World Tapas Day Date in the current year: June 15, 2024

World Tapas Day What comes to mind when you hear the words “Spanish food”? Paella, jamón, gazpacho, chorizo sausage, and tapas are among the most common associations with Spanish cuisine. In fact, tapas are so iconic that they even have a holiday dedicated to them. World Tapas Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday of June.

Tapas (singular tapa) are appetizers or snacks in Spanish cuisine; they can range from cheese and cold cuts to small servings of salad or even steak. The origin of the term “tapa” is unclear, but the primary meaning of the word in Spanish is “lid” or “cover”. One of the theories claims that the original tapas were thin slices of meat or bread used to cover sherry glasses to protect them from insects, hence the name. Similar dishes are known as botanas in parts of Mexico and as bocas in parts of Central America.

Tapas can be cold or hot. They are usually served as an appetizer before a meal or to accompany drinks, but some restaurants allow to combine a variety of tapas to create a full meal. In fact, there are restaurants and bars in Spain that specialize in tapas. In select restaurants, tapas have evolved into a sophisticated culinary experience.

There are many different kinds of tapas. Let us list some of the most popular ones:

  • Banderillas: varied items on a skewer (cheese, cold cuts, fresh or pickled vegetables, grilled meats, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.).
  • Boqueronas en vinagre: anchovies marinated in vinegar.
  • Calamares / rabas: battered and friend squid rings.
  • Carcamusa: a stew made from beef or pork and seasonal vegetables.
  • Croquetas (croquettes): rolls consisting of thick béchamel and a filling such as chicken, jamón or salt cod, which are coated with beaten egg, breaded and fried.
  • Empanadas: turnovers with various filings.
  • Patatas bravas: fried potato cubes served with a spicy sauce.
  • Polbo á feira: Galician-style boiled octopus.
  • Pinchitos: chicken or pork skewers similar to kebab.
  • Pitted olives, sometimes stuffed with almonds, anchovies, bell peppers, feta cheese, or other foods.
  • Spanish omelette: a type of omelette made with eggs, potatoes, and sometimes onion.
  • Tortillitas de camarones: Andalusian shrimp fritters.

World Tapas Day was launched in 2016 by the Instituto de Turismo de España – Turespaña (Tourism Institute of Spain), a Spanish government agency tasked with marketing Spain as a tourist destination. The main goal of the holiday is to celebrate Spanish cuisine and encourage people to travel to Spain for an authentic tapas experience.

There are many ways to celebrate World Tapas Day. You can go out to a bar or restaurant that serves tapas, cook some tapas for your family, invite your friends over for a tapas dinner, or even plan a Spanish vacation. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #WorldTapasDay and #TapasDay to encourage others to enjoy Spanish cuisine.

Interestingly, World Tapas Day coincides with World Martini Day. Why not celebrate both holidays by enjoying tapas with a glass of dry martini? Tapas that pair nicely with the martini include olives (naturally), ensaladilla rusa (a salad consisting of minced boiled vegetables, minced boiled eggs, canned tuna and mayonnaise), tartar steak, shrimp or prawns, and sauteed mushrooms.

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World Tapas Day, international observances, food holidays, food-related holidays, Spanish cuisine