10 tapas you must try in Seville

Friendly barmen, religious art, jamón on the ceiling, customers sitting or standing in a bar... Welcome to the gastronomic life of Seville. This city is the perfect place to explore the Andalusian cuisine since it’s known as the world capital of tapas.

First of all, where did the origin of these small dishes come from? Well, there are varied theories and legends about this. The most known stories are about King Alfonso XIII. When the king was travelling, he made a stop at a restaurant where he was served a glass of wine with a slice of cheese over the top of the glass. This slice was used as a tapadera which means a cover to protect the wine from bugs or dust but he ate it anyway. After that, the King continued asking for tapas with wine, everywhere he went. Another story tells that the king was only allowed to eat small dishes because of his illness. His Majesty then thought it was a great idea to serve free small snacks if people ordered wine.

Other people think it may have nothing to do with the king. They think tapas are originated from farmers and field workers who only ate small meals with wine throughout the day to get some energy to work.

Today in Seville, you can eat tapas in every bar. Usually there are 3 different sizes of a tapa dish. Tapa is meant for one person, media ración is half a portion, mostly shared with two or three people and ración can also be shared but in larger groups.

Without a doubt, there are many dishes on the menu card and trying tapas for the first time in a city you’ve never been to is always hard. So here are some tips about the typical dishes in Seville you must try:

  1. Jamón Iberico, also known as Iberian ham is something you can find in every tapas bar. They exist in different qualities such as Jamón de Cebo, Cebo de Campo, Recebo and Bellota. It all depends on the surroundings and nourishment of the animal. Just remember how more pricey, how better the taste.
  2. Queso Manchego. This is cheese which is made from the milk of sheep of the Manchega breed. It has a special flavour that is not too strong. It leaves an aftertaste that is from the sheep milk. Just like Iberian ham, there are different qualities but depending on the age of the cheese. It can be aged between 60 days and 2 years.
  3. Croquetas are a speciality in Seville. They can be filled with ham, chicken, cheese, cod or different kind of fishes.
  4. Pescaito Frito or fried fish has an enormous variety. The most popular are boquerones, marinated anchovies in vinegar. But there are also other kinds of species like pijotas, pavia de merluza, chipirones, and so on. If you like fish this is the perfect taste for you!
  5. Espinacas con garbanzos. This is a typical dish with spinach and chickpeas. Originally these came from the Moors when they invaded the country.
  6. Salmorejo is a cold tomato soup that looks like gazpacho but it has a thicker texture and is less cold.
  7. Carillada de cerdo, translated as pork cheeks is cooked steamy with wine sauce. It’s most of the time served with potatoes and the best taste is when the meat is soft and delicate.
  8. Serranito is a warm sandwich and considered as traditional fast food. It can be eaten with loin, pork or chicken with pepper and tomato. Most of the time it’s served with French fries with a sauce.
  9. Solomillo al whiskey. A dish with whiskey, onion, olive oil and grilled pork loin.
  10. Torrijas. It’s traditionally made for Semana Santa (Holy Week). The ingredients include bread, eggs, milk, honey, sugar, spices and as a final touch there’s some cinnamon added to it. You can find them in pastry shops but also in restaurants where they serve the pastry as a dessert with ice cream.

If you are vegetarian, don’t worry because there are many tapas for you. A while ago we wrote about vegetarian and eco-friendly food:http://www.sevilla4real.com/es/blog/seville-also-vegetarian-vegan-and-eco-friendly

Interesting facts about tapas:

  • Every year there is a National Tapas Competition which takes place in November in Valladolid
  • The oldest tapas bar located in Seville exist since 1670, called El Rinconcillo.
  • Tapas is always served with picos and bread but it’s not free, the prices are maximum 1 euros
  • Traditional tapas are made with local products and sometimes mixed with the international cuisine
  • The best way to eat your tapa with, is to drink a fresh cold beer (Cruzcampo) or a glass of Andalusian wine

Not sure where to start “tapear” (to eat tapas)? Start your trip in Seville with a tapas tour with us and know more about the history and recommended places to have the best mouth-watering tapas. If you need any help to organize a tapas tour, write us at info@sevilla4real.com 

¡Bon appetit!


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