Today, we are in Barcelona at the Catalana Tapas Bar……. Won’t you join me?
We had expressed an interest in eating lunch in a tapas bar and reservations were made for us at the Catalana. It’s a good thing we had reservations, because when we were dropped off, the restaurant was packed! We asked our waiter to choose dishes for us, since we had no idea what most of them were from looking at the menu. After asking us about likes and dislikes, this is what we got! If you don’t know what a tapas bar is ……….It usually is a small establishment where small plates of various foods are served along with beer, wine or some kind of alcohol. The dishes are lined up on the counter and the various selections have toothpicks in them. You make your choices and place them on your plate. Your bill is tallied by how many toothpicks you have on your plate. The food is meant to be an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine. The food may be cold, such as mixed olives and cheese, or hot such as chopitos; food that can be battered and fried. So, don’t throw away your toothpicks! But, today we were in a restaurant setting with a menu to choose from……
How did the tapas tradition begin? The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish/Portuguese verb, tapar, “to cover or top.” Before the 19th century, roads were in bad condition; traveling was slow and exhausting. Add in the fact that many people could not read or write. So inns sprang up along the routes offering meals, rooms and fresh horses for travelers. The innkeepers offered guests a sample of the dishes available, rather than a menu.
The original tapas in Andalusian taverns were thin slices of bread or bread with meat. The bread was used to cover their glasses of sherry between sips. This practice was meant to prevent the fruit flies from hovering over their drinks. The tapas usually included pieces of ham or chorizo, which are very salty and made you very thirsty. Because of this, future bartenders and restaurants created a variety of “tapas” to serve, quick and easy! And, of course, increase their alcohol sales!
We started out with a jambon, (ham) and some cheesy stick bread and a pitcher of champagne sangria! A very good start I’d say! The dishes were very generous!
The specialty here, that everyone we met said we must try, because they were simply the best…………was fries topped with runny cooked egg! I think it has to be an acquired taste, as I don’t even like my fries with ketchup! But, when in Barcelona, do as the Catalans do to get the full experience of the meal!
The fries were followed by beef tournedos or beef tenderloin cooked in bacon………..Yummy!
After our Catalana tapas meal our driver picked us up and drove us to more places on our itinerary…….but later in the day we had to stop for this!
I hope you have enjoyed my foodie post for Friday from Barcelona………… If you would like to post your foodie photos from around the world, just leave a comment with your post and share a little about where and what you were eating! I’ll share them in my following posts every Friday! Here are few from the past week! Some good eating here!
Trix is in Germany today………….Geriatrixfotogallerie
Sarah has a treat for us!……… TravelWithMe
We are enjoying a different kind of Carrot Cake with Ju-Lyn………..Touring My Backyard