The history of Tapas

By sebcreativos | 9 de June de 2021 |

Did you know that Tapas originated in Andalusia? Tapas were traditionally served on a glass of wine. The word ‘tapa’ actually means ‘lid’. Thus your glass was covered against insects with a tapa. Literally a piece of food over the glass. What exactly is the history behind this? You can read that in today’s blog!


The origin of the tapas can be traced back to the 1500s, with Emperor Charles V as the main protagonist. On the way, the riders often stopped at an inn for a drink. It soon became apparent that many of the riders were sitting on their horses plainly drunk, and Charles V therefore decreed that all inns in Spain should offer food as well as drink. This prevented the riders from getting drunk by drinking only wine or alcohol and not taking any food. Hence the custom (especially in Spain) to serve small snacks, tapas, with the drink.

Tapas are still part of the Spanish tradition today. The chosen tapas are placed on the table and aim to encourage sharing and conversation. This allows for more personal contact as each person eats their personal meal. The oldest tapas that have lasted the longest as tapas are:

  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Pieces of bread
  • Olives

It is cultural in Spain to dine quite late, often from 21:00. It is therefore traditional to have a drink and a tapa beforehand. To whet the appetite.

All in all, eating tapas is an old tradition that has been going on for decades.

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