for some people, simply a slice of salami or a slice of ham to “hide” the glass of wine or chamomile drink, while for others they were like plugs with which to “cover” the hole left by wine in one’s stomach.

Tapas have evolved from what was simply what accompanied the drink like an olive or a slice of salami, not decided by the client, to what might nowadays be considered virtually as a gastronomic Olympic competition, with menus of tapas which could even compete with many restaurants.

However, having tapas is much more than a Spanish replica to the "fast food" imposed by modern life in large cities or Anglo-Saxon fashions. It is a way of live, and represents sharing an open common area –the counter- where a nudge is exchanged for a smile, spontaneous conversations are improvised and anybody can join the original group.

Perhaps that is why the tapas were born and developed in places with people of open, friendly and noisy character, as those of Andalusia, the Basque Country, Navarra, La Rioja, Valencia, Murcia and Galicia in some way also, where gangs of young and not so young people go out for tapas along well-established routes.

A special case is Barcelona, a city with no tradition for tapas, though it is true that on Sundays was very common for the family from taking a drink “fer el vermut "in the local bar, but it was not customary to have drinks and tapas so there were hardly any bars which offered them, apart from a few scattered bars, owned mainly by people from Galicia and Andalusia who recreated environments of their home lands. But all this has changed and, at present, Barcelona has one of the largest variety of "tapas" in Spain. In the past three years a large number of such bars have appeared in Barcelona to delight the visitors who flow to this cosmopolitan city.

Recommended tapas bars

  • Alcázar
    Paseo de Almería, 4
    Seafood, fried and marinated fish
  • Robles
    Avda. de Estadio
    We recommend asking for a "cateto"
  • Bodeguilla Marqués de Heredia
    Plaza Marqués de Heredia
    Cozy house located in the historic city center, next to Teatro Cervantes. It has a large terrace y a wide variety of tapas.
  • Casa Puga
    C\Jovellanos, 7
    Founded in the late nineteenth century, they have more than 70 different good and large tapas, particularly the scampi and grilled eggs.
  • Bodega Capel
    C\Nuestra Sra. del Mar
    Andalusian bar with a variety of tapas, including local dishes like gurullos, migas, wheat (trigo), etc.
  • El quinto toro
    C\Juan Leal, 6
    Bullfighting atmosphere. Se recomienda pedir el chato casero para acompañar las patatas a lo pobre, callos o fritada de lomo. It is recommended to ask for “el chato casero” with “patatas a lo pobre” corns and fried loin.
  • La encina
    C\ Marín, 6. Junto a la plaza vieja.
    Restaurant-tavern with very good decoration.
  • Las botas
    C\Fructuoso Pérez, 3
    Pickled hake, cheese or ham selection, old cheese and Jabugo ham.

Updated by: STIC

Date: 29 September 2009

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