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Food is an important part of our cycle tours, and on all of them we regularly enjoy tapas. Tapas is one of Spain's main culinary exports. However, outside of the country it is rarely done with the style and history that makes it so tasty in Spain.

Throughout Spain there are hundreds of different variations of tapas; the following are top ten that you have to try. The list features some tapas common throughout Spain, and some with a more regional bias.

10.) Pulpo a la Gallega Galician Octopus

Galician Octopus is simple but very tasty. It consists only of octopus, olive oil, paprika and salt, but the key is in the preparation - making the octopus beautifully tender.

The dish is found throughout Spain, but the best are from Galicia. This is a must try if you go on our Camino de Santiago Tour to the region.

9.) Calamares a la Romana

More commonly known as fried squid rings, this dish is another one that needs to be well prepared.

Good tapas bars will used fresh squid and a light batter. This will result in a finished product which is deliciously crisp on the outside but tender in the middle.

Chistorra Sausage

8.) Chorizo a la Sidra

Chorizo poached in cider is a favourite in Northern Spain.

The end result is like a very intensely flavoured and juicy pork and apple sausage.

7.) Jamón Ibérico

This is a special kind of ham, produced from pigs eating completely natural foods. The ham is then cured for at least two years.

The finest Jamón Ibérico comes from pigs which exclusively eat acorns and has a unique flavour.

6.) Albóndigas

Albóndigas were introduced to Spain during the period of Muslim rule.

They are a kind of meatball and are often served with tomato sauce. Some of the finest can be found in Seville, which we visit on our tour of Historic Andalucia.

5.) Gambas Al Ajillo Gambas al ajillo

Prawns in garlic is every bit as delicious as it sounds.

The dish can be very garlicky, so be wary of your evening plans before trying it!

4.) Manchego

Manchego is probably the best known Spanish cheese. It is a sheep cheese with a strong flavour and robust texture (like a cross between mature cheddar and parmesan).

Manchego is one of the most commonly served tapas throughout Spain.

3.) Piminetos Relleno de Bacalao

Red peppers filled with cod is common in the Northern Spain and is growing in popularity elsewhere.

The peppers can be part boiled or grilled and are packed full with prime cuts of cod.

2.) Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas is the most eaten tapas throughout Spain; you will find it almost all tapas bars.

It basically consists of fried chunks of potato smothered in a tomato sauce, which is sometimes spicy.

It is not a particularly sophisticated dish but, when done well, it can be very tasty.

1.) Tortilla de Patatas

Tortilla Tortilla, also known as Spanish omlette, is THE classic tapas. A simple dish consisting of egg, potato and olive oil (some bars also add onion or pepper), tortilla has been feeding the Spanish for generations.

The ones from the supermarkets in Spain are ok, but for classic tortilla you have to try it in a real tapas bar.

If you like the sound of Spanish food, and also like cycling, you may be interested in our cycling tours.

Food is an important part on all of our tours; indeed we run a specialist food and wine cycling tour to the Basque country.

The beauty of cycling tours is that you can eat a fantastic variety (and amount) of food completely guilt free. After all, you need energy for the next day!