Tapas are Spanish appetizers, meant to be eaten in just a few bites. Traditional tapas include mixed olives, fried baby squid, meatballs and chorizo. Papas bravas are another typical dish: It’s simply fried potatoes served with a creamy sauce. We like to use fingerling potatoes, sliced in half and seasoned with parsley and salt once they’ve been fried to a crisp. Our aioli is made with lemon juice and paprika for a bright, citrusy flavor. One of our favorite tapas is bacon-wrapped dates, which take just a few minutes and ingredients to prepare. Spanish cookbook author Penelope Casas takes this appetizer to the next level by stuffing spicy chorizo into sticky-sweet dates, and then wrapping them in bacon. These one-bite tapas are perfectly sweet and smoky, and are delicious any time of year. Get more tapas recipes from F&W’s guide.

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Food & Wine: Madrid's Best New Tapas Restaurants
Madrid's Best New Tapas Restaurants
Even at the height of Spain’s avant-garde cooking 
boom, Madrid wasn’t at the cutting edge. While innovation happened in Catalonia and the Basque region, madrileños relished their old-school 
tapas bars, tabernas and tascas, where floors were scattered with napkins and toothpicks, bullfights blared on the TV, and waiters shouted orders for croquetas and callos (tripe stew). Paradoxically, the recession gripping Spain since 2008 has helped turn Madrid into one 
of Europe’s most exciting restaurant cities. A new generation of tapas bar has arrived: cool, casual spots that stay true to tradition while also breaking the rules. On a recent visit, 
I was floored by how maverick chefs are embracing the city’s international flavors and employing unexpected techniques. Nowadays, tapas might be cross-pollinated with dim sum, 
and an emulsion of Caribbean mojo may sauce classic meatballs. Recession be damned—these cooks are having the time of their lives. “Spherification? Liquid-nitrogenation? Who even remembers these things?” Raúl Prior, the force behind the always packed Álbora, asked me. “Right now we want food that’s simply enjoyable.” Read on for some 
essential (and, yes, cutting-edge) stops on your next Madrid eating tour.

The Best Tapas Ideas

Easy Tapas Recipes