Here´s one of my favourite all-time tapas, mojama . I love it for its own sake, but even more I love it for the sense of history I get every time I take a bite.
I know it´s silly and snobbish, and that I should feel the same way with bread, or olive oil. But they´re things I´ve been seeing every day of my life, whereas mojama is a bit of an acquired taste, and I acquired it only a few years ago.
Being the salted and dried loin of tuna, it´s very strong. And salty. And dry. I´m sure you guessed that.
In Madrid it seems to be the specialty of a few cervecerías of the old school, where they pull the beer in small, perfect icy cañas with a creamy foam. One bite of the salty mojama is enough to make you order seven cañas, at the very least, so it´s good for business.
They serve it cut in very thin slices, fanned out on a plate, with a few just-toasted almonds, hot from the pan, and a drizzle of the best olive oil. See what I mean? Doesn´t that feel like an illustration of Mediterranean life BC? Don´t you see Dido having a salty snack among the ruins of Cartague?
Provided you can find the mojama, it´s a very easy and impressive aperitivo to serve to guests. Just make sure that you toast the almonds carefully, without adding oil, as theirs will come to the surface in the hot pan. And don´t add salt, on pain of serious dehydration.