Question: What are Tapas?
Tapas are snacks, canapés or finger food that originated in Spain. Tapas come in many different forms and can vary from town to town! But, what are they?
Answer: Tapas can be practically anything from a chunk of tuna, cocktail onion and an olive skewered on a long toothpick, to piping hot meat with sauce served in a miniature clay dish - or anything in between. Tapas are served day in and day out in every bar and café in Spain. So much a part of the culture and social scene that the Spanish people invented the verb tapear which means to go and eat tapas!
In most regions, you must order and pay for a ración or serving, but in the province of Granada, one small tapa is complimentary with each round of drinks ordered. Tapas keep the Spanish fueled for their long journeys from bar to bar before their midday meal, as well as in the evening before dinner.
Tapas have received a lot of attention in the last 10 years or so and consequently have gained popularity all over the world. In Spain, they are simply a part of life. Tapas, Spain's appetizers are eaten any time - day or night. Put a few of these little dishes together and they can make a meal on their own! Going out to eat tapas is such a big part of the culture that there is even a verb "tapear", which means "to eat tapas."