La perla de la reina

We dont yet know the winners of last weekend’s II Ruta de Tapa around 16 of the bars and restaurants in both San Fulgencio and La Marina but we do know that it was an overwhelming success.

Of course the winning bar itself will be presented with a very prestigious certificate and nameplate announcing it’s gastronomic achievements. That in itself is really what they are all after. But there are cash prizes for the participants.

There is a prize for the best selfie, a meal voucher to the value of 60 euros to be spent at one of the collaborating bars and a 200 euro cash prize for those partook of tapas in at least eight of the bars and who voted on the tapa leaflets in the overall competition.

Entries of the best selfie can be made until this coming Friday although voting in the tapa competition closed on Sunday evening.

But for those of you who missed this gastronomic event I thought that I would share with you three of my favourites, which, if you ask very nicely in the relevant bar or restaurant, might still be available for your culinary delight.

At the bar El Puente Alto, we were presented with “the Pearl of the Queen”. Quite probably the winner of the most decorative offering, if there were one, an oyster shell filled with delicious veal and decorated with strips of peppers and a quail egg.

In La Marina at the Cervecería Santa Mónica we were welcomed by an Autumn Skewer. Cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and shallots bathed in a wild mushroom sauce surrounding a skewer of Iberian pork with a further accompaniment of a roasted potato.

My third offering was produced at La Estación, a delicious mini sandwich of braised pork loin with vegetables and spices, again in a delicious barbecue sauce.

A total of 16 bars and restaurants took part in the tapas route at each of which a small beer and tapa cost just 2 euro….and there was the added convenience and availability of the free tourist train to transport you around the route.

Having tapas is a popular version of eating out, this style becoming so typical that consumers have now started to replace long and formal meals with informal and sociable tapas. In Spanish, to eat tapas even has its own verbs; picar means “to pick at” and is used to describe the way you would eat finger-foods, while tapear is a verb specifically meaning “to have tapas”.

Tapas follow the gastronomic tastes and traditions of each region, but olives, nuts, meats and cheeses are universal to all areas. They also encompass ingredients including meats, fish, vegetables, eggs and many other foods served in small forms.

And if you didn’t take part in the II Ruta de Tapa that has just ended you really did miss an enjoyable and most sociable event. Make sure that you don’t make the same mistake for the next edition.


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