The word “tapas” comes from the Spanish verb “taper” which means ‘to cover”
Legend has it that King Alfonso of Castile, while recovering from an illness, drank wine with small dishes between meals. This made him feel so much better, he decided that all taverns would not be allowed to serve wine unless it was accompanied by a small snack or “tapa”.
It has also been suggested that the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat (ham or chorizo) which Sherry drinkers used to cover their glasses between sips … to stop flies from hovering over the sweet sherry. The salty snacks caused patrons to consume more sherry and eventually became just as important.
Another common theory is that since one would often be standing while eating a tapa in traditional Spanish bars, plates would be placed on top of their drinks to eat, making it a “top”.
Some believe the name originated around the 16th century when tavern owners found that the strong taste and smell of mature cheese could help disguise that of bad wine … thus “covering” it … they then started offering free cheese when serving cheap wine!
So, we believe while there are some fun theories about the beginnings of tapas, the reality of this awesome style of food today is that it is a smaller dish of something else on the menu, or it may be served exclusively as tapas.
Wherever you are, eating tapas has this undeniable attraction of bringing people together to eat a variety of delicious dishes, consume some superb wine, and to have fun … a natural extension of the Deli 🙂
The Foodbarn Tapas Bar is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6pm and bookings are becoming essential … we look forward to spoiling you!