One of Spain’s true joys are Tapas. These are the small dishes now so popular around the world who originated right here in Spain. A Tapa is simply a small snack or appetizer traditionally consumed at lunch or in the early evening before a main meal. They are always enjoyed with a glass of wine, a beer or water if you don’t drink. You never have a coffee or tea or cocktail with tapas in Spain. It is just not done. Also, the Spaniards will rarely drink without eating something at the same time. The proper way is one tapa for each drink you order.
The word tapa means top, cover or lid in Spanish. The most likely legend is that the first Tapa was simply a slice of bread which was placed over the wine glass to keep the flies out.
The most interesting fact learn last night about tapas is that the Spaniards do not say, lets go eat some tapas. They use the word as a verb. It is an action to go Tapas, meaning getting together with friends for a drink, a bite and some fun social time. Don’t you love how they live!!
In Andalucia and other parts of Spain, a tapa will often be given to you for free. Yes, gratis!! when you order a drink. How wonderful is that!! And they are delicious, sometimes a culinary experience and source of pride for the bar. Take a look at the feast we had on a night out with our wonderful Spanish school, La Escuela Idioma de Nerja.
Tapas are just another wonderful reason to come to Spain and enjoy its culture! Salud!