I’d Tap That
Without Spain, we wouldn’t have tapas… and without tapas, we would never eat. Okay, that might be a little bit of exaggeration, but we certainly appreciate the invention of the appetizer, for without it, monstrous starter platters could not be devoured! Let’s take a look at some common Spanish tapas (according to Wikipedia – the number one source for online legitimacy) and see whether they pass the Sip Advisor taste test:
Albóndigas: Meatballs with sauce
Okay, we’re off to a decent start. Who doesn’t like meatballs? Well, I guess vegetarians and vegans, but do they really count?
Tortillitas de Camarones: Battered prawn fritters
Anything described as “battered” can play on my team!
Pimientos de Padrón: Small green peppers fried in olive oil or served raw (most are mild, but a few in each batch are quite spicy)
Finding the spicy green peppers is like locating the toy in a box of cereal. At first, you’re really happy because you found the surprise before anyone else could get to it. Joy turns to disappointment quickly, however, when you realize the toy isn’t that great anyway, much like a spicy green pepper when you’re expecting mild!
Aceitunas: Olives, sometimes with a filling of anchovies or red bell pepper
To me, appies need to be something more than a condiment stuffed with another condiment, but I sadly don’t call the shots in the country of Spain.
Solomillo al Whisky: Fried pork scallops, marinated using whisky, brandy or white wine and olive oil
Put the pork scallops aside and give me a couple bottles of your best marinade!
Cojonuda (superb female): A slice of Spanish morcilla with a fried quail egg over bread – it can also be prepared with a little strip of red, spicy pepper
Looked up morcilla and it is actually blood sausage, so there’s strike one. Strike two is the fried quail egg although I’m sure somewhere in the world it is a delicacy. While I can’t find anything to call the cojonuda out, I’ve decided to change the rules of baseball to suit my purpose and now all you need is two strike to retire a batter.
Cojonudo (superb male): A slice of Spanish chorizo with a fried quail egg over a slice of bread
So, there are male and female versions of cojonudo… is your sexual orientation decided by which you prefer? What if you like to swing both ways?
Pincho Moruno: A stick with spicy meat, made of pork, lamb or chicken
Nothing beats meat on a stick unless it’s spicy meat!
Empanadillas: Turnovers filled with meats and vegetables
Any food pocket device stuffed with more food will always shoot to the top of my favourite list. The name would have you thinking you’re about to eat a small animal, however.
Gambas: Prawns sauteed in salsa negra (peppercorn sauce), al ajillo (with garlic), or pil-pil (with chopped chili peppers)
Poor prawns… such a small creature and still gets stuffed with any number of items.
Mejillones Rellenos: Stuffed mussels, sometimes called tigres (“tigers”) because of the spicy taste
Mrs. Sip would love her some tiger muscles, but I have to note that tiger ice cream isn’t spicy and I think this calls into the question the process of describing spice levels using animals. I feel calling them dragon muscles would be more apt.
Patatas Bravas or Papas Bravas: Fried potato dices served with salsa brava a spicy tomato sauce – sometimes served also with mayo or aioli
Are these like brave little potatoes… you know, in a similar vein to the Brave Little Toaster?
Chorizo a la Sidra: Chorizo sausage slowly cooked in cider
Cider, you say? Not my favourite, but it does have booze in it!
Chorizo al Vino: Chorizo sausage slowly cooked in wine
See above, but even better!
Calamares or Rabas: Rings of battered squid
I wonder if the Spanish can rival Greek calamari? Perhaps both countries should send me some of their finest product and I will, once and for all, get to the bottom of this ever-deepening mystery.
Zamburiñas: Renowned Galician scallops, often served in a marinera, tomato-based sauce
Renowned??? I’ll be the judge of that. Again, Spain, send some my way and we’ll send out the results as soon as our little feast has concluded!
Spain: First Avenue
- 1.5 oz Sherry
- 0.5 oz Cointreau
- Splash of Campari
- Top with Club Soda
- Garnish with an Orange Wedge
Sometimes I’m into the idea of tapas and other times, I loathe them. While they’re a treasure trove of variety and perfect portion size for the ladies, a dude sometimes wants something he can really sink his teeth into like a fat burger or other hearty meal. The worst is going out with a group and splitting a bunch of appies… you will not have a good time!
Sip Advisor Bar Notes: (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was pretty good. Even when I subbed in Tonic Water for Club Soda, it wasn’t as bitter as I feared it would be, especially with the splash of Campari there to team up with the Tonic. I guess the Cointreau and Sherry balance out the sweet-bitter war and make for an interesting cocktail.