They have emerged as the contemporary adaptation of our classic taverns
The main hallmark of the universal apotheosis that Spanish cuisine enjoys is that it is simply free cuisine and this has contributed to the universal triumph of the tapa. The international success of this miniature cuisine, whose headquarters are the gastrobars as a contemporary and culinary evolution of the classic taverns, represents the arrival of freedom to fine dining: overcoming the strictness of French haute cuisine and the opening of a new space for creativity, both for chefs and for diners as there are a wide range of possibilities when it comes to making decisions.
Eating tapas is eating freely, without any fixed rules, whereby surprise, emotion and happiness can be found, which are the goals of any person when it comes to eating each day. They may be well prepared traditional tapas or other creative and even sophisticated tapas. The same goes for larger sized portions. Each person should look for what best suits his/her palate and mood at mealtimes.
The wine that best accompanies each tapa must also be considered as both tapas and pintxos were originally invented to accompany wine. Although some famous chefs defend these proposals on a universal scale, it is Spain that has made this new way of cooking and eating fashionable in the world. Perhaps for this reason, the avant-garde, creative and absolutely free Spanish cuisine is now number one in the world. A reality that on many occasions is expressed through shorter or longer menus that are none other than a succession of wonderful tapas, also known as “pintxos” in the north of Spain.
Nowadays, some of the great chefs in Spain offer what is known as “miniature cuisine”. They are tapas in the generic sense of the word but they also require small bowls, dishes or some other accessory, and almost always a spoon or teaspoon, knife and fork. The use of both hands is required and therefore it is better to be sitting at the bar, on a stool or at a traditional table. However, in essence, it is still cuisine in small portions that enables different flavours to be enjoyed, combined with different wines and above all, eat in the order that the diner prefers; in other words, breaking down all of the traditional rules.
In free cuisine, the old formulae have been done away, such as the obligation of having a first and second course followed by a dessert, drinking white wine before red, young red wine before aged, white wine with fish and red wine with meat. The great chefs have discovered that “miniature cuisine”, free cuisine is a splendid opportunity for the current times and that gastrobars are the best place to offer it.