7 October 2009

The Tapas Lunch

The tapas lunch, fantastic Spanish tapas recipes served up with a cold beer and absolutely free. Serrano ham... hot mussels... braised chorizo the list is endless.

Certainly in the village of Orce, Granada tapas are still served free of charge when you buy a beer. The first thing about a beer or "tubo" as they are known locally (due to the tall slim glass) is the size, Spanish beers don't tend to be very big, certainly not a pint anyway but this doesn't matter as the food you get with your beer more than compensates. Cost is around a euro for a beer around 275ml in rural areas and if you order from a tapas bar during the week you are likely to get a small plate of nuts such as salted almonds/peanuts etc.

However at the weekend...

Weekends are when the tapas really come out! In Orce you can experience anything from small portions of Spanish paella, pork casserole, seafood and other hot dishes that have been conjured up only that morning. When it comes to larger servings you can buy what is called a "racione" - this is probably the equal to about 4 tapas sized servings, a standard starter if you like. However if you are a table of four for example you won't have to buy this as this will be your tapas, usually served with four forks or cocktail sticks so everyone has to dig in - quickly!

Weekends are when the family run bars thrive, husbands are serving the beers and dishing up from the hot bain-marie and the busy wife serving tables and tending to the food, which in most cases is absolutely fantastic.

Four or five small beers and a full belly later you can take a stroll home and not have to think about lunch let alone start cooking. All for under a tenner for 2.

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