Many Americans have a taste for Spanish food, so knowing what is a tapas restaurant is has become a neccesity. Tapas restaurants are known for serving small. often bite size, snacks that can be consumed hot or cold, and similar to appetizers.
In Spain tapas restaurants are a part of Spanish culture. In the tapas restaurants of today the whole meal is a combination of bite sized snacks, intended to have less concentration on food and encourage conversation between patrons.. Every town in Spain has tapa bars or stalls, ready to serve food and good converse.
There are a few theories on the development of the tapa ritual. Spain consisted of farmers that did hard work all day. In order to keep them energized small portions of snacks were eaten. It is said that tapas tradition originated by these rustics.
There has been another Spanish tradition in which diners covered their sweetened sherry with slices of bread or ham to keep flies away. This was later adopted by bar owners as mid drinking snacks called tapa. Increase in alcohol sale encouraged them to turn this into a style called tapa.
The most famous is historic event in which Spanish King Alfonso X was made to eat a little with every sip of wine due to some ailment. Later when he got cured, he announced snacks to be had with wine. This gained fame because it protected the stomach from negative affects of liquor giving birth to the tapa tradition.