Learning About Tapas

February 2, 2010Katie


I will go there someday.  Something about Spain seems so enchantingly lovely.  The second largest country in Europe, completely surrounded by ocean and sea, France, Portugal and Morocco, and brimming with magnificent art, culture and agriculture, and ohhhh yes, let’s not forget…


So it stands to reason that they would come up with something so brilliant, or arguably as simple,  as Tapas.

A rather fancy name for Hors d’œuvres, or let’s just say appetizers, Tapas “hopping” or topeo, started in Spain and here is how it is done.

Tapas bars usually serve people just plain ol’ standing at the bar or you can get a table.  Order a drink and some Tapas bars serve you a complimentary small Tapas to begin with.   Otherwise, you pick one or two items off the menu ($6-$10/each) and then you move on to another Tapas place.  This is usually done with a group of 6 or more people and it’s purely social eating fun.  Get your best buds and flit from one place to the next viewing the chalkboard of items that are changed daily.  In Spain they do this at 1-3:30 PM, although I have no idea how that works into a career-type day?

Tapas originated with a quirky and wonderful story.

Never intended to be taken as a meal, Tapas means “lid”.

Lid you ask?

The nations’ adoption of these tidbits dates back hundreds of years to a time when innkeepers used pieces of toasted bread as a cover for wine glasses to keep bugs and dust out while waiting for passerby horseman to snatch them up.  Progression led to the addition of toppings, and Tapas began to be a legend of appetizer pleasing bite-size snacks.  Some prefer the simple almonds, cheese and cured meats.  Others prefer the more fanciful small bites of pleasure

Spreading their wings, Tapas bars are sneaking their way across the United States and even finding their way into mid-west states like mine, until I can resist no more and begin to delve into this plethora of bite-size pleasures.

Do you have a Tapas recipe to share? I’d love to hear about it.

I’m thinking a Tapas party for friends at the house would be super fun?

Let the games begin.

For Tapas.


  • Andrea F.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Did you know I lived in Spain for a while during my undergrad years? You must go, it is incredible! I look forward to a post soon about a tapas party! they are awesome!
    1. dishinanddishes

      February 4, 2010 at 9:20 am

      Andrea - I did NOT know that! How cool! I'm jealous!
  • Lauren of Fizgiggery

    January 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I have strong ties to Spain, and thought you might like to know that there is even a verb for tapas-hopping - 'ir de tapeo'! You can also order tapas in larger portions - 'media ración' or 'ración' (a half and a whole dish, respectively). You've inspired me to share my recipe for tortilla - potato omelette - and when I have it up, I'll let you know. ¡Buen Provecho!
    1. dishinanddishes

      January 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Oh Lauren -how cool! I've seen many make the omelette - or tortilla...I'd love to have a try at it...I'll look for your recipe! Let me know when you post it!

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