What Are Tapas?
As tapas become mainstream, more people are asking, "What are Tapas?" The short answer: tapas are appetizers with a history. The history behind these delicious mini meals begin in Spain. There are a couple of stories about the origins of tapas. One story claims that Spanish King Alfonso the Tenth insisted that Castilian taverns served wine with something to eat. That way the wine would not go straight to the patron's head.
A different story asserts that after a long journey, King Alfonso stopped to rest in a tavern. He ordered a glass sherry. The wind kicked up, so the innkeeper covered the Kings sherry with a slice of ham to keep dust out of the drink. The King like it so much he asked for a second glass of sherry with another “tapa” or cover, like the first.
Regardless of their history, modern day tapas are still enjoyed. They have evolved as small portions of delectable food served as part of the social scene in bars and tapas parties. People traditionally stand and gather around a high table. They drink wine, chat about their day and nibble at the various tapas served.
There is really no clear cut ingredient or cooking method to follow when creating a tapas dish. Chefs and party hosts serve them hot or cold, using a variety of ingredients. If you are interested gathering some recipes for tapas, you can find some at The Food Network's official website. The Food Network lists a dozen or more recipes and party ideas for tapas. Even though there isn't an agreement on the origin of tapas, tapas are here to stay.