The Story Behind A ¨TAPA¨
The world tapa comes from the Spanish verb tapar - ¨ to cover¨. Tapas are small bites of food that normally are served for free with any drink ordered.
This is a very popular concept of eating in Spain that is extended all over the world, but for sure not many people know about its origin, which has several different tales to explain it.
One of the most known tales is that taverns owners in Spain put a piece of bread on top of the drink to protect it from fruit flies, and at one point it became a habit to top this with a snack.
Another story tells that people had nowhere to put their plate when they were standing in a crowded bar, so they used their glasses to put it.
One popular tale also says that in 16th century, the bartenders used to put mature cheese onto a slice of bread on the tope of bad wine glasses. The strong taste and smell of the cheese helped to disguise the bad quality of the wine.
On the same line of ¨cover¨ there is another explanation based on a visit of King Alfonso XIII to a tavern in Cádiz, Andalucía. That day was very windy, so the bartender covered the glass with a slice of ham to keep the sand out before offering it to the King. The King liked this concept a lot, so he asked for another glass of beer ¨with cover¨.