One of the best things about the weather turning cold in Spain is that it’s a perfect excuse to enjoy winter warming dishes. The Local asked foodie experts Devour Spain for the top ten perfect tapas to warm yourselves up on a chilly day.
Spain is said to have more bars per square foot than any other country. Of course, we couldn’t be happier about this! There is something comforting about a tiny Spanish bar with its tall wooden stools, impossibly narrow entryway and more often than not, standing room only.
Everyone inside is laughing and shouting with a drink in their hand. And of course, you’ll also need something to nibble on as you toast with your glass of Rioja or caña of beer. Enter the tapa; that quintessentially Spanish great little bite of food that has become synonymous with Spanish culture.
Champiñones rellenos (stuffed mushrooms)
There are entire bars devoted to the perfect stuffed mushroom tapa. The technique is pretty easy. Take button mushroom tops, fill them to the brim with olive oil, garlic and bits of Iberian ham and wait for them to cook on the grill. This is a cold weather tapa that you can’t miss!
These delicious Spanish meatballs are usually served in a small clay dish with a little cracker called a pico on the side. You might get one or two meatballs as a tapa and they will be smothered in the most delicious sauce (usually homemade by the cook!) Especially delicious are the meatballs with almond sauce. They’re rich and satisfying on a cold winter night.
Croquetas (Spanish croquettes)
Croquettes, when they are homemade, are easily one of our favorite cold weather tapas. When you bite into the fried croquette, you’ll find a perfect creamy mix of béchamel sauce and bits of chicken, ham, mushroom, spinach (or whatever is on hand in the kitchen). Some say that croquettes are Spain’s answer to leftovers. If that’s the case, then this little tapa is the best use of leftovers we’ve ever seen!
Chorizo a la sidra (chorizo cooked in cider)
If you’ve ever tried Spanish chorizo sausage, you will know that this tapa has to be good! Here, the classic Spanish sausage is simmered in cider until tender and cooked through. The result is a rich and savory tapa typical of the region of Asturias.
Buñuelos de bacalao (salt cod fritters)
Salt cod is one of the most common fish used in Spanish cooking, and the main ingredient in this cold weather tapa. The fritters are generally served with a bit of garlic mayonnaise, which complements the saltiness of the cod perfectly. We also like to enjoy this tapa with a local beer.