This is a continuation of “Spanish Tapas, Part 1 – This is eating, with style!”. If you’d like to serve tapas-style at your next casual dinner party, read on! It’s an easy, casual, sociable way of eating over a long period of time. Enjoy!
A few typical tapas:
platter of artfully arranged, paper-thin slices of Iberico ham (similar to Prosciutto);
bowl each of stuffed olives, marinated mushrooms and marinated artichoke hearts;
bowl of freshly-made hummus and pita bread triangles;
small bowl of seasoned and herbed olive oil with pita triangles for dipping;
platter of small slices of toasted bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil and topped with chopped tomatoes;
large bowl of roughly chopped vegetable salad (no lettuces) with an oil-based dressing;
platter of grilled asparagus spears wrapped in thinly sliced Iberico jamon (aged ham);
platter of fried or grilled pinchos (skewers) of meat, fish or seafood
The items above might be similar to an Italian antipasti platter but in Spain, everything is served separately; one type of item per bowl or platter so there can be more quantity of any individual item for a longer duration of eating. Want more interesting tapas? Run an internet search for tapas recipes and you’ll find a wealth of suggestions. Serve 5-7 serving bowls or platters with a variety of tasty items (maybe just one or two dishes that need to be heated before serving).
Tapas-style dining is a ‘noshing’, grazing, sociable style of eating and drinking. It’s very casual, and friendly and continues on through the evening conversation. Tapas can be a light dinner meal or you could later serve a central course of paella or grilled skewers of meat, seafood and/or vegetables with rice. Dessert is generally very simple, a flan similar to a creme brûlée is popular, or ice cream and stewed or fresh fruit.
In Spain, bars usually use 5″white cafe-style plates but if you’re interested in easily acquiring tapas plates with a bit more colorful-but-rustic Spanish feel, Miss Party happened to open up her trusty Pottery Barn catalog that came while she was in Spain and there on the third page was a whole spread on a “Sangria and Tapas” themed dinner party. They have 5″tapas pottery plates, serving dishes and some other fun Sangria pitchers and Mediterranean-style table linens.
If you are going with white plates, however, a table linen idea that brings lots of colorful ‘Spanish shawl’ imagery is to start with a cotton tablecloth and then layer inexpensive Pashmina-style wraps or cotton/gauze/linen shawls over the table. The wraps are also fun to cover dining chair backs, see post “DIY No-sew Table Runners and Chair Back Covers – Use Pashmina-style scarves!”. You might even glue a string of pom-pom or fringe trim to the long edge of your wraps to add a bit more Spanish-specific style. A pitcher of festive and cheerful sunflowers will easily complete the dining table.
For beverages, Miss Party suggests starting with a cold pitcher of traditional fruit-infused Sangria and then moving to a lovely Spanish wine or one of their excellent beers for your tapas dinner. Indoors or out, place lots of candlelit lanterns and white tea lights around the dining space for ambience. Have lively Flamenco music or classical Spanish instrumental guitar playing in the background.
Viva la Espana!