Spain is always known for its variety of traditions. Its history of assimilating various cultures is one of the many reasons this country has a unique and colorful identity. With respect to its food culture, Spain can be identified through its mixtures of various cuisines, often resulting in one-of-a-kind delicacies that people around the world enjoy. Such is the case with Spanish tapas.
A blog post in EastofMalaga.com states that tapas were initially served to cover wine. According to the post:
“It’s thought that originally in the wine-making regions of Andalucia, a cover in the form of a small plate or lid was placed over glasses of wine to keep fruit flies away. Titbits of food were later placed on the lid to be eaten with the wine.
The word “tapar” in Spanish means “to cover”, which is where we get the word “tapas” from.
Other stories suggest that tapas were invented by a bar owner in Seville, who decided to put a cover (tapa) over his guests´ glasses of wine, using a slice of bread to keep out flies. He later put a piece of ham or cheese on top, so that his customers could have a bite to eat with their drink.”
Tapas are very common in many parts of Spain. As a companion food for alcohol, it has become an important staple in parties and gatherings, and in bars and restaurants where alcoholic drinks are served. While they are highly traditional foods, there is also no particular way of making tapas. As a result, restaurants often create their own variations of the dish. Tasty tapas in Barcelona, for example, can be fusions of several cuisines, made to be enjoyed by citizens and foreigners alike.
Learning more about a country’s history and culture through its food is a very fascinating experience for travelers. Sampling the different delicacies offered in a place is an adventure in its own. When in Spain, therefore, make sure you try out the tapas in Barcelona, particularly those in mixed-culture restaurants like Ziryab Fusion Wine and Tapas Bar, for a deliciously cultural experience.
(Source: Let’s talk about tapas, shall we?, East of Malaga 27Sept, 2013)