Tapas are one of the most famous gastronomic traits of Spain. Throw your self into the scrumptious Spanish tapas world!
Spanish Tapas are traditionally small quantities of food, which in Andalucía typically function an accompaniment to wines and / or beer. In a number of them, you will enjoy rations of meals so large which you won’t want to ask for the first or 2d plate. A complete stomach is guaranteed!
Where do the Spanish tapas come from?
There are diverse legends regarding the beginning of Spanish tapas, one of which comes from Andalucía itself. Let’s find out the most famous ones!
One legend says that King Alfonso XIII, in the course of an official visit to the province of Cadiz, stopped in Ventorrillo El Chato (a tavern between Cadiz and San Fernando, which nonetheless welcomes travelers nowadays). There, he asked for a glass of wine, and the owner placed a slice of ham on top of it.
One of the legends says that King Alfonso XIII, during an official visit to the province of Cádiz (SW Spain), stopped at Ventorrillo El Chato (a traditional tavern between Cádiz and San Fernando, which still exists). There, he ordered a glass of wine and, apparently, the owner placed a slice of ham on top.
The owner justified this action saying that the ham became a “tapa” (lid) to prevent the sand coming from the excessive wind of the place, spoiling the wine. Of course the king loved the idea, ate the ham and drank the wine, and asked to be served the same way again.
Another legend refers to King Alfonso X the Wise, who needed to drink two glasses of wine due to illness. To avoid being under the influence of alcohol (drunk), he used to eat small portions of food to accompany the wine. He then determined that meals should be served with each glass of wine at each inn, as he has selfishly stated: “If I don’t get under the influence of alcohol, no person will be influenced by alcohol either.“
The following legend has royalty as its protagonist. The Reyes Católicos (Catholic Monarchs) are said to have forced all taverns to serve what we now call cold tapas along with the wine or beers their customers ordered. They did it by law in order to reduce road accidents. By eating tapas, alcohol would not affect them as much and they could guide their carts more lucidly.
Finally, a third legend – far from royalty – states that the excessive work of farmers and peasants required eating with portions of food, usually accompanied by a little wine, to maintain their strengths before lunch or dinner.
Since then, small and increasingly sustained portions of food have been accompanying hundreds and many glasses of wine and beer, allowing people not to get drunk.
A tradition that continues today
As you will see during your stay in Seville, tapas are an essential element that we can find in any bar. And it is that the “bar culture” almost goes hand in hand with this culinary creation. Drinking and accompanying is the preferred time to relax with the people you care about or love.
In Andalucía there is a tradition of making the route of the tapa (“Ruta de la tapa”). On weekends, people walk through a series of bars testing and savoring the best tapas in each place.
Go with someone who knows the city, or you can trust the itinerary created by the Hotel Doña Lina. In this way, you will leave the night with a full stomach and a cheerful spirit, since it is an “obligatory” element that has to do with as many friends as possible, between a glass of wine and / or beer.