The History of Spanish tapas

Do You Know The history of Spanish tapas

The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, “to cover,” 0r in plain  English top or lid, The history of Spanish tapas starts Before the 19th century, European roads were in bad condition. Some were originally old Roman roads and some were trails dating from the Middle Ages. Travelling was slow and exhausting. Most people could not read or write, and Spain was no exception. Inns, or bodegas, grew up along the roads, offering meals and rooms, plus fresh horses for travelers. Since few innkeepers could write and few travelers read, inns offered their guests a sample of the dishes available, on a “tapa” (the word for pot or cover in Spanish). In fact, a “tapa” was and still is, a small portion of any kind of Spanish cuisine.

Below me enjoying a few tapas in Cordoba 


The  history of Spanish tapas started  where the slices of bread or meat which drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips. This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over their sweet sherry . The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo which are both very salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners created a variety of snacks to serve with sherry, thus increasing their alcohol sales. The tapas eventually became as important as the sherry or drink that was served.



A famous tapa in Sevilla last month on my weekend trip

IMG_3874The history of Spanish tapas

Tapas have evolved through Spain and are available almost everywhere in Spain but originally came from Andalusia in the south of Spain.

Although the tapas are available all over Spain now they are only free and included when you buy an beer or wine in Andalusia, everywhere else you have to pay a small charge for the tapas.

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Also in Andalusia now you normally have a tapas menu so you can choose from a variety of dishes that are local to that area. In other areas you may not get a choice and will be served with whatever is on offer that day.

An other reason why I moved to this part of Spain lol

My brother was here for a visit so we took him to my local bar for tapas.


This is my 16th year living here in Andalusia and i love the free tapas here.

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The history of Spanish tapas “The Legends”

There are many legends on the origin of tapas many versions involve King Alfonso XIII or King Fernando XVII, while according to one of the oldest restaurants in Spain, El Ventorrillo del ChatoKing Fernando VII is the subject of the tale.

No matter which king it really was, all the stories go something like this.

Following a long trip along one of the longest routes in Andalusia, the King arrived at a restaurant where he was served a glass of wine with a slice of cheese over top (some say it was ham or bread). Although the King knew that the slice was being used as tapadera, a cover to protect the wine from bugs or dust, he ate it anyways, as did his entire court. Following this event it is said that the King continued to ask for “tapas” with his wine everywhere he went.

Modern day Tapas in Spain

all these tapas below are from my local bars here in Almeria and are all FREE when you order a beer or wine …


The history of Spanish tapas

Some legends claim that the origin of tapas is related an ill King Alfonso X El Sabiothe Wise, who needed to have small snacks and small amounts of wine in between meals in order to recover. It is said that once the King got back to health, he decided that inns and bars in Castile would always need to serve a snack alongside wine.

Also legends which originate in the countryside, far different from stories of the royal kings, focusing on the working class’ need for stamina during long working hours. The legends tell that farmers and workers had a glass of wine and small snacks to sustain themselves while working and awaiting lunch or dinner.

What is your favorite Tapa?

And do you have to pay for yours?…Comment below…


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