Tapas are popular snacks that originated in Spain. They have assorted key ingredients that vary from being an appetiser to a full-course meal, normally served in small amounts or on enormous plates. Tapas are either free or ordered in a bar. The varieties are endless, and it’s one of the major reasons people all over the world love it. They are essentially a lifestyle, and every bar defines itself with the diverse tapas served.
In Spain, you won’t normally find the word “tapas” in a bar’s menu. You may, however, find the word “raciones” – which means “rations” or large servings – or “mediaraciones“, servings in half a plate.
The Limitless Variations
Tapas can be anything – from tuna chunks to fried baby squid (chopitos), chorizo sausages and many others. In many local bars and restaurants around Spain, tapas contain strong spices and herbs. Seafood-based tapas are often served as well, sometimes with either heap of olive oil in them, or with green and red bell peppers, or in a tomato puree or sauce.
These delicious snacks are also called pinchos in the northern areas of Spain. “Pinchos” derives from the toothpick (called “pincho” in Spanish) that holds all the ingredients together on top of a lightly toasted slice of bread. The toothpicks also help keep track of the number of tapas consumed per customer.
Philippines – Known locally as pica-pica (finger food) or pulutan (meaning “to pick up”) in Tagalog
Argentina and Uruguay – Picada, servings of cold dishes such as olives, ham, cheese, bologna, etc.
Brazil – Tira-gostos, side dishes with more rare and traditional varieties, that accompany beer and other alcoholic drinks
Italy – Cicchetti, normally eaten for lunch or in the late afternoon as a snack
Korea – Anju, a Korean term for food served with alcohol
Tapas are conveniently easy to make
There is a diverse range of recipes, ingredients and cooking techniques across multiple countries around the world. You can even make your very own healthy version paired with one of our delicious hummus recipes on our website. Vamos a cocinar! Cheers!
Instead, grab your favorite bag of chips, vegetable sticks, and crackers and start making your own delicious dip from scratch.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Cheesy, meaty and spicy, the buffalo chicken dip has it all. It’s one of the most celebrated dips in the world, perfect for watch parties and movie nights. Plus, with easy-to-find ingredients (chicken, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, and LOTS of cheese) you’ll never go wrong with this delicious classic.
Strawberry Cheesecake Dip
Who says desserts can’t be dips? If you’re craving for cake but don’t have time to bake one, strawberry cheesecake dips are the easiest and tastiest way to get your sweet tooth excited.
Mushroom and Gouda Fondue
You’re going to need a lot of bread for this one. This cheese fondue is made in a skillet (surprise!) and is a delectable starter for a beautiful Sunday morning. Each dip melts in your mouth and gives you that earthy, delicious taste.
Cake Batter Dip
Perfect for kids parties! This birthday-cake-inspired dip is amazing with cookies, waffles, crackers and even cake. It’s rich and creamy, and just like any icing on a cake – it’s got a lot of sprinkles.
Layered Smoked Salmon Dip
Ever get tired of eating crab dip all the time? Smoked salmon dip is the way to go. Mixed with cream cheese, capers, horseradish and mustard, this is a must-try dip for the seafood lover. Best paired with toasted bagel chips.
Mangos? On a salsa? This salsa has tons of flavor with charred onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, and yes – even mangos. It’s a favorite snack in the summer, served with chips or dressed up with grilled fish.
Lemon Feta Dip with Garlic Tomato Vinaigrette
A pretty long name, but not a pretty long time to make. This Lemon Feta Dip recipe is a heavenly appetizer. Yum!
Cheesy Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Who says dips can’t be vegan? Made with a pureed cashew cream mixed with garlic, shallots, artichoke and spinach, this vegetable-packed comfort dip is perfect to go alongside fresh vegetables, pita chips, or flatbread.
This dip is made with only 3 ingredients! It’s called “3-2-1” because it’s made with 3 blocks of cream cheese, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, and 1 pound of Italian sausage. Top it all off with green chilis and seasoning and it’s a banger.
Skillet Nacho Dip
A twist to an all-time classic, the skillet nacho dip takes all your favorite nacho toppings into one, so you can fill up your plate and eat this as it is, or dip it with tortilla chips.
Hot Crab Dip
Are you still tired of your regular crab dip? If the smoked salmon dip isn’t up your alley, try spicing up that crab dip with slices of green jalapenos and tons Greek yogurt for that extra flare and fancy.
We’re halfway through the list!
Have you found your favorite yet? Here’s more where those came from:
Vegan Chili ‘Cheese’ Dip
We say “cheese” but there’s actually no cheese. The base of this delicious dip is made from almond milk and raw cashews, simmered together with potatoes and mixed with sauteed jalapenos and paprikas. Sprinkle it with cooked chorizo and top it off with radishes, avocado, scallions cilantro, and more jalapenos.
Honey Ricotta Dip
If you want a dip entirely made of cheese, this has to be it. This is a warm and gooey cheese appetizer you need in your life. Ricotta cheese with honey, orange zest, red pepper flakes and olive oil? Heaven.
Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Dip
We know cookie dough is supposed to be eaten, but why not give it a twist and make it a party dip? This cream-cheese-based dip is super easy to make and is super delicious and indulgent – just mix everything together, bring out the graham crackers, and you’re set for a dessert party in your mouth.
Cilantro-Lime White Bean Dip
Healthy, tasty and extremely easy to make, this dip is popular to make during St. Patrick’s Day due to its green color. This dip blends white beans, garlic, cilantro leaves and extra virgin olive oil together, and is served with fresh veggies or crackers.
Spicy Harissa Black Eyed Pea Dip
This creamy and flavorful dip is an amazing seasonal alternative to the traditional hummus. With harissa – a North African hot chili pepper paste – added in, the spiciness and flavor of this dip is out of this world.
2-Ingredient Fruit Dip
We mentioned a 3-ingredient dip, but yes – there’s a 2-ingredient dip made of cream cheese and whipped marshmallows. This dip ties in together with all of your favorite fruits. You can even dip crackers and pretzel sticks with this one. It’s so simple to make.
Three fruits come together for a heavenly, fruit-filled salsa. With the hint of sweetness from the strawberries and mango, the creaminess of the avocado, and a kick of heat from the jalapenos, it’s another perfect dip to serve in parties and gatherings.
Slow-cooker Corn and Jalapeno Dip
With this dip you get the best of both worlds: crunchy and spicy. Oh, did we mention it’s a whole lot cheesy, too? You won’t even need a side of chips with this one. Don’t be afraid to take spoonfuls, we won’t judge you.
Loaded Delicata Squash Hummus Dip
This variety of the hummus dip is a great way to welcome fall. Delicata squash blended with chickpeas, olive oil and a few spices makes this the most rich savory, and delightful dip you’d ever want to try. It’s basically a meal on its own.
Roasted Poblano and Corn Guacamole
A guac addict? This is for you. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and zesty, and it’s filled with roasted poblano peppers and corn kernels. Delish!
Serena Wolf’s Boss Bean Dip
Author of the The Dude Diet and The Dude Diet Dinnertime, Serena Wolf creates this easy two-step bean dip that’s highly packed with protein and deliciousness. It only takes 20 minutes to make, making this the perfect snack for movie nights.
Greek Yogurt French Onion Dip
This quick and easy Greek Yogurt French Onion dip is a healthy, low carb, gluten free and protein packed appetizer that is perfect for parties! Only 110 calories and so creamy! Great tasting and great for the body. Everybody wins.
The culinary world is as diverse and unique as the nations where the dishes originate from. It carries the traditions and flavors from various places and puts it conveniently on a plate. Delicacies from the Middle East, such as tahini, tabouli, and hummus, are some of the most interesting ones. Today, we’ll talk about yet another Levantine dish – baba ghanoush, an appetizing appetizer.
What is Baba Ghanoush?
Baba ghanoush, also known as baba ghanouj or baba ganoush, is taking both fine dining and home settings by storm. It is widely recognized as a dish mainly made of mashed, cooked eggplant combined with several seasonings, tahini, and olive oil.
Baba ghanoush is a delicacy that has a distinct smoky taste. The ideal serving of this dish is as a cold or room temperature spread and it goes incredibly well with pita bread. Although, some enjoy it on it’s own, and that’s absolutely fine!
How to Prepare Baba Ghanoush at Home
You don’t have to go to a restaurant or visit the grocery in order to enjoy a piece of heaven that is baba ghanoush. You just need a few ingredients and you can easily whip up this Levantine dish at home! This includes the following:
– One large eggplant
– Garlic cloves
– Pinch ground cumin
– Olive oil
– Brine-cured black olives
– Fresh lemon juice
– Flat-leaf parsley
– Salt to taste
As far as cooking necessities, begin preparing a charcoal grill and an oven. The first step is to grill the eggplant until the outer skin turns black and you see a soft flesh, which is usually done within 10 to 15 minutes. After which, bake it in the oven for around 15-20 minutes until very soft.
Once that’s done, allow the eggplant to cool a bit and then peel the skin. Mash the eggplant in a bowl and then mix the other ingredients together, with variations in salt, lemon juice, and tahini according to your taste. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle some parsley, put some olives on the sides for presentation, and voila! Enjoy!
The Battle Between Baba Ghanoush and Hummus
As far as nutritional value is concerned, baba ghanoush and hummus are often compared with each other. So which one is better? It really depends on what you need.
When talking about similarities, both hummus and baba ghanoush have no cholesterol content. As a matter of fact, they both contain unsaturated fats, which are instrumental to cardiovascular health through low cholesterol levels and decreased inflammation.
When talking about differences, baba ghanoush has more potassium content, which is essential to regular heartbeat and optimal nerve and muscle function. On the other hand, hummus has more B-vitamin content for energy and lesser risks of cardiovascular problems. Either way, both are good for you.
So, ready to whip up a healthy dish of baba ghanoush? You know you want to try it!
Everyone loves hummus. It’s great as a dip or as a standalone dish by itself. However, there are some of us who are allergic to chickpeas – a major component of hummus. Does that mean you give up on this Levantine dish? Not really, because you can substitute white beans as a chickpea alternative! There are plenty of varieties of white beans and each one has it’s own health benefits.
While chickpea is the ideal ingredient when making hummus, you can always pick other varieties of white beans as a substitute. You may use equal amounts like you would do with chickpeas and you’d still get a delicious tasting hummus.
Which Type Should You Pick?
When you shop for this type of bean, you will notice that there are more than one type – as a matter of fact, there are four kinds! These are the types of white beans and how to distinguish one from the other.
Navy Beans/ Pea Beans – these are small, oval-shaped beans that have the most fiber out of all the variants, with 19 grams per cup to be exact
Great Northern Beans – these are medium-sized beans popular for its firm flesh and nutty flavor
Cannellini Beans – also known as white kidney beans due to its shape, it is the largest of the bunch
Baby Lima Beans – these are known as small creamy beans with a buttery texture, thus the moniker “butterbeans”
The truth is, however, that you can use them interchangeably, so depending on your taste, you can choose one of them as a substitute for chickpeas.
Benefits of White Beans
White beans are bursting with fibre, and if you eat them, your bowels will thank you. You can check out our guide below which will help you choose the right bean for your next dip. With flavors ranging from nutty to meaty, white beans are useful in so many dishes, not just dips.
Just because you make your dip with other beans doesn’t mean its any less nutritious! Some of the health benefits of white beans include the following:
– They are high in plant-based protein, which is essential for muscle building
– It is great for bone development because of its high calcium content
– It promotes regular bowel because it is a natural source of fiber
– White beans can help regulate sugar levels while boosting energy
– It also has a decent amount of vitamin C, potassium, and folate
So you see, there are plenty of ways to enjoy hummus. Not a fan of chickpeas? Then white beans are your best bet.
We all know the famous hummus dip, with it’s different versions all over the world. But did you know that it has one ingredient that is famous in it’s own right? Everybody’s favorite, tahini to be specific! Let’s talk about tahini and everything you need to know about it.
Tahini, also known for various names like Tahina and Ardeh, is a toasted ground hulled sesame seed-based condiment. It is famously used in a lot of well known Eastern Mediterranean cuisines, but has also gained popularity in China and other Southeast Asian nations.
Basically, the tahini can be used as a standalone dip, which is a must-have in most Mediterranean dishes. Although it is also a major ingredient of hummus, halva, and baba ghanoush. Those are already famous appetizers, so take that popularity and the tahini can make a name of its own.
Everything You Need to Know About Tahini
Now that we know a bit of what tahini is, let’s delve deeper into this delectable dip/spread/ingredient and discover things you might not have known previously about it.
It’s Versatility is Endless
We already know that you can use tahini as a dip or even as a component to the widely-known hummus. But more than than, there are various ways you can enjoy this yummy substance. It can be used as a base for sauces due to its creamy texture, try it as a salad dressing, transform the way you enjoy pasta, and even create a tahini-based ice cream! Your imagination is the only limit to the way you can use it.
Tahini is a Healthy Addition to Any Dish
One compelling reason why people choose to experiment with tahini is not only because of its delicious taste, but also the health benefits it can bring. It is known to pack more protein that most nuts and milk. It even has various vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins for brain function and energy, vitamin E for lesser risks of stroke and heart disease, plus calcium, iron, and magnesium. That’s a lot of great things from a humble condiment!
Creating Homemade Tahini is Easy as Pie
If you thought a dish this beneficial can only be bought in stores, you’re wrong. You can make your own tahini at home with white hulled sesame seeds, grapeseed or olive oil, an oven, and a food processor! And the best thing is that it takes only 20 minutes to create your own version, with prep time and cooking time combined. Easy and cost-effective!
It is Going to Have its Own Film
If you still don’t believe the impact of tahini in your life, then perhaps a documentary will? A “Tahini the Movie” is in the works, which pays homage to this healthy dish. Coincidentally, the same team that made “Hummus the Movie” is working on it. What are the odds?
We could go on and on, but let’s leave it at this bite-sized information for now. Interested to try it out?
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