Tapas SpainFew things are more quintessentially Spanish than tapas; visitors to Spain can now discover where to enjoy the best and most innovative of the traditional Spanish dishes thanks to a new ‘top five’ list of expert recommendations from the state-owned Paradores group of landmark hotels.

The Paradores exemplify Spanish culture, embracing the avant garde whilst respecting the country’s history and traditions. Constant reinvention and collaboration amongst Paradores chefs is all part of the group’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of contemporary Spanish cuisine. The culinary team strives to offer new gastronomic sensations for their clients, most notably displayed through inventive and modern twists on traditional Spanish tapas. When faced with a vibrant tapas menu brimming with a host of mouth watering options, how do the uninitiated choose? The Paradores’ carefully selected top five will help ensure guests don’t miss out on the classics.

Croquetas (croquettes) at Parador Artíes

This modern twist on a classic tapa was created especially for the Dry Snowrestaurant and cocktail bar at Parador Artíes, nestled in the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees. These small rolls – stuffed with a variety of fillings, covered in breadcrumbs, then fried – and are the perfect après-ski snack for guests who have worked up an appetite after a day on the world-famous slopes of the Baqueira Beret ski resort.

Berenjenas a la miel (aubergines in honey) at Parador Córdoba

For something a bit sweeter, head south to the luxury hotel of Parador Córdoba, set within the famous city of Caliphs, and snack on some traditional berenjenas a la miel – aubergines in honey. These crunchy treats are the perfect way to satisfy those sweet and salty cravings, and give guests a boost of energy to explore this UNESCO World Heritage City’s impressive landmarks, such as the spectacular Mezquita de Córdoba.

Papas arrugadas con mojo (Canary Islands wrinkly potatoes) at Parador La Gomera

Parador La Gomera, on the eponymous Canary Island, is a luxury retreat with exceptional views and an equally impressive gastronomic experience. After a day taking in the breathtaking views of neighboring Tenerife, head back to Parador La Gomera’s restaurant for a hearty dish of papas arrugadas con mojo – boiled potatoes served with a sauce made from olive oil, garlic, paprika and cumin.

Tortillitas de camarones (shrimp pancakes) at Parador Cádiz

This tapas of perfectly portioned shrimp pancakes is made from wheat and chickpea flour, and fried in olive oil with spices and onion. Wash these crunchy, savoury treats down with a chilled local vino fino at the luxurious Parador Cádiz, in the seaside city of the same name, famous for its Carnival celebrations.

Jamón ibérico (Iberian ham) at any Parador!

The most well known, but nonetheless irresistible Spanish tapa is Iberian ham, which can be enjoyed at any of Spain’s 94 Paradores. From the castle-palace in Olite or the grand lodge in Gredosjamón ibérico topped with a splash of Spanish olive oil is the ideal appetiser for any meal.