Tapas: Spain’s greatest food invention

By TASTE, 14 September 2014

Tapas are the ultimate way of sharing food. As simple as a bowl of olives or as delicious as fried, fresh sardines, tapas are small portions of food served with drinks in Spanish homes and bars. Add friends and a pitcher of sangria, and what starts off as tapas can easily turn into a full-blown fiesta!

The idea of tapas comes from Andalusia in Spain in the 19th century where people used little slices of bread and cheese or sausage to cover (or tapar) their glasses of wine and sherry – presumably to prevent flies from falling in.

These days, it's simply a collection of delicious nibbles, made from fresh, quality ingredients and that differ in flavour and texture. Traditionally one tapa per person is served, and a different one with each drink, so everyone enjoys tasting and sharing.


Head off to Woolworths or your nearest deli and stock up on these:

  • Onions in Balsamic – Borettane onions in a balsamic-vinegar marinade
  • Mixed mushrooms – white button, straw and gilled mushrooms in a lightly seasoned sunflower oil
  • Capers in a wine vinegar
  • Sun dried tomato tapenade
  • Black olive tapenade
  • Basil pesto
  • Rocket pesto
  • Sun-dried tomato pesto
  • Marinated quartered artichokes
  • Marinated whole artichokes
  • Queen olives
  • Kalamata olives
  • Hand-stuffed Spanish olives with almonds
  • Hand stuffed Spanish olives with chilli


Heat oil in a deep saucepan. Coat 12 - 16 mixed fresh chillies with 1 lightly beaten egg and dip them into 1/2 cup polenta. Deep-fry until golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Serve hot.



Article by TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.
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