Spain’s tapas culture

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One of the joys of holidaying in Spain is sampling the many varieties of tapas available in most bars and cafes. As they are small plates and not usually expensive, you can afford to try lots of different things and share as a group. This is very sociable, fun dining and can be a very good value way to have your evening meal. 

It has a rich history and really is an integral part of Spanish life. Irene Palmer has written an excellent article all about Tapas and its history including some Spanish words for the most common tapas which is well worth a read.

What I find interesting is the way tapas is evolving into a style of eating which doesn’t necessarily feature Spanish food. A place to see how far tapas has come is Taberna Matahambre, a chain of tapas bars which has modernised tapas into a stylish, fresh, international affair, with great results. There are 9 of these fantastic tapas bars in Spain – Fuengirola, Cartama, Alhaurin el Grande, Marbella and Malaga on the Costa del Sol, Jaén, Cordoba, Seville and now Madrid and they are well worth a visit.

They have over 150 dishes to choose from, all beautifully prepared and presented and very interesting. We love the seared tuna with wasabi mayonnaise, the chicken thai-style, the chicken tikka and the wraps with beef. Don’t be daunted by the size of the menu and the odd names, ask for recommendations and explanations and look at the TVs showing pictures of some of the most popular dishes to help you choose!

If you’re interested in more recommendations of what to see and do on the Costa del Sol, download our free Marbella guide which has a huge list of recommended places to go, things to do and bars and restaurants to try.

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