Waking up in the middle of the afternoon after a fun fuelled night in Madrid experiencing how the Spanish party for Eurovision, I was desperately hungry. Imagine me as the cookie monster. I need my cookies to be shovelled into my mouth from a digger. So I agreed with Auston and Dave of Two Bad Tourists to go out for Tapas.
Yes, Tapas. (from the spanish word tapar – to cover) Those delightful small portions that come with a drink whether you want it or not. And I love them. Yet hate them.
It’s a Russian roulette to see if it satisfies you so the element of control is taken out. So I will give you my reasons why I love them…and hate them.
Reasons why I LOVE Tapas
1) You get food with every drink.
I can’t believe why no other country is tapping into this. I fancy having a munch with my drink and it’s a great way to counter effect the influence of alcohol in your bloodstream to stop you from falling drunk. There are many theories how this was introduced. One such reason is that a bar covered up the fruity drinks with a plate of food or a slice of bread to stop the fruit flies from drowning a horrible death causing an unpleasant taste for the drinker. That sounds boring. So I preferred the theory that King Felippe ordered that for every drink his workmen, on his new palace, be given something to eat during their siestas to stop them returning to work drunk. That’s a great theory so why can’t this be implemented for our workers who like to go for their liquid lunches?
2) It’s something to Eat until Dinner!
Now, back at home, I normally have my evening meal between 5pm-7pm but guess what? It’s not the same in Spain. It’s actually 9pm-11pm! So imagine yourself 4 hours after your lunch at 2pm and you’re still hungry! Yet at the same time, you want to drink with your mates. So here’s a great way to keep those stomachs full until dinner.
3) It’s all about the Chorizo
My favourite meat ever! 75% of the tapas served will have chorizo in them. Before you can say Chorizo Maminto, I’ll have scoffed the lot. The taste..ohhh! The smell..ooh! If I die, I want to go to chorizo heaven.
4) Variety is the Spice of Life
There are so many tapas to try out. I still haven’t had them all. Whether they are potatoes, meat, cheese, ham or even seafood, it’s nice not to have to restrict yourself to a staple diet that you depend at home. Back at home, there’s guaranteed to be pork chops, a salad, chips and beans on a weekly basis. So, when you go out for that drink, you can be in anticipation on what yumminness comes before you…
5) You can Talk to Your Friends even if You’re Deaf
Ever had that moment when a big steaming meal is placed before you and you’re out with your friends? It’s formal. It’s awkward. And there’s a food barrier between you both. I don’t mind, I love food but I do feel like I’m not as social with them as I normally would. Normally because I can’t eat and listen at the same time due to my deafness. It’s probably that I’m a man and I can’t do two things at once. But it was a revelation that I could be social and eat tapas at the same time. How? I could cram a small portion of tapas in my mouth at the speed of light and still listen what boring subject the Two Bad Tourists had to talk about…I mean..how exciting they could be. Each tapas size is literally for your mouth so I could chomp merrily and still be able to partake in the conversation.
Reasons why I HATE Tapas
1) I’m Still Hungry
I’m British. We’re known for our Yorkshire Puddings, fish n chips, and Cornish Pasties. I’ll tell you, they are humongous! But Tapas? Nada. They are SMALL! Sometimes they are so small I’ve already stuffed the entire lot in one mouthful and yet I don’t have the big mouth like Dave. Why wave something so delicious in front of me but give me the no satisfaction feel? The worse one was in Cordoba for 1.50 euro I got give a breadstick in some cream. It was nice, but I wanted more.
2) Are they actually Value for Money?
After enthusing that Tapas is great for my bank account, I suddenly came to the conclusion that Tapas is no way value for money. I couldn’t believe how some establishments threw up a smokescreen. They advertise offers that if you get a tapa with your drink then you only have to pay 1 euro more. Hang on, this is what Granada DIDN’T DO. For every drink you ordered, you got one for free. So beforehand in Madrid, Seville and even Cordoba, you would get a small drink and a small tapa for 3 euro. Woah, I could get a simple sandwich and a drink for that price back at home… rip off maybe?
3) You don’t Know what you are Getting…
Like I said, it’s Russian Roulette. Some bars won’t give you the chance to order what you want. So if you’re vegetarian (I’m not, by the way), you’re completely and hopelessly screwed. So after ordering a Sangria, you’re given on what’s available at the time. So if you’re fusst about food, I’d give Tapas a miss. But luckily for me, I’m not as I’m the equivalent of a human vacuum! But at the same time, I’d like to have the control to have something I really, really, really, want!
4) Tapas Mondays
If you’re out and about on a Monday. GO HOME! It’s not worth even going for tapas on Mondays. When I was in Cordoba for a day and a night, it was impossible to find a restaurant or even a bar that was open. In Madrid, you may have such luck. So in the end, we ended up having some pathetic tapas.
5) I’m Still….Still Hungry
That goes without saying….
So what do you think of Tapas?
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I love tapas! There’s something about getting food with your drinks that makes the experience so much better. The small size is perfect so that you can try a couple of different dishes without getting full.
Restaurants in Vancouver are popping up with the tapas craze, except that somehow tapas here have become a high-price experience. You go out specifically for tapas, have to order a bunch (so that, as you said, you won’t end up hungry), and typically have to pay $5-$10 per plate. Add beer / wine to the mix, and before you know it, your tapas experience just cost you $50-$75 per person.
Can’t wait to return to Spain… Been too long!
It’s the same in the UK. It’s far more overpriced and I refuse to go to a restaurant here although there is a tapas restaurant just opened here.
I can’t believe why no other country is tapping into this.
have you ever heard of Italian aperitivo?
No I haven’t!
Or ciccetti from Venice?
Or Venetian ciccetti?