Tapas Is Bullshit

*The Bullshit Series started on an older blog but I wanted to bring these articles back here, as I have new installments for the series that I want to release over time. The series focuses on things that I think are bullshit… like filet mignon, Zubaz pants, the Pro Bowl and diets.

*Written in 2014.

Tapas. Even the word annoys me. It sounds like someone with a lisp trying to say “tap ass”. By the way, I do like to “tap ass”. So when someone says “tapas” it pisses me off more because of the confusion.

You see, the whole concept of tapas baffles me. Someone once told me and I think it is a common belief that the word “tapas” means “little bits”. Well, according to Wikipedia, that’s bullshit because it is a word derived from the verb “tapar”, which means “to cover”. Well, I don’t know what the shit it’s covering because I’m still hungry. And to refer to them as little bits, which technically they are, just proves that they aren’t a very manly food. To be straightforward, if someone were to ask me, “You hungry, you want some little bits?” I’d quickly and angrily respond with, “Fuck no, I want a big ass piece of red meat and a goddamned bucket of whiskey or three!”

Tapas has become a big trend in American dining over the last several years. It’s a trend that came over from Spain, a country that enchants me on their soccer and wine fields. However, they seem to have lost sight of being respectable in the culinary arts. I’ve always been a fan of Spanish cuisine but the tapas thing makes me question my once loyal allegiance to one of the tastiest of European regions.

I mean, how did the Spaniards come up with this? Did the Conquistadors of yore pillage a village of midgets somewhere and thus, stole their tiny cuisine? Was there some sort of subculture we don’t know about where people pretended they were mice and ate little bits of food? Did some royal cook get killed for not putting a casserole together properly and then the king found out that he actually enjoyed all the little ingredients by themselves?

Additionally, who wants to eat a bunch of small food that is already cut up for you? I told my mum to give me the knife at 4 years-old because even as a child, I didn’t need mommy cutting up my steak into tiny bits. I was more of a man at four than these tapas eating adults today! When I see adults eating tapas, I see drooling toddlers carefully picking away at their tiny dinners. They might as well serve this shit on plastic Bob the Builder plates.

Let’s call tapas what it is, appetizers. Tapas is the Spaniard version of mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, Southwest egg rolls, sliders, mini quiches and whatever else tiny piece of food one would eat because they’re hungry right now and the steak takes longer to cook.

Now the way Spain handles tapas, doesn’t offend me. They have them in bars, which people frequent after work. They are there to nibble on and enjoy because in Spain, people don’t eat dinner till after 9 o’clock. You see, tapas isn’t a meal, it is just an appetizer to hold you over until your meal is in your face.

In America, we’ve got it all fucked up. There are all these tapas restaurants and all the snooty white girls and their lapdog boyfriends have to frequent these culinary pits and dine on tapas – for dinner! Bitch, if all you’re eating for dinner is appetizers, you’re a special kind of stupid. You might as well just go sit at Applebee’s and keep ordering Potato Twisters for fifteen straight courses.

But I get it, with tapas you can order multiple things and “try” the food. Well, that’s all fine and dandy but that’s why I go to fucking Costco and at least there, the shit’s free! Also at Costco, I can buy the big version if I like something. Because what if, while trying all this stuff, you find something that makes you go, “Okay, right there! That’s the one!” Well, what do you do then? It’s an American tapas restaurant, can you simply order a 12 oz. portion of the fried goose liver with Pamplona glaze on a dainty little Melba Toast? No, you can’t. You can probably order a bunch of it as tapas but then the overly tanned white waiter who is pretending he is from Barcelona will just look at you like a pretentious douche because how dare you challenge the ancient discipline of tapas etiquette! The point is, why are you “trying” all the food if you can’t even order a decent portion of it? If you find the one thing you like, too bad, you just get a bite and are stuck munching on some other crap you don’t want.

My boss had a big company dinner about a year ago and he took us to this big tapas place in Las Vegas. Everyone raved about it and all the people who went were so excited to dine on tapas. We got there, I ate a bite of twenty different things and then it was over. I was still hungry and was like, “All this little shit is fine and dandy but where’s my goddamned entrée?” Nope, no entrée. Just a bunch of appetizers and a big check. Luckily, I didn’t have to pay for it. After I left this place that my boss described as “awesome”, I ditched my co-workers and hit up Del Taco. Why? Because tapas did not inspire “awe” and I was fucking hungry.

That was just one of several experiences I have had with tapas and after giving it a try a half dozen times or more, I’m just not impressed. Tapas places in the U.S. that at least offer actual entrées in addition to their fancy appetizers are at least considerate and doing it the right way. If an establishment only sells tapas, they’re bourgeoisie assholes that get off on starving while honoring trendiness over practicality.

Spain must laugh at us because I am. I mean, wouldn’t we in America laugh if some other country had some trend going where they opened thousands of restaurants only to serve fried pickles, kettle chips, tempura green beans and artichoke dip? And wouldn’t it be somewhat insulting if they referred to it as the pinnacle of American cuisine?

At the end of the day, do what you want, it’s your life. However, if you are some tapas connoisseur that values eating like a mouse toddler over eating like a full grown human being, you’re brain is about as big as the morsel on your coffee saucer dinner plate.