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This is a type of rustic bar where wines, tapas (appetizers), and sometimes home-cooked meals are served.


Small portion of various different dishes, normally served as an aperitif with a drink. In some areas of Spain, the term pincho is more commonly used because of the food is held on a toothpick. This, however, is not always the case, as the popular pincho de tortilla (Spanish omelette) is served on a plate, not a toothpick, and is eaten with a knife and fork. Other tapas are popped directly from plate to mouth: olives, prawns... In central and southern Spain, tapas or pinchos can be either included in the price of your drink or charged separately. In the north, however, they are almost never included in the price of the drink.


Small, traditional family-type bar, generally serving tapas and bocadillos (sandwiches prepared on baguette-type bread).


Fresh or salted pork fat used as an ingredient in certain dishes (roasts, stews). When the fat is streaked with lean meat it is called panceta (bacon) which diced and fried, becomes torreznos (very popular as a tapa all over Spain, or as a garnish for other homemade dishes: fried eggs, fried breadcrumbs...).


A slice of bread soaked in milk, dipped in egg and fried in olive oil, then sweetened with sugar or honey, and often spiced with cinnamon. In one variation of this recipe, the milk is replaced with sugared wine. This is a typical dessert during Holy Week and is believed to be Arabic in origin. In the olden days, torrijas were known as rebanadas de parida (bread slices for new mothers), as this dish was often recommended to recent mothers to stimulate their milk for nursing. Torrijas are very popular in Madrid, where each year during Holy Week confectioners sell some three million units.

Tortilla española – Spanish Omelette

This is a round omelette, the basic ingredients of which are scrambled eggs and potatoes, although many Spaniards prefer it with onions as well.  It is one of the symbols of traditional Spanish cuisine, although its origin is unclear. There are those who claim it was mentioned in Arte de Cocina (1611), by Francisco Martínez Montiño, chef to Phillip III, where it is known as the tortilla de cartuja; others say it was invented by a cook for the Carlist troops in the XIX century. The Spanish omelette is a simple, economical dish and quick to prepare. It may be eaten either hot or cold, and many other ingredients may be added, depending on the region: from cold cuts (ham, sausage or butifarra) to vegetables (onion, asparagus, spinach, courgettes, peppers) and legumes, rice and even entrails (brains and lamb sweetbreads).


A small, wide glass of wine, usually drunk as an aperitif in the Basque Country and Navarre, generally accompanied by a pincho or tapa.

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