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Have you ever tried Spanish "Tapas"?

The Association of Spaniards in Michigan (ADEMI) organized its annual "Tapas" competition on Saturday, April 5th, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Association of Spaniards in Michigan (ADEMI) organized its annual "Tapas" competition on Saturday, April 5th, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.Detroit Immigration Examiner

On Saturday, April 5th, ADEMI held its Annual Tapas Competition at the Lake Forest Golf Club and Practice Center in Ann Arbor, MI.

The Association of Spaniards in Michigan began organizing its now traditional Tapas Competition in 2005.

The word “Tapas” refers to the incredible variety of typical Spanish appetizers, and some of the Tapas presented this year included several versions of the famous Spanish omelette (tortilla española), queso y chorizo español (cheese and Spanish chorizo), Galician Empanadas, octopus in garlic, and “salmorejo”, representing different regions and cities of Spain, such as Barcelona, Madrid, San Sebastian, Zaragoza, Sevilla, Bilbao, Valencia, and many others.

The Tapas event has also gained popularity outside the Spanish community within Metro Detroit among other nationalities, emphasizing the growth of diversity in Michigan.

Back on April 30th, 2011, ADEMI joined forces with the Turkish-American Cultural Association of Michigan (TACAM) and organized a Cultural Exchange Night where Spanish Tapas competed against Turkish Meze (typical Turkish appetizers).

Sponsored by Aventura and Simply Spanish Restaurants in Ann Arbor, Aceites Almazara As'Pontis, and Pastry Chef Luis Amado, this year´s Tapas Competition hosted international guests, not only from Spain and Turkey, but also from Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, the UK, Germany, and the US -- some of whom bravely decided to participate in the competition by entering their own ethnic dishes.

After the competition, ADEMI President Isabel Larrotiz-Lizaso presented the 2014 Best Tapa Award to Mari Carmen Domínguez and her fabulous Russian salad.

At the end of the event, guests enjoyed a Flamenco Singing and Dancing show, and were later invited to take a first lesson to learn a few steps of this world renowned and exciting Spanish dance.

Intercultural events such as ADEMI's Tapas Competition are becoming increasingly common around the United States.

In Michigan, this type of event is the result of our growing immigrant population. The ADEMI Tapas Competition not only serves to showcase Spanish cuisine in Michigan. It also helps to increase general knowledge of another culture. Intercultural events such as this one help to provide new and consistent exposure to other cultures, so the younger generations in the Michigan may have the opportunity to gradually become better acquainted with foreign foods and practices, eventually leading them to become better prepared for possible global assignments or even international scholarships.

You never know where lies the opportunity.