TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

Top 10

Frankly, we just love hustle and bustle. Both the great climate and tradition lead Murcian people to meet up in good company in order to make the most of the good weather. One example of these meeting places are the bars where you can enjoy nearly an infinite variety of tapas, whether it be inside at the counter or outside on the sun terraces. Just don't forget to always have your napkin to hand and, if you're still hungry, be ready to shout out 'Camarero, otra ronda!' ('Waiter, another round please!')

01

TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

MARINERA

This is one of the signature foods of our region that you just can't miss out on trying. It's made up of ensalada rusa (Russian salad) served on top of a long crunchy ring-shaped bread stick, and topped off with an anchovy in brine. Change the gender of the word and it's called a 'marinero', where an anchovy in vinegar replaces the anchovy in brine. And if you want it to be even simpler, that is, only with ensaladilla rusa, then ask for a bicicleta. But whichever type you have, there is an art to eating it without destroying the whole thing!

02

TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

PULPO (OCTOPUS)

Our octopus is truly multi-talented! One day it could be the main ingredient of a salad, whilst the next it may appear alone, cooked on the grill. But if there is one dish where this cephalopod really shines it's when it is oven-baked. The secret is the alcohol from either beer, wine or cognac with which the octopus is baked that gives it an incomparable flavour and texture. Just one piece of advice- work out what time the octopus is coming out of the oven as, although this may surprise you, it goes fast!

03

TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

CABALLITOS

Don't worry! The only thing that links this tapas to anything equine is its name (caballito, meaning 'little horse'). Over here we like to dress prawns up in a crunchy breadcrumb jacket and serve them on a platter, skewered on sticks. And if you really want to look like a native, don't forget to squeeze a little bit of lemon on top.

04

TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

MICHIRONES

Dry beans cooked with paprika, bacon, ham bone, chorizo and a little bit of chili and served very hot in a clay cooking pot. In winter they are great for warming yourself up, especially when accompanied by a glass of wine. And if you visit Murcia during the Spring festivals, don't forget to ask for them in the little stalls that pop up all over the city which give you the chance to enjoy the most typical Murcia gastronomy.

05

TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

MATRIMONIO

From the love story between an anchovy in brine and an anchovy in vinegar comes this tapas that concentrates all the taste of the sea into one single mouthful. In this gastronomical pairing, as many experts have recommended, the anchovy in brine is served on top, making it the winner in this tapas. We would recommend that you accompany this light dish with a cold beer in any one of the hundreds of sun terraces dotted around Murcia.

06

TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

SALAZONES (SALTY TAPAS)

In the Bronze Age neither fridges, nor Tupperware nor vacuum packaging existed, so in order to conserve various foods salting was invented. Although this is no longer necessary, we still continue to use this technique. Why? Well, so that the food stays rich! There are a thousand ways to try these kinds of tapas- egg and salted tuna with fried almonds, tinned sardines with migas or pipirrana, or, perhaps the most surprising, tuna with raw beans and some simple tomato segments, preferably from Águilas or Mazarrón. They can be such a tasty reminder that they will have you licking your fingers even after you get home.

07

TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

CHEESES WITH A DENOMINATION OF ORIGIN

Made from goat's milk, our cheeses' great flavours are guaranteed by their Denomination of Origin. Some of the best examples include Murcianwine cheese or mature almond cheese, to name but a few. Even being on a diet is no excuse, as even the most weight-obsessed can enjoy tapas of fresh grilled cheese. Having it on top of toast with either tomato or sobrasada (a chorizo paste) is optional!

08

TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

LANGOSTINOS DEL MAR MENOR

Smaller than the rest of its kind but with a much more intense colour and flavour, these prawns are one shellfish that is enjoyed across the entire peninsula. Fishermen say that this shellfish likes good weather, a westerly wind, calm nights and a floor of sand. So, they are as hedonistic as those who taste them! Whether they as an appetizer or served in more elaborate dishes, they are the joy of the Mar Menor.

09

TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

CARACOLES 'CHUPAEROS'

Companions of Christopher Colombus on his journey, the dishes in which these molluscs appear aren't to everyone's taste, but those who do try them don't remain indifferent. Their name betrays the fact that they are eaten not with a knife and fork but straight out of the shell. Simply fried with tomato or in a sauce with local ingredients such as tomato, peppers or almonds, this is an essential dish in the bars and restaurants of our region. Make sure you ask for bread as you're going to want to wipe your plate clean right down to the last tiny droplet of spicy sauce.

10

TAPAS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!

PISTO MURCIANO

Its origin dates back to the Muslim presence in the area and all of the ingredients are born out of the richness of the fertile, irrigated Region of Murcia. Essentially a base of fried onion, peppers and aubergine, it can be eaten alone or with scrambled eggs. Mouth-wateringly good!

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