Origin of the 10 most popular Spanish tapas (part 3)

Tortilla, croquetas, calamares, bravas… all these tapas are something almost mandatory in the menu of all typical Spanish bars, both inside and outside our country. But despite these tapas are so well known and loved, surely few of you have not even a slight idea about the origin of something so quotidian in Spain. So, this post completes the series that we started two weeks ago, in which we explain the origin and some curiosities of your favorite tapas.

8 – Empanada (pie)

The origin of the Galician empanada is quite uncertain. We can find the oldest data about empanada in the cradle of our civilization. In the ancient Persia, several centuries before Christ, was already known a dish which could have something to do with the Empanada as it is known nowadays.

It’s believed that Greece could have been the responsible of the entrance of the empanada dough in the occidental world, since according to Arabs, greeks prepared a paste, known as philo, special to be filled. This paste, very appreciated for its soft texture, crunchy and thin once baked, became very popular, being extended over all Mid West in general.

The knowledge of empanada in our country has its origin probably in the entrance of the Arabs in Al-andalus (Arabic name of Spain). It is attributed to Arabic conqueror named Tarig ibn Ziryad, who gave name to the city of Gibraltar. Arabs made a kind of small pasty of corn filled with lamb meat which were known as fatay or esfiha, as well as other salty or sweet varieties, that went deeper in our culture and were spread on every corner of our country with more or less success.

It was so much the success of this delicacy that evolved in countless variations, including the Galician traditional pie, made ​​with millet bread (corn) and stuffed with seafood. [6]

empanada gallega

9 – Montadito

The montadito, or just montado, is a sandwich made with a type of baguette very short which is usually called in the same way. They are very extended and known Spain, where there is a large tradition since the 15th and 16th centuries of “montar” (put over) food over the bread. The montadito culture is prior to the sandwich one. [1]

montaditos

10 – Paella

There is many theories about the Paella origin. However you must have clear a couple of very important data.

The first one is related with its origin. And is that while today is one of the most popular dishes of Spain, paella is a culinary creation that emerged in Valencia, and to be more precise, in the Albufera lagoons, result of the natural water filtrations from the Mediterranean Valencian coast.

The second one regards the ingredients used in the cooking, since the most of restaurants in the world in whose menu appears this dish, it is served with sea products. And this is not an error. Given the richness of the mediterranean ingredients, they allowed to make variations to the initial preparation way. Nonetheless is very important to know that the original paella does not have calamari or prawns. The genuine recipe is much more meaty, because it includes chicken, rabbit and vegetables. [7]

Paella

Finally we leave you a link to the two previous post, just in case you don’t want to miss anything. We hope you enjoyed it and remember you can visit our shop to find a selection of the very best of Spanish products.

[1] Wikipedia
[6]El club de la empanada
[7]enespana.about.com