2 weeks ago we were talking about the “siesta”. Another well-known Spanish word is the word “tapa”. This word that originally means “cover” has evolved into another noun “tapas” and the verbs “tapear” or “ir de tapas”. The name comes from the custom of covering cups or glasses of wine with a piece of bread to avoid flies and dirt entering inside.
At the beginning, something simple (e.g. slice of ham, Spanish tortilla chips, “croquettes” or olives) was offered with the drink. However, in recent years food and dishes have become more complex. Simple food has changed into true delicacies where chefs show their culinary imagination. The quality of the ingredients has increased and nowadays tapas include foie with truffles, mushrooms, with all kinds of seafood etc.
Such is the prestige of the tapas that in many Spanish cities there are tapas contests where the award are those delicious tapas, even more original or more pleasing to the eye or palate.
A typical night out
The tradition of tapas is becoming famous and “taperías” or bars offer different kinds of tapas or “pinchos”. The custom of tapas served with wine or beer as an aperitif before lunch or dinner has spread and today “tapas” is a real feast and also a social habit that leads groups of friends to enjoy the various specialties offered by the chefs. Tapas have been exported from Spain to the world and it can be said that there is no major city without a “tapería” or a tapas restaurant.
Like “pizza” or “burger”. A national product becomes universal.