Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Enjoy a traditional tapas dinner!
The word tapas, from the Latin word “tapar” meaning “to cover,” refers to a variety of appetizers or snacks in Spanish cuisine. They may be served cold, such as olives and cheese, or hot, such as potatoes or fried squid. In select Spanish bars as well as some regions of North America and the United Kingdom, tapas has evolved into a well-rounded and often sophisticated cuisine. Many tapas patrons choose order a variety of tapas in order to create an entire meal.
The serving of tapas is designed with the intention of encouraging conversation, since people are less focused on intricately eating a full course meal set before them at a table. In some countries, it is even customary for diners to stand and mingle while enjoying tapas.
According to Spanish legend, the tapas tradition began when King Alfonso X of Castile treated an illness by drinking wine with small dishes between meals. Following the successful restoration of his health, the king ordered the local taverns to cease serving wine to customers unless accompanied by a small snack or “tapa.”