Yesterday I did a tapas tour with a short group. I have done it with families, group of friends and yesterday they where colleagues of an international company who decided to visit the city in this way.
It’s quite frequent to do this tour the same day that travellers arrive, when they want to see something of the city but not to have deeply explanations in special if they have had a long trip. We will have time to understand the culture and anecdotes the next days.
We visited the Old Town while we stop in 3 bars of tapas. We passed in front of some monument (The Cathedral, La Rambla, the King Palace, etc), as I said my explanations were very soft but I told them some details of what they were seeing.
The tapas is not a dish, it is a way to eat. It started with a law in the XVIII century, when we had a big production of grape and in consequence prices of the wine fall down. A lot of people get drank and the king ordered to cover the glass of clients with a dish when they ordered some drink (usually wine or bier). On the dish, the law said to put something to eat, whatever the barman wanted but free. Note: to cover, in Spanish, is “tapar”. That’s why the name “Tapas”.
In this way started this tradition, now very popular in the whole Spain. Although that today you have to pay for what you are eating (actually there are some places in the south of Spain where you can still eat a free tapas, but definitely this is not in Barcelona).
We share the tapas and it is something quickly to eat. So, in some places we eat the tapas stand up, others we sit down. Every bar/restaurant have their own tapas, not always are the same.
Besides exists a variety of the tapas: the pintxos. The pintxos (bite) is a variation of the tapas in the Basque Country (at the North of Spain) and it consists in a slide of bread with something to it on it. In this case, it’s a small bite, you don’t share it. But the particularity is that on each pintxo there is a toothpick, you get so many pintxos as you want, but you will pay for the toothpick and always the same quantity, no for what you have chosen.
Yesterday, in the Old Town, we visited Santa Maria del Mar Church, the Cathedral, the King’s square, the Rambla and Loyal Square and we visited 2 places of tapas where we ate blood sausage, chorizo, oxtail, “Padron” peppers, meatballs, omelet and 3 pintxos. We mixed it with bear, red and white wine (for tapas I always recommend the Xacolí, a special white wine from the Basque Country).
There are thousand of places. I leave some picture of these.