Gathering around good food with family or great friends always makes everything better.
Having a tapas style dinner is a perfect way to share the everyday or the special, and just as important as the food that is served is that it is shared.
Thought to originate in Spain, this style of eating allows guests to select favorites or try out different foods with no main course to dictate what or how much to enjoy. Traditionally, tapas is served when people gather, socialize and graze on snacks consisting of a variety of foods in snack sized portions and appetizer presentations served in small dishes, or cazuelas.
The word tapas or tapar in Spanish transfers to lids or means to cover in English. It is believed that this refers to when tapas surfaced, as a slice of bread or meat was placed over a dish or glass serving as the lid, mainly to ward off insects.
There are endless regional favorites and recipes, and anyone can put together a tapas bar with some things already on hand.
This is also a budget friendly and no frills way to entertain. There is no need for fancy dishes or a chef’s stock of pots and pans, and minimal cooking is required.
Kids and teenagers will appreciate a tapas themed party, too, and will like the self-serve activity and bite-sized portions. Also, since more time is spent lingering around the table it is a perfect idea for social events.
Foods like marinated olives, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic and potatoes are ideal, as are sautéed dishes like seafood, peppers, cheeses, almonds and toasted bread served with ham or chorizo.
Tapas dishes are versatile and can also be done vegan and vegetarian, which is a great way to try out brightly colored, local produce.
Eating is the perfect opportunity for sparking a conversation, and creating a nosh friendly tapas bar spread facilitates both. The only problem is that no one will want to leave the table.
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