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Posted Feb 10, 2021 at 14:53

A tapa is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine and translates to a small portion of any kind of Spanish food. Tapas may be served cold or hot. In some bars and restaurants in Spain and across the globe, tapas have evolved into a more sophisticated cuisine and quite often can be combined to make a full meal. In most cases Tapas are ordered and placed in the middle of the table for everybody to share.

The literal meaning for the word 'tapa' is 'cover' or 'coaster'. According to popular stories men frequented taverns where the most popular drink was red wine. Wine barrels and taverns were an attractive place for wine flies and other flying pests so the custom of covering a glass of wine with a tapa became a necessity to avoid flies drowning in the wine. At the same time the King of Spain, Alfonso X el Sabio, forbade all taverns under his kingdom to serve wine or alcohol if not accompanied by a small amount of food in order to prevent drunkenness and misconduct. The mandatory portion of food served was placed over the coaster, named tapa and the food snack itself became known as a tapa.