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The quintessential way of eating in Spain is Tapas

The quintessential way of eating in Spain is Tapas…..

Tapas — it is not appetizers eaten at once – as we Americans think of it. Maybe because we are used to “small bites” being considered to be appetizers. No – We are Wrong —- Tapas are a variety of foods in small portions or delicate servings to be an eating experience.

Tapas can be a gourmet dining time as in a restaurant in Seville and Barcelona. Other times they can be enjoyed in many parts of Spain — relishing these wonderful, deliciously – almost sinful things called Tapas in a neighborhood bar as in Valencia.

No matter where – throughout Spain, these dishes are a scrumptious festival of bites spread out on top of a bar counter or just enjoyed being ordered and served at a table in courses. Tapa’s make an entire meal. The colors or olives, bites with creamy cheeses, peppers, meats, fish , all kinds of fruits, oils and spices, the aromas, the tastes and the look of all different small plates and bowls can fill any one’s heart and appetite with total satisfaction.

As I decided to do my “keeping the family coming back for Sunday Dinner” – I have been intrigued by the history of the countries of all of the wonderful cuisines. Studying the lifestyles. It’s like peeking through a window and soaking everything up with excitement. You all know how foods turn my world around – but also the history, past, present and future of countries, what their many delights in meals and their everyday passing through their lives helps me to compare not only my lifestyle – but I also compare it to my world and the people all around me. The family structure is strong and keeping that family unit close, filled with love and the richness of culture is a bond that is hard to break. As in my family life, my Italian family – the Spanish family has strong relationships, concrete ties to their community, heritage and real identities.

What I have found is that so many cultures are almost exactly like my Italian culture. BUT – in Spain — I have genuinelyfound that strong similarity in the culture, the family way of life in Spain to be almost identical to mine.

As in Italy, there are different provinces in Spain where the people are speaking different dialects,and cushiness vary from area to area.Of course those different varieties of spices, recipes have to do in part because of different European influences, climate,and the soil nutrients. Still – it doesn’t matter where you go in Spain – each meal is a beautiful experience.

Just a quick sidebar — my daughter Ali, short for Alexandra – has spoken Castilian Spanish since second grade. So for approximately twenty years, it has been her second language. ( I love hearing her speak the language and I get a kick out of hearing her and her fianc√©, Joe speak it to one another). It is a beautiful and romantic sounding language, especially the slight, faint “lisp” in pronunciation. I do understand a right amount of what Ali is saying in Spanish because it is very similar to Italian.

Just another quick sidebar — My daughter is going to kill for mentioning her in this blog. As a matter of fact – I mention her in most of my blogs. Forgive me,Al…

Anyway — back to Spain —–

Spain’s essence is so overwhelming with its people, towns, villages,and cities. Plus – we can never forget the “tastes of Spain.”
The food is irresistible. The marinades, sauces, fresh vegetables, meats, fish, spices,and OLIVES!!!!! Yes, olives, lot’s and lots of olives — just like in Italy — olives are in such abundance that they are earning right off of the trees.

Let’s never forget that Spain is, in my eyes one of the most beautiful countries in the world! To see the moonlight glistening off the water, the stars shining and in the everyone the glowing lights against the white, stucco buildings and the red tile rooftops. Simply breathtaking.
With all of this – the cuisine highlight is so many things – but — oh this Tapas! I have including in this blog some recipes that are simple, quick, fun and each morsel will be a bite that looks forward to the next taste.

So – as we all want – it isvitally important to the Spanish family to stay close. Even when the kids leave the nest, siblings go their own way,and friends get busy — just do what I always and will forever say —-

Remember that you are the creator, the artist, the master and the chef of your kitchen!

Let’s get ready to ROMANCE THE PAN…

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