ONLY two months after devastating floods wrecked hundreds of lives and even killed a local man, the Vega Baja town of San Fulgencio bounced back with it’s fifth ‘Ruta de la Tapa’.
Expats and Spanish alike turned out in their hundreds to celebrate the national dish of Tapas in style, with bars across the village and the local urbanisation of La Marina getting involved.
At only €2.50 for a dish (with a drink, too), The Olive Press joined in to sample the wares and chat with people about the recent floods.
In ‘Our Plaice’, we sampled a medley of deep-fried seafood accompanied by a surprise mini-haggis, all selected by manager, Jim.
Joining me were Iain & Sue Lyall and Steve & Diane Douglas, who all live locally and support each and every tapas trail in the area.
“It’s important that we support local businesses,” said Iain, “especially after the floods, we need to show solidarity.”
His wife, Sue, agreed, “The floods were devastating, but bizarrely, it’s actually improved our relationship with the Spanish.”
“When they saw how quickly we all came together without any question to help with donations, clothing and cleaning, I think we were genuinely appreciated,” she continued.
Diane couldn’t agree more, “When communities and nations come together for an event like this, Spain is a fantastic place to be.”
In San Fulgencio village, our favourite tapas was the stuffed tartlet and garlic bread with goat cheese in the Power Pub.
But the service is Taperia Avenida was superb, where we enjoyed the cream of leek sauce and a skewer of caramelised octopus with garlic oil.
We bumped into Jeff and Jackie Booth who are on holiday in the area there, having been told to come along by their daughter who is back home in the UK.
“It’s such good value, and the tapas are superb,” enthused Jackie.
Jeff admitted, “We’re also taking advantage of the free bus between here and La Marina.”
Back at the urbanisation, Bar La Estacion was so busy, we had to wait some time for the dish voted best over the entire weekend, but the prawn nest on potato and broccoli gratin with ali oli was worth the wait.
Councillor for Tourism, Darren Parmenter, told us of his delight on organising the event, along with Remi and Ines of the Tourism Office.
He admitted, “Continuing with the Ruta de la Tapa is the best thing to do, considering what happened in September – there’s still a lot to do regarding the floods, but the human spirit here cannot be broken.”
Parmenter joined The Olive Press in Bavarius and sampled the home-made sausage with potatoes and curry sauce, which was just the right level of spicy and very wholesome.
The resident of 30 years did mention that plans were in place for many more similar events in 2020, and recommended that we “watch this space!”
In summary, a very successful tapas trail with great weather, very supportive participants and extremely resilient locals.
If you have any experiences or knowledge of other Tapas Trails in the region, please get in touch with us at email@example.com