I wrote in my last post about how I spent the past 5 weeks traveling (and ultimately eating) through Spain and Portugal. I also mentioned that it would not be surprising to see some traditional Spanish and Portuguese recipes start to show up on this blog. Well, as promised, here is the first one.
I saw this one everywhere in Spain. It's a traditional tortilla (no, not the Mexican tortilla that we use here for wraps and burritos). This is Spain's version of the omelette, and it is super simple to make. It's found often at tapas bars, and makes a great snack. I think it also happens to make a great breakfast too, which is exactly what I used it for here.
Check out the recipe by clicking the title of this post or the "read more" link.
I don't know why, but whenever I've thought of a Spanish omelette, I always pictured the Western Omelette, which usually has lots of vegetables and ham in it. However, a traditional Spanish omelette, the one you will see all over Spain in tapas bars, and in homes, has very few ingredients. In fact, it's made up of only three: potatoes, onions, and eggs. Add in a little bit of salt and olive oil, and you're set to go.
As I mentioned, it's not uncommon to find tortillas on the menu at a tapas bar. What are tapas you ask? Tapas are basically the Spanish version of appetizers here in North America, or Hors D'oeuvres. They are small, snack-sized portions of a wide variety of dishes, served with an alcoholic beverage at a bar. I'm not sure of exactly how tapas originated, as I was given a bunch of different theories during my travels.
One theory is that tapas apparently started long ago when the King of Spain was served some alcohol, and to stop the flies from going into his drink, he was given a piece of bread to put over his drink. (Tapas means "lid," or more accurately "cover.") Eventually, a piece of cured meat (usually pork) was served atop the bread, and the King was apparently delighted by the light snack served with his alcohol. It eventually became a tradition to serve a small snack with any alcohol in taverns or bars.
Another theory I heard was that tapas became a tradition to stop people from getting drunk too quickly while they drank their alcohol. I'm not really sure how valid that is, but it makes some sense anyway. Whatever the origin, tapas are very traditional, and very popular throughout Spain. In Granada, tapas are actually free. When you arrive at a bar or restaurant, you order a drink, and it will come served with a small tapa. You never know which tapa you're going to get. It just depends what the restaurant or bar has got on hand. It's pretty awesome!
Makes 2 servings