The signature snack of Spain, tapas are served in bars and restaurants across the country offering an authentic social-dining experience. Part and parcel of Spanish culture, enjoy tapas as an afternoon pick-me-up or eat them late into the night, savouring an evening with friends.
A light bite, or combined to make a bigger meal, Spain’s small plates have endless options to suit every taste – from stuffed tortillas, local olives and spiced potatoes to fried seafood, cured meats and delicious bread.
As each region has its own distinctive flavours and unique dishes, we’ve compiled a shortlist of our favourite tapas found in the areas we visit in Spain along with facts about the food, authentic recipes and where to try them!
Arròs brut is a traditional Mallorcan soup of rice, tomatoes and meats such as rabbit, pigeon or chicken. Infused with an array of aromatic herbs and spices including paprika, saffron, cinnamon and nutmeg, the flavour of this tapas is bold, tantalising and rich.
The name arròs brut, translating to ‘dirty rice’, comes from the deep reddish-brown colour the rice takes on once stewed with gamey meat and dark spices. A must-try for all travellers to the region!
Caldereta de langosta
Caldereta de langosta is a stew made with the native blue spiny lobsters that inhabit the island’s mesmerising waters.
Traditionally a dish for hungry fishermen, today the stew is a luxurious meal reserved for special occasions. The lobster is slow-cooked in a clay pot with sautéed onions, peppers and tomatoes. Lobster heads, egg yolks and chicken liver are added to enrich the dish with a deeper, intense flavour.
Often garnished with toasted almonds and fresh parsley, this is a meal to be savoured in glorious sunshine overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Strongly influenced by its French and Italian neighbours, Catalonian food has its own distinctive style, making the most of fresh ingredients found on the eastern coast of Spain. One of its most popular dishes, esqueixada, is a refreshing salad of shredded salt cod, tomatoes and olives; the perfect remedy on a hot summer day.
An age-old method for preserving fish, the cod is salt-cured and dried in a seasoned marinade. The name of the dish, esqueixada, translates from the Catalan verb meaning ‘to shred’, as the cured fish is shredded by hand to achieve the ideal texture.
A variety of cheesecake, quesada pasiega is one of the best-known dishes from the Cantabria region. A dense pudding made from milk, sugar, cheese curds, butter, flour and egg, it’s often sprinkled with rich cinnamon and lemon zest for extra flavour.
The addition of flour gives this dessert a unique edge over your regular cheesecake, lending itself to a dense, baked texture that is undeniably creamy and delicious!
Hungry for more? Why not take a look at our guided holidays in Spain and book your getaway today.