I don’t know which came first- tapas or the cocktails party, but of the two I definitely prefer tapas, though they both involve small portions of flavorful dishes and are accompanied by drinks, drinks, and more drinks.
Well, as much as I love a nice cocktail party, clamouring with other guests for a skewer of Asian pear-scented spicy shrimp isn’t my idea of communion. The look of controlled fear on the servers’ faces makes me a little uncomfortable (it is necessity, and not rudeness that makes me avoid eye contact). Give me a cozy seated tapas-affair; the little plates that everyone tastes and shares (order doubles, when the dishes are popular); glasses of wine, cocktails and relaxed conversation that are occasionally accompanied by a spirited flamenco performance or Spanish guitar. At last, for me, there is the familiarity of the Hispanic flavors: smoky, warm, rich velvety tasting things; seafood, smoked meats, or else cold, sharp, citrus flavors; pickled or dressed veggies. And cheese.
And so, if you venture to have your own tapas night, do it right, do it tight: not every little random appetizer can qualify as a tapas dish.
I’m not saying not to be creative- but we don’t call a hippo a horse.
In future posts, anything that we think would make a good tapas dish will be tagged as ‘Tapas’ (imagine that), and its photo added to this gallery.
Your loving dictator,
Tomorrow: Warm Cremini Bruschetta