This main meal, with lots of fat, left the organism so busy doing the digestion that a "siesta" had to be done for a couple of hours before going back to the fields or in the workshop. The longer the morning working hours took the less one had to do after the meal.
This snack asked for wine, because alcohol enhanced the enthusiasm and the strength, and in winter it warmed the body up so as to bear the very cold days on the fields and into the middle-age workshops. In summer, the drink to be taken in the South was "gazpacho" (cold tomato soup), instead of wine, that made bodies feel an unnecessary heat rather than the needed cold refreshment.
Not another thing but a solid tapa is what northamericans eat at lunch time, to keep on going throughout their one-sift working day and up to the early evening, and while they hold on with this light food until dinner time comes. This way of eating it hasn't well established in Europe, even though the northamerican working System has done so.
Here, the Old Continent keeps the use of having three main meals: breakfast, mid-day and evening.
The long time that goes between breakfast, very early in the morning, and the midday eating at the first hours of the evening, forces some Mediterranean countries to take a "tentempié" (snack), an appetiser or the "tapita", and let people to have time for social gathering or the change of impressions about working tasks.
The traditional drink to be taken with the tapa is wine, either "peleón" (young and cheap) or "reserva" (long time oak-barrel brewed) wine of each region: young "txakolí" in the Vasque Country, Penedés wine or Cava in Cataluña, "ribeiro" in the Northwest, young Valdepeñas or Rioja wine in Castile and in the centre, or fine sherry in the south. In Asturias and in northern parts, where apples grow widely, cider replaces wine.
The tapas'recipes vary under the taste and gastronomic traditions of each region. But usually, olives in its many sorts are often in, as well as different dry nuts and all kind of cold cuts.
From here on, the tapa has prevailed with many other processing's, leaving most of them their condition of main food (that during the middle age and periods of shortage was completed with bread) to occupy, definitively, the condition of aperitif.
Today it has to be added to those traditional snacks, the new ones that appeared, some of them reserved only to be tasted on a properly dressed-up table, like the "paella" or the stewed potatoes with meat; and others from foreign recipes that finally ended up into our tapes world like smoked salmon, pate or caviar, vegetables spring rolls, the smoked fish from the Northern countries, the German sausages, the Swiss melted cheese and cakes or middle-Europe pate.
The art of eating tapes can overtake lunch or dinner if quantity or variety of tapes is enough to satisfy the appetite.
Tortilla de Patatas Potato Omelete
- = Kg. of potatoes
- 1 Onion
- 4 Eggs
Peel off the potatoes and cut them in very thin slices. Cut the onion in very small pieces and add it to the potatoes. With lots of oil, fry them with low heat, removing them with a palette knife. Once the are fried, oil has to be drain off. In another bowl, beat the eggs and mix them with the potatoes. Leave them for a few minutes so that the potatoes soak well in the egg.
Heat a pan with a tbsp. of oil and then spill the mixture into the pan, with low heat and let it to curd. It has to be turned over with a big flat dish or a lid and let it curd on the other side.
Pan con Tomate, Ajo y Jamon Bread with Tomato, Garlic and "Serrano" smoked Ham
- Slices of bread kind of household bread)
- A clove of garlic
- A mellow tomato
- Some slices of smoked ham
Toast the slices of bread (best are pan-fried slices). Still hot, rub them with the clove of garlic until they get some of the taste. You also should rub it with half of the tomato. Then it's given a bit of salt, olive oil and finally the slice of ham on top of it.
- Green Peppers
- Well bread Tomatoes
- One cucumber
- Half an onion
- Bread's white
In a recipient, the two peppers have to be mixed together with the five tomatoes and without the seeds, the cucumber, the onions, both garlic cloves and the white part of the bread soaked in chilli water. Once everything is triturated and well mixed, has to go through a sieve in order to take any seeds left or any other ingredient not triturated. Then it is given a glass of vinegar, two spoons of olive oil, and a drop of crashed Cummins seed, and giving salt to taste. Give it into the fridge until is well cold and then its given to the table together with small pieces of tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, hard bread and some hard boiled egg.
The gazpacho hasn't got a proper receipt. Even in Andalucia, one founds several numbers of receipts. The very good reason is to be a cold vegetables drink, especially for summer time.
Boquerones en Vinagre Anchovies with Vinegar
- = Kg. of big anchovies
- Two water glasses of sherry vinegar
- 4 teaspoons of salt
- 1 glass of water
- 3 garlic cloves
- Well cut parsley
- Some olive oil
The anchovies have to be deeply washed, getting out both head and bones. Then both sides of the anchovy have to be again washed. Get the water away and prepare in a bowl, the vinegar, the water and the salt stirring well until the salt has dissolved. Then try with one of the anchovy's slices, placing it into the liquid. If it floats right in the middle it means that the mixture of salt and vinegar is well done. If it floats on the surface has too much salt. If it sinks has too much vinegar. Once the mixture is well done, all the anchovies come to the bowl. Then the bowl has to be covered and let into the fridge from 24 to 48 hours.
Before serving them, they have to be washed in cold water, placed in a dish and covered with lots of small pieces of garlic, the chopped parsley and the olive oil.
They also can be served in slices of toast bread with some garlic rubbed on the top.