Traditional food and drink in the City of Seville

History of the tapas… 

This historic city attracts food-lovers from all over – it is where the tapa  (small plate of food) was invented. Although it is said that tapas was invented in Seville, their are a few myths and legends regarding the tradition:

  • The most famous one relates to King Alfonso X, because of a disease the doctors recommended that he regularly sip some wine. In order to prevent the effects of alcohol, he used to eat small appetizers. Once he was healed, he decided that all taverns in Castles should serve some food with each glass of wine.
  • In the 17th century the private clubs of the Sevillian bourgeoisie used to order wine and other drinks from the surrounding grocery stores. The owners used to cover (tapar) the glasses with some embutido  so that dust would not go into the glass.
  • It’s quite probable that the history of tapas  dates from after the Civil War (early 20th century). This was when the scarcity of food forced people to eat small dishes to survive.
  • Others believe that as bars emerged, bartenders offered salty snacks as a courtesy to clients who would then become thirsty and order a new drink. Which in the long run benefited the organisation.

Traditional food and drink

Other traditional foods that locals and tourists love in Seville are; Bulls tail, pork in whiskey, flamenquines, spinach and chickpeas, pork cheek, and stewed meats. Seville is famous for its cuisine, boasting superb seafood platters next to traditional recipes with multicultural origins. Also, Seville is a very affordable place to eat and drink, with prices for a tapas starting at 1 euro 80 cents.

Bulls tail

One of the most powerfully flavourful dishes you are likely to try in Seville is stewed rabo/cola de toro, or bull’s tail. The tail is divided into thick segments and slow-cooked for hours, in a sauce of red wine, stock and vegetables (usually onion and carrots, but the exact recipe varies from place to place).

Pork whiskey

Pork whiskey is a  fried pork loin in a whiskey sauce. It is a staple of Seville’s more traditional tapas bars, especially those in Triana. For this classic dish, thin slices of loin are flash-fried in a whiskey reduction, usually with a little garlic and olive oil, and served with the usual carb-fest of bread and chips.

Spinach and chickpeas

The wilted spinach is mixed together with boiled chickpeas, generous amounts of seasoning and hints of turmeric and cumin – a telltale sign of southern Spain’s Arabic heritage – to create a surprisingly filling tapas. Usually served with a wedge of fried bread and a decent-sized dish of Sevillano veggie that will satisfy even the most dedicated of carnivores.

Sangria

Some of Seville’s most traditional drinks are; Sangria, cerveza, and a variety of wines; which are very popular drinks among locals and tourists.

The history of sangria is pretty straightforward. Over 2,000 years ago the Romans made their way through the Iberian Peninsula and planted vineyards along the way. As water at that time was considered unsafe for drinking, it was common to fortify it with alcohol to kill off any bacteria. The first sangria  were likely heavily watered down mixes of wine, water, and herbs and spices. saying that, the easiest way to think of modern day sangria is as a wine punch, often involving fruit and other alcohols. But it is important to note that there is no standard recipe here in Spain. It is a complex drink and many people have different ideas as to what should be in it.

Cerveza

Cerveza is an alcoholic beverage, that is not distilled. It is manufactured with spouted grains of barley or other cereals containing starch that is fermented; in water with yeast. There are many variants with a wide range of nuances due to the different forms of elaboration and the ingredients used. It usually has an amber colour with shades ranging from yellow gold to black through reddish browns. Its alcoholic graduation can reach up to about 30% vol, although it is mainly between 3% and 9% vol.

Manzanilla

Manzanilla is one of  Spain top-selling dry sherry, which speaks to its popularity. You’ll find this drink more often than not in the infamous Feria de Abril festival in Seville. There it’s served under the name “rebujito,” a drink mixed with Sprite and ice.