What is the difference between tapas and pinchos?


Along the years, tapas and pinchos have become a form of national identification.

Indeed, nowadays, when you hear tapas or pinchos, you automatically imagine yourself at a terrace in Spain, sipping a nice Sangria or Tinto de Verano, while eating a mini snack.

But what is the difference between tapas and pinchos?

The Real Academia Española de la Lengua (REA) defines a tapa, like ‘a small portion of any food served to accompany a drink’ and defines a pincho like ‘a portion of food served, sometimes with a cocktail stick, as an aperitif’.

Both are small portions of food, but the difference is that a tapa is normally just a smaller sized portion of a main dish, served in a plate, which you eat with cutlery.

The pincho is normally served on a piece of bread or other, served usually with a cocktail stick which you can eat in one or two bites.

So if it is a mini bite of tortilla on a piece of bread, we can call it a pincho. But if it is a tortilla on a plate that you have to eat with a fork, then we can call it a tapa.