Tapas all the way?

Tapas come in countless varieties in Spain. This one is Tablas de Ahumados or Smoked Fishes tapas.

If we can have tapas every time, all the time, I won’t mind it. I can be content with nibbling on these Spanish goodies that come in hundreds of varieties. It’s pretty much like entering a candy store and wanting everything in it. But you and I know that we can only have one of this and that, take another of this and that. What’s wonderful is we know we can always head back to the store and try a few more on the next visit.

Favorite dish- the Especial Ibericos or the Iberian Special.

Or, hop next door to another bar that offers other variants of the delicious fare…and the next…and on to the next.

How many tapas bar are there in Spain? It’s probably more than anyone can handle in a lifetime. The country thrives in it. It’s a way of life with these bunch, a culture—the tapas bar and a beer at sundown, as well as a cortado or two, con o sin leche, in between destinations, lunch at two in the afternoon, siesta, tapas and beer at sundown and dinner at ten—and when in Spain, we try to do what the Spaniards do, at least we try, especially if locals are entertaining us, the visitors.

A tapas bar along Gran Via in Mardid. The photos got us drooling so we had to step in & try some.

Or not. The group I was traveling with will not have it. Meals had to be the Pinoy time lest all hell will break loose and the population on our path suffers the wrath of a starving bunch. Our feed-me-now body clock was (and will never change) still ruled by the clock face (the sun won’t work this time as the day was shorter than the night).

Inside Meson El Jamon tapas bar

Of course, there is always the case of “inggit” (envy) as the show windows of the bars, restaurants and delis along the way display their offerings that’ll make anyone drool. With us, these were all “must try” as our stay in the city of Madrid was short…and we planned to make it sweet. Diet will have to take a back seat and weight gain to be dealt when we got home.

Entrecot de Buey. Bullock Entrecote

Pulpo Gallego– delicioso!

If there was one item we can’t seem to have enough of, it was the jamon and it’s varieties—the Serrano, the Iberico, and depending on the variety (or maker, or age) the cost was different. In every food stop, we had to have a plate, and if it was into one of the best museums in the planet—the Museo de Jamon (edible works of art!), we had to order a few grams of the best ones. As our host, Tenny, would say, “We have to knowledgeable with good food.” So it was, so it will be.

We voted this as one of the best museums in the planet. It’s not really a museum.

Art lovers, Tita Emma & I, admiring the edible art at Museo de Jamon.

Choices, choices. But I can have it all.

Thus, the thin slices of the heavenly, melt in your mouth goody were enjoyed to the max, and ordered every mealtime and in between. Yes, we had jamon in our tote bag to pull out and nibble on as we toured Madrid on foot (more like moving from one resto to another as the place was designated as a food tour city).

Master slicer. To slice the jamon in thin slices is an art form in itself.

How much jamon I had, I don’t know. How much tapas, I can’t count either. What I know was with this group, it can’t be biting on bread all the way. We are Pinoys and we just had to have rice. Paella to the rescue!

For more travel & lifestyle stories, visit http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/ and http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/

Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on August 28, 2014.



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