The History of Spanish Tapas
One of the big trending culinary delights of the modern age is the Spanish tapas menu. You don’t have to go to Madrid or Malaga to experience the idea of ordering small plates of a variety of delicacies and sharing with friends and family. We are all familiar with tapas, but how many of us know where the idea came from? It’s not as easy as you think to pick up the origins, but here are some of the ideas about how it happened.
Myths and legends that surround tapas
If you delve into tapas history the name is associated with Spanish royalty. The idea of which king it was is rather obscure, but one of the stories is that following a long trip, ‘a king’ visited a restaurant in Andalusia and was served wine and cheese. The cheese was put over the glass of wine to protect it from either insects or dust. The word ‘tapadera’ means cover, and from then on the king always asked for tapas whenever he drank wine.
Another story claims the origins of tapas relate to a sick Spanish King, who could only eat small amounts of wine and food to recover. When he was well again, he ordered that all of the restaurants and bars in Castile would serve food in this way.
One legend that didn’t involve Kings relates to peasants in the countryside. To maintain their energy levels, they would eat small snacks regularly with wine while they were working.
In the current modern society, tapas is just known as a Spanish version of enjoying a range of small dishes with wine. For anybody that is visiting Spain, this is one of the great gastronomic delights and every region around the country will have their own version. The classic tapas menu involves fish, meat, eggs, vegetable, and wine. It is served lots of different ways depending where you are eating it.
The importance of tapas
When you think of Spain, tapas is one of the images conjured up and in truth, this has become a part of the country’s national identity. Cities in Spain combat with each other to become known as the best place to eat tapas, but of course, it all comes down to personal choice. The beauty of eating in this way is that no matter what your taste in food, there is always something on the menu that you will like, whether you are eating in Spain or anywhere else in the world.