Everybody has heard of tapas bars, most of us have eaten in them, they’re ubiquitous in many European countries. But what exactly is tapas? And where does it come from?
According to the Real Academia Española, voice of authority on the Spanish language, a tapa, in this context, is a small portion of food served as an accompaniment to a drink, usually alcoholic, such as wine or beer. But where does the custom come from?
The origin is debatable. There are many versions as to how the custom started. Let’s look at a few of them. Before we do though, we should examine the meaning of the word tapa.
tapa = a cover (tapas is the plural)
tapar = to cover