Tapas, and tapas bars have come a long way since my first experience of eating in miniature. Back in the 70's and fresh from being insulted by shoe shine boys I wandered into a dockside bar in Barcelona.
Smoke filled and as bright as the Black Hole of Calcutta, rough hewn stevedores, ankle deep in napkins, feasted on pigs trotters from rough hewn cazuelas. Despite the air of total menace and a guard of honour of ladies of the night at the entrance, it didn't put me off the idea of tapas!
Now the whole experience is much more refined with comfortable smoke-free bars and some wonderful gourmet dishes on offer for the discerning pallet of the discerning local or discerning traveller.
Every year the bars of Palma throw open their shop window to display their culinary art and craft in miniature during the TaPalma tapas fest. Normally around 50 bars tempt you in with some extravagant gourmet creations, artfully presented, and cheap.
Last year, TaPalma 2018 served up over 40,000 platelets of mini-food to an eager audience who also consumed quite a few litres of wine, beer, and imaginative cocktails as part of the deal.
Now, if like me you need lots of notice to take a holiday – arranging time off work, checking the pet-sitter's availability, searching flights and hotels – you'll be pleased to hear that the dates for this year's tapatastic fest have already been announced.
TaPalma 2019 takes place in Palma from 25 November to 1 December 2019.
I might just mosey along and fill my boots. See you there?