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Tapas

February 2014 | Trends | Gastronomy | Barcelona

It is probably one of the first words that tourists learn when they reach the city and one of the best memories they’ll take away on leaving.
  • Tapas
  • Tapas
  • Tapas
  • Tapas

Cheese, ham, anchovies, olives, Madrid-style callos, patatas bravas... The little appetizer that you eat with a beer or a glass of wine may be something simple, but in the world’s collective memory the humble tapa symbolizes this country as much as haute cuisine.

Their origin dates back to the 13th century. It is said that King Alfonso X, on a trip to Andalusia, stopped off at a tavern to request a glass of sherry, remarking that the wind coming in through the door would surely fill it with sand. To prevent this, a clever waiter was quick to cover the glass with a slice of ham.

On raising the glass to his lips, the king exclaimed “What’s this?”. The waiter replied “Pardon my audacity, Your Majesty... I have placed a “tapa” (cover) on the glass to guard it from the sand.”. The king ate the slice of ham and asked to be served another sherry with a “tapa” on it too. Whatever the truth, no trip to Barcelona is complete without at least one “tapa crawl”.

 

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