The importance of this social event has its clearest example in the south of Spain. If we ask one of the food lovers who live in these latitudes: “hey, where would be a good place to eat?” Surely the answer is the address of some tapas bar in the area.
Before entering into matter and to justify the name of these great snacks, we will refer to the word tapa which means in its first meaning, according to the RAE (Royal Academy of the Spanish Language): 1. f. Piece that closes the upper part of boxes or containers.
The origin of this custom has several versions but we choose the one that is typical for the area of Cadiz, the place with the most history and tradition of our old Europe. The waiter was asked for a glass of wine and in order to cover it (so flies or sand grains would not fall into it) a piece of cheese, a little ham or sausage on a plate would be put on the glass. All of the very traditional foods, which we have preserved and eaten for hundreds of years, have been an unequalled system to safeguard the wine and also an exquisite bite to accompany it. With such extraordinary flavor it is not surprising that drinks with tapas became popular, and conquered, as could not be otherwise, other frontiers.
The tradition “going out for Tapas” refers to a meeting with family or friends, a break that distances us from problems. It is a meeting, sometimes planned and sometimes improvised, that is part of the Spanish DNA and revolves around good food and good drink.
If you have the option to come to Spain, to Andalucía and to Ronda and you do not know where to eat, do not hesitate: go for Tapas! And if you are from here, do not miss the opportunity to go out and enjoy your time with your friends and family, consume local and continue participating in possibly one of the most idiosyncratic customs that are part of our character.