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Spanish Cuisine with a Canadian Twist: Banff Restaurants Serving Tapas

Posted by El Toro Banff on August 22, 2014

As one of Spain's most famous culinary exports, tapas is popular yet simple enough that many restaurants all over the world offer it. In an article for the Lonely Planet website, writer Javier Panero says:

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Tapas are meant to be a light appetiser between meals to help gulp down some wine or beer. No wonder the most popular times to go de tapeo for Spaniards is midday or during the evening before dinner time. This may surprise the thousands of tourists who have been sold a different concept back in their home countries, but there are many differences between these tapas restaurants and the real Spanish experience.

In truth, tapas is more like a way of serving food rather than a meal itself. This has lent itself well to being adapted to the cuisine of various countries. For Alberta residents seeking a taste of tapas, there are popular Banff restaurants that offer it.

A notable example is El Toro, which you're sure to hear about when you. The establishment puts its own stamp on the usual light meal by offering larger servings and offerings that can turn your tapas experience into a full meal.

For those who want the ideal tapas experience, here are a couple of tips. First, it's a social activity. Tapas are for nibbling on while you drink and talk with your friends or family. It's like drinking alone; you might still have fun, but it's ultimately better with company. You can make a meal out of it though, as it is done in some parts of Spain; just sit down with your companions and a bottle of wine and order tapas until you and your friends are full.

Second, expect to choose from a wide selection. Many tapas dishes are served on little plates and typically served in lots. Four dishes is ideal, although if your party is more than four, you might want to order an additional dish for each person. This means if you've got six people with you, better order seven dishes, so everyone can have enough. Additionally, tapas is available in two types: hot and cold. Hot tapas are usually cooked meals like stews and meatballs, while cold tapas are pickled or cured dishes like ham or olives. Order a mix so that the cold tapas will be served first and then the hot, ensuring you'll have food throughout the entire meal.

(Source: Tapas: the essential guide to bar food in Spain, The Lonely Planet, June 6, 2013)