It was a short break in Seville in 2011 that got me really hooked on tapas, although I’d enjoyed these small morsels of deliciousness before then. We spent several nights in the city and didn’t have one sit-down dinner; we enjoyed the relaxed feel of eating our tapas at the bar, ordering more when we felt like it, then heading somewhere else for something different. I like the concept of going from place to place (I kid myself that the little bit of exercise involved in walking between bars helps counter the fact that some tapas are fried and therefore a little heavy on calories).
Here on Mallorca, it seems to me that tapas have become more important over the past few years. Our local town, Manacor – like several towns on the island – offers an autumn season tapas trail. Manacor’s is known as ‘Ruta 44’ (there were 44 bars taking part in the first one in 2011) and happens on a Thursday evening. This year there are 27 bars taking part and the season launched on October 10th. Two weeks later we were there.
We started at Es Pintxo. It’s a little tapas bar we really like and, although we don’t go there very frequently, Kiko always makes us welcome. Es Pintxo isn’t part of ‘Ruta 44’, but is definitely worth a visit. We ordered a glass of tinto and a couple of montaditos (a snack served on a piece of bread) each and shared a small portion of pimientos de Padrón. But Kiko is a generous host and by the time we’d had a complimentary ‘something from the kitchen’, then a few different peppers that he thought we really ought to try, and chupitos each (a complimentary small glass of liqueur) we weren’t really able to do ‘Ruta 44’ full justice.
We did, however, try two bars that we hadn’t visited before and will certainly return to the first. Our four montaditos and two glasses – or more accurately, plastic cups – of tinto cost us just six euros. Not surprisingly, the place was packed. We’ll be back to try some of the others bars’ tapas on a future Thursday. Perhaps we’ll find something that isn’t a montadito!
Gourmet tapas in Inca
This Sunday we’re guaranteed to enjoy some creative tapas: seven of the best chefs from the Inca area are offering something called ‘Peccata Minuta’ – a gourmet tapas event organized by Chefsins, taking place in the Santo Domingo cloister in Inca, from 12:00-16:00hrs. Joan Marc, Tomeu Torrens, Marga Coll, Maria Solivellas, Santi Taura, Cati Pieras and Andreu Genestra will be offering savoury and sweet tapas, created for the occasion. I’m a big fan of Cati Pieras (who, with her partner David, runsDaiCa in Llubí) and am looking forward to her brocheta de pulpo pequeño balear con tocino y vinagreta de piñones con aceite de trufa. I also hope that she’ll bring some of the delicious sourdough bread they serve in the restaurant. Tapas and drinks (artisan beers from Beer Lovers Mallorca and wines from Son Bordils) will cost 2,50 euros each. I’ll be breaking open the piggy bank . . .
Palma’s annual tapas trail
And Palma’s biggest tapas event takes place next week. TaPalma 2013 will have 25 participating bars and restaurants, all offering special tapas for the occasion. You can find out who’s taking part and what they’re offering on www.tapalma.es. This year all venues are offering two special tapas – and an additional one based on Mallorca’s famous Quely biscuit; you’ll be able to vote for your favourite and go into a draw to win some nice prizes: free weekend away in a hotel on Mallorca, anyone? TaPalma 2013 is from October 30th until November 2nd, from 12:30-16:00hrs and 19:30-24:00hrs, in Palma de Mallorca. Maybe see you there?