Spanish food is known for being fairly straight-forward and simple while delicious and terribly tasty. One of the most characteristic Spanish dishes you can find is tapas, which are very often served in bars as a side dish/appetiser to go with drinks (in some places you even get the tapas for free when you order your drinks).
The word tapa comes from the old tradition of covering (to cover=tapar) your drink with a piece of bread or a slice of ham in order to avoid flies or dust to fall inside. Nowadays they are offered as appetisers that people have before starting lunch (so you can go to a bar to get some tapas and drinks and then go for lunch) or they are eaten as lunch or dinner by ordering several ones to fill you up (as they are usually small dishes).
There are hundreds of different tapas, but depending on where you travel in Spain, you will find some that are more popular than others. As I’m from Murcia, in the south-east of Spain (near Alicante), I’m going to share with you some examples of tapas that are often seen in my province. They are SO EASY and quick to make that you’ll be able to enjoy them wherever you live and surprise your friends by having them over for some typical Spanish tapas at lunch or dinner.
Here are some of the most popular tapas in Murcia: