Croquetas Day!

We may all know that Croquettes come from France, but you may don´t know how old the recipe is. In 1691 Francois Massialot published Le cuisinier roial et bourgeois. More than 10 croquette recipes are available in the book, always recommended as an starter.


However the recipe was very different to the one we use these days. In 1691 croquettes were made of meat, eggs and herbs, then covered with egg and bread crumbs.

Since then we can find many different recipes of croquettes in Europe, mostly all cruncky balls were called that way. In 17th century bechamel was still not invented. Was in 1733 when the chef Vincent la Chapelle wrote a sauce recipe that was a mix of butter, herbs, flour and milk, and it was named bechamel because of  Louis de Béchameil (1630-1703).

The bechamel became very popular in the 18th century, and then frech chefs started using that sauce to make croquettes. 


In 1812 Spanish chefs offered croquetas to the british troops in Spain, they came to help us to get rid off Napoleon, but unfortunatelly we don´t have the recipe.

Since then croquetas (already in Spanish) became more and more popular. From the 19th century  we can find Spanish croquetas recipes with chicken, rabbit, lamb, lobster, salmon, etc. Some recipes explain how to cook croquettes made as meatballs, other recipes already include bechamel. 

In those days Cocido stew was already very popular in Spain, so the most popular recipes have always been the ones using the meat from the stew. This way we created Croquetas de Jamón, one of the most popular recipes in Spain.

French croquette are big and with cork size. Spanish croquetas are just Tapas size, creamy and full of Spanish taste. 

Today all around Spain you can get croquetas as Tapas. Hope you´ll enjoy!

Love Recipes

According to Robert Sternberg, love is composed by 3 ingredients: intimacy, commitment and passion.
The combination of those 3 ingredients could make 7 recipes of love. 

June 16th_ International Tapas Day

In 2010 tapas were acknowledged internationally when UNESCO declared it as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Tapas are considered healthy food, also conservation of traditional and artisanal activities. Many different civilations were established in Spain for centuries, and tapas are just a bit of all those gastronomical years. 

Since 2011 few Spanish gastronimical associations are celebrating the International Tapas Day. Every year more and more countries are joining us. "Going for tapas" is our hallmark. Everywhere in Spain: big cities, small town, bars in from of the sea... you´ll find Tapas everywhere! 

If you are travelling around Spain these days, you´ll find all tapas route available these days. 

If you just feel like celebrating International Tapas Day at home, I´d like to help you with that. Check out some easy recipes and enjoy your meal!


Tapas History

Some people do believe that tapas started in Andalusian taverns (southern province of Spain). The word "tapa" can be translated as "cover". This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry (see below for more explanations).Tapas traditionally have been a complementary piece of sliced ham served on top of a glass of wine, however we know them today as small portions of food typically served as a snack before lunch or dinner. Tapas can be as simple as a bowl of olives or slices of Serrano ham.
Others believe that the tapa was born when the Spanish king Alfonso the 10th was ill. The Wise had to take small bites of food with some wine between meals. Once recovered from the disease, the wise king decreed that no wine was to be served in any of the inns in the land of Castile, unless accompanied by something to eat. This was a wise precaution to counteract the adverse effects of alcohol on those people who, through lack of money to buy a nourishing meal drank alcohol on an empty stomach. Apart from the story of the royal disease we should consider the theory that the tapa first appeared because of the need of farmers and workers of other unions to take a small amount of food during their working time, which allowed them to carry on working until time for the main meal. This main meal, rich in fat, was so heavy to digest that a "siesta" had to be taken for a couple of hours before going back to the fields or to the workshop. Longer working hours in the morning meant an easier workload after the meal.

Another popular explanation says that King Alfonso XIII stopped by a famous tavern in Cádiz (Andalusian city) where he ordered a cup of wine. The waiter covered the glass with a slice of cured ham before offering it to the king, to protect the wine from the beach sand, as Cádiz is a windy place. The king, after drinking the wine and eating the tapa, ordered another wine "with the cover"

Wine was the natural accompaniment to this snack, as it induced a mellow mood and increased strength, while in winter it warmed the body as protection against very cold days in the fields and in the workshops of the Middle Ages. In summer, the drink taken in the South was "gazpacho" (cold tomato soup), instead of wine, which increased body heat rather than providing the necessary cold refreshment.
The snack is called "alifara" in northern Spain , Aragón and Navarra; and later, in the Vasque Country, it began to be called "poteo", because the wine had to be drunk in "potes" (jars).
Once the "botillerias" (bottle-shops) and "tabernas" (taverns) became established throughout Spain , the wise King’s decree remained in place. For that reason, the glass or jar of wine was served covered with a slice of either smoked ham or cheese, for two.

5 Tips for ordering wine


You have no idea of what is the best wine for your meal? You don´t know how to pronounce the name of the wine "Ribera del Duero"? Ask the waiter or sommelier, they´ll be happy to share their knoledge with you. This way you´ll be learning from them. 


Best wines will not be the most expensives (trust me, I´ve tried most of them). Don´t be afraid to set you price range. If you don´t want to talk about € / $ / £ you can point something on the menu and ask for a similar bottle.


In wine producer countries like Spain, we talk about wine in the same way as food: "I´d like something with strong flavour, powerful smell and no sweet please. Or maybe fruity and savory."


There are so many options of wine, so always best to choose the food first. Once you made your choice, think of what kinds of flavours would go best with your meal. 


Every person is unique, so don´t trust others more than yourself. If you hear that the wine is having "ripe berries" and that sounds interesting to you, order that wine. It is all about enjoying and testing.