Tapas anyone?
The book of tapas
Simone and Inés Ortega.
New York, NY : Phaidon, 2010.
From the authors of the much-loved 1080 Recipes -- the Spanish cooking bible by Simone and InÉs Ortega -- the 1080 Book of Tapas presents the collection of definitive recipes for everyone's favourite type of Spanish food. From gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns) to tortilla espaÑola (Spanish omelette), it combines classic tapas dishes from 1080 Recipes with brand new recipes from the Ortegas, selected and introduced by renowned Spanish tapas chef JosÉ AndrÉs.
The big book of world tapas : 365 delicious light bites for all occasions
Julia Hartley.
London, [England] : Duncan Baird Publishers ; New York : Distributed in the USA and Canada by Sterling, 2009.
  1. Includes index.
  2. Enclosed wire-o binding.
  3. Basic recipes -- Brunches -- Pre-dinner drinks -- Cocktail parties -- Late-night drinks -- Parties & celebrations -- Weddings.
Pintxos : small plates in the Basque tradition
Gerald Hirigoyen with Lisa Weiss ; photography by Maren Caruso.
Berkeley, Calif. : Ten Speed Press, c2009.
Acclaimed chef Hirigoyen's sophisticated and delectable small plates, served at his restaurants, Bocadillos and Piperade, set the standard for tapas. This book features 75 distinctive California-inflected versions of Spanish tapas and French Basque dishes.
Tapas : sensational small plates from Spain
by Joyce Goldstein ; photographs by France Ruffenach.
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, 2009.
Includes index.

La Tapa...has to be eaten between main meals as food that allows the body to survive until lunch or dinnertime.

Tapas. More than a small snack served to accompany a drink, tapas are an integral part of the Spanish custom of sharing good food and times with family and friends.

While intended to be only a nibble before a meal, depending on the quality and quantity eaten, tapas can easily become a full meal. Diners like to order a variety of them and share.

Tapa means "to cover". Several stories are told about the origin of tapas. One says they originated from the habit of serving a slice of ham, bread, or cheese on top of a glass of wine. In another story, Spanish King Alfonso took sick and needed to sip wine and eat small bits of food between meals.

Asparagus & Jamon Serrano

1 bunch of asparagus
12 slices of jamon serrano
juice of one lemon
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
yellow bell pepper

Steam asparagus.  Wrap slices of jamon (cheese) around small bunch of asparagus.  Chill.  Before serving, drizzle olive oil and lemon juice.  Season.  Sprinkle bell pepper. 

Buen provecho! ("Enjoy your food")

(other tapas recipes)

No matter the origin, today tapas are served in bars, restaurants, and homes around the world, not just in Spain. These bars and restaurants acquire a reputation, and their own following, for the unique tapas they serve. Tapas are often served with toothpicks. A restaurant may count the number of toothpicks to tally the bill.

Some tapas are served cold--olives, anchovies, and dry nuts. Others are served hot--fritters, sausages, and potatoes. The variety, and recipes, are endless. One bar in Madrid offers over eighty different tapas on their menu!

Having a party? Consider serving tapas. They are easy to prepare and can be made readily at home. Remember many tapas are better when cooked a day in advance.

Make tapas a part of your gourmet adventure. They are a great way to entertain your friends and family and enjoy the experience of Spain.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff