There are excellent restaurants in Seville, serving all the specialities of Andalusian cuisine, as well as national and international foods. However, Sevillian gastronomy finds its true identity in tapeo or the tasting of small portions of different dishes. The most widespread theory as to the origin of the tapa (savoury titbit) is that it comes from the custom of covering a glass of wine with a piece of bread and some sausage meat, which is how both were usually served.
The art of Tapeo
One curiosity associated with tapeo is the peculiar way Sevillian waiters have of naming off the available tapas, cleverly substituting the written menu lists, which are nonetheless displayed. Tapeo includes not only eating and drinking, but also represents a social act whose protocol has been strictly described by the best of experts.
The tapa tastes must be harmonized on a rising scale of intensity and properly spaced out.
No more than ten should be had, yet less than five is too austere.
There should be no more than four people in the group, to allow for easier mobility along the route, greater comfort at the bar and more harmonious conversation.
Tapas find their greatest ally in sherry wines, manzanilla or amontillado, although the hot climate of Seville makes cold beer advisable.
Restaurants in Seville
The fame and uniqueness of tapeo should not take away the pleasure of fine dining in a good restaurant. Well-known both here and outside the Seville area, splendid restaurants use top-quality products to yield varied and imaginative menus. Countless dishes can also be enjoyed from Sevillian traditional cuisine, to which local chefs have made new contributions, improvements and innovations. Especiallly noteworthy are the cakes and pastries made by the nuns in the closed convents following very old traditional recipes.