Over the last ten years I must have done hundreds of tapas tours in Seville and have posted very little about them on this blog. Seville has an incredible amount of tapas bars, probably more per capita than anywhere else in Spain. The whole culture of tapas comes from this part of Spain and is very much lnked to the idea that if you drink a glass of wine (or beer) there should some food to go with it. This, naturally, lessens the affect of the alcohol and having food with wine generally enhances the whole experience.
Last night I took an Australian couple on a tapas tour, visiting four bars and having different things in each place. In the first place that we went to, I normally see one of the regular customers, Valentín, a very active 84 year old. He is in the bar everyday at around 7 p.m. and then leaves at about 9 p.m. when his wife collects him. If he sees an attractive woman, he takes a paper serviette and writes a few lines of prose about her and hands it over. He often gets invited to a drink and if he’s lucky a kiss on either cheek. Below is a photo of him with one of my clients.
The next photo shows my friend Carlos, one of the owners at the same bar, taking down an acorn-fed Iberian ham. You probably know that these are the best hams that can be found anywhere. If you have looked at my website or at previous blog entries you probably know as well that my company, A Question of Taste, runs tours related to Iberian ham
or as some people call it, iberico ham.
In one of the other bars that we went to, we had a number of seafood tapas. Below, the first photo is of of what are known in Spanish as “albóndigas de choco” which are like meatballs but made with cuttlefish. The second photo is of a “tortilla de camarones” which is a sort of crispy batter with tiny shrimp embedded in it.
When you do lots of tapas tours you get to know the owners and the bar staff very well, which means that there is always a good rapport which clients really like. I have known the three guys in the photo below for quite a few years now.
The last photo shows Iberian ham being cut. We had this to eat along with some “caña de lomo” or cured Iberian pork loin. Both were from acorn-fed pigs and both were delcious.