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The "Guiri" Gourmet

The "Guiri" Gourmet likes his food. He eats well at home, as his wife is an outstanding cook, but they also like to dine out or go on a "tapas" tour. This blog is about some of their experiences, both in Spain and elsewhere.

History of a Ronda tapa
Sunday, March 31, 2024 @ 1:49 PM

History of a Ronda tapa

8 October 2020

By The "Guiri" Gourmet

Photo: Panaderia Polvillo


The exquisite ´serranito´ from Ronda is over thirty years old. Inventor Benito González managed to make this tapa a culinary masterpiece, using pork fillet, peppers, ripe tomatoes fresh from the garden and tasty ham.



In 1974, when Tobalo González opened ´Bar Benito´, in the popular San Francisco neighbourhood of Ronda, it was not very common for customers to ask for a tapa.

“Here the farmworkers and the builders’ labourers came and ordered a coffee, a brandy or a glass of wine, but nobody asked for anything to eat,” he said.

But over the years everything changed. His son Benito took over the bar and prepared a complete tapas menu, including ham, cheese, fried fish, scrambled eggs and other delicious delicacies from the Ronda area.

Things worked out well and the tables were filled daily with people keen to eat the best produce from the gardens and farms in the area. But as with everything, you have to keep looking for new ideas.


                                                                                                                       Plaza Ruedo Alameda, Barrio San Francisco, Ronda



One day in 1990, Benito was eating in a restaurant in Sevilla and they served him a plate of steaks, fried peppers, tomato and several slices of ham. As you would expect, it was very tasty and then the idea occurred to him: “What if I put all this in a bread roll and offer it as a tapa?”


How the serranito took off

No sooner said than done. As soon as Benito trialled the first ones, they were an immediate hit and customers began to order what became known as the ´serranito´, a complete and very reasonably-priced tapa, bearing in mind that they normally cost around 1.50 euros [probably a bit more in 2024].

In the hot summer months, Benito would shift up to 400 serranitos a week and there were even foreign tourists who had heard about them and came to ​​try one.

In addition, the tapa spread to most of the bars in Ronda and to many bars and restaurants throughout Andalucía.





Photo: Trip Advisor


To prepare a good serranito you need to bear in mind several important things. First, that the fillet must be from the pork loin; then, that the oil must be virgin olive oil; and the tomatoes must be just ripe. Finally, if the pepper comes from the fields at the bottom of the Tajo, so much the better.

Another thing to bear in mind when preparing an authentic serranito is to use a good quality bread roll baked in Ronda.





Photo: Wikipedia


Author’s note: When I first came to Ronda in 2001, having bought a little flat in the Barrio San Francisco, I introduced myself as a new vecino in the Bar Benito. I was given such a warm welcome by Benito and his regular customers that it became my local whenever I was in town. Sadly, Bar Benito is now closed. Benito retired.


© The “Guiri” Gourmet


Note: An early version of this article first appeared in 2020 here: History of a Ronda tapa - Secret Serrania de Ronda



Karl Smallman

Panaderia Polvillo

Paul Whitelock

Secret Serrania

Trip Advisor




Andalucía, Bar Benito, Barrio San Francisco, Benito, Benito Gonzalez,, fillet, “Guiri” Gourmet, History of a Ronda tapa, Karl Smallman, Panaderia Polvillo, Paul Whitelock, pepper, pork loin, Ronda, Secret Serrania, serranito, Sevilla, Tobalo Gonzalez, tomatoes, Trip Advisor, virgin olive oil, Wikipedia


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