Tapeo Extremo II
So this is what I did yesterday! Met up with some Twitter pals and fellow bloggers for a Tapeo Extremo, a term coined by travel writing legend and hardcore tapeo phenomenon Annie Bennett. Taking part were Fiona (Scribbler in Seville), Kate (Tales of a Brit Abroad), Kate’s friend Nicki, and Kim (Becoming Sevillana). I’ve known Fiona for quite awhile now, and Kate and Nicki had been on a tapas tour with me last summer, but it was the first time meeting Kim. Everyone knew that this was going to be pretty darn demanding and they had a lot to live up to if they were going to reach “extremo” standards. And well, the girls did good.
MY challenge was that nobody in the group ate meat, and one only tolerated fish in small amounts, so it had to be a pescatarian/vegetarian affair. Was I daunted? Hell no. Though it has to be said that the tour focused more on fish and seafood until the fourth and final tapas stop. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
At our first stop we had some tasty starters: tuna loin with fresh tomato, salt cod with salmorejo and mojama (dried tuna) as well as a gorgeous warm torta de Serena cheese. Next up at stop number two was a special treat for Fiona, as she had said early on when we were first organising our tapeo extremo that she’d only come if we were going to have coquinas. And so we had some lovely garlicky ones, along with swordfish in manzanilla sherry sauce and – eek! – sopa de galera. Trust me, this soup tastes much better if you don’t actually know what a galera is, and luckily the chicas were spared this knowledge as there didn’t happen to be any whole galeras in the house at the time (they were all in the soup).
After this it was time for something FRIED so we walked over the San Telmo bridge into Triana and sampled some fabulous battered salt cod and battered prawns (it occurred to me afterwards that I should have ordered the bacalao breaded for some variety, but oops!). Almost as an afterthought I ordered a plate of perfectly grilled chiperones (small squid) which for most was the star dish of the day. But the day wasn’t over yet. Although the girls were starting to flag we moved on to our fourth tapas bar to have a bit o’ veg, in the form of fresh radishes with a simple olive oil dressing and fabulous grilled mushrooms topped with a garlicky parsley alioli. And then we were DONE. Absolutely no more food was needed or wanted, but there still remained the temptation of an after-lunch cocktail at members-only Lab4.
As luck would have it the gorgeous glassed-in balcony window seats were available when we arrived, which are the best seats in the place. And as our Tapeo Extremo came to an end and we sipped our cocktails while dusk fell over the Plaza San Francisco, I couldn’t help but think that at that point Annie would have been planning the next move… but hey. For youngsters I think las chicas held their end up very well.