Bullfighting, flamenco, sunshine, spanish, sangria and tapas. Nothing more could be synonymous with Spain apart from perhaps our celebrity exports, Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz.
History of Tapas
Taking in the local culture of enjoying a tapa is one of the delights of spending time in Spain. One story goes that it was King Alfonso X, back in the 13th century, who popularized the tapa. Stopping to rest at an inn in Cadiz, he requested a sherry which the bartender covered with a slab of ham to protect the drink from the sands blown by the local winds. Other stories say that he was recovering from an illness and required snacks in order to regain his health.
Either way, tapas and Spain have a long history. Nowadays the tapa (tapar means to cover in Spanish) is no longer a cover for drinks but a delicious snack in its own right, served up in bars across the country.
Different regions of Spain tend to offer differerent tapas in their bars, but there are some staples which can always be found. When you ir de tapas, you'll have plenty of chance to sample the tempting morsels:
Salchicon (salami-like sausage), chorizo, tortilla de patatas or rich cheese with a slab of bread or two, crackers, peanuts or mixed nuts, potato chips, patatas bravas or ali-oli, olives, pescaito frito, croquettas, ensalada rusa, pimientos, pinchos, carne con patatas, huevos estrellados, calamares, albondigas and so much more. Don't worry about remembering the different names, there are so many different tapas you could be served with.
When you order your drink, you will receive a plate of food. In some bars you may choose your tapa and in others it will be a delicious surprise. Whichever way your tapa tour takes you, you can be rest assured that as you sip at your drink and munch away at your tapa, you are taking part in a Spanish tradition which goes back hundreds of years.