What is tapas?

Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 07:51 AM
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What is tapas?

Hello,
the trivia question today is: where tapas was originated. What is tapas? From this forum's search all I was able to figure out is that it's some kind of food or cuisine. Will somebody care to explain?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 07:58 AM
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You could equivilate with with hors deourves (sp?), or small bites that go with drinks. I always have it in various bars/restaurants in St. Martin, and that's what it is to me, at least.

Maybe someone else can enlighten us more.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 08:00 AM
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Another equal, in my opinion, is cichetti in Italy. Bar snacks, essentially. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 08:04 AM
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And don't forget dim sum! I think it's little plates of food, not so much what's on the plates. In my mind, it's Portuguese but don't know where that idea comes from!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 08:06 AM
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That's basically it, but there's a whole tradition to it as well. It's typical in Spain for people to go out to eat VERY late - 10 or 11pm is not unusual. So often in the early evening or after work, they'll stop by the local tapas bar and have a snack (a glass of dry sherry is the most common drink to go with it.) It's a very social thing, and depending on where you are in Spain you might find local dry cured hams, seafood dishes and so on. There are many regional tapas specialties - they can be as earthy and simple as a piece of bread rubbed with olive oil and tomato or as sophisticated as a small casserole of seafood.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 08:13 AM
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What are tapas? Small portions of food which are served as part of the social scene. Spaniards go to bars to converse, join friends, argue, joke and flirt. Tapas are provided to keep them going, and are rarely eaten in lieu of a main meal. The best tapas bars are in the larger cities and near universities or towns where people happen to arrive at tapas time, such as where commuters end up.

Tapar means "to cover" and the first tapa was a slice of ham served on top of a sherry glass, reportedly to keep out the flies. Barkeeps discovered the saltiness of the ham spurred beverage sales, and a tradition was born. Today, every region has its own specialty tapas.

The above was taken from the following site:

http://www.globalgourmet.com/destina...spaintapa.html

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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 08:25 AM
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Thank you all for replying so fast!
Now I am hungry, and it's 2,5 hours till lunch... or at least tapas
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 08:34 AM
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Tapas date back to the 13th Century to the reign of King Alfonso X,The Wise One.He was crowned in 1251 and reigned until his death in 1284.At some point in time he became ill and could not dine at regular/proper times.His medical attendants allowed him to eat small bites of food taken with time throughout the day.When he was fully recovered he ordered that drinking of wine must be accompanied by small bits of food during the day.Since Spain was a multicultural nation at the time,tapas took on regional tastes and flavors of every kind.It is not unusual to be served a platter of tapas before the evening meal as appertizers.
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