The origin of tapas is a subject of bitter debate amongst the various regions.
The Northern Castilian King, Alfonso the 10th was instructed by his doctors to eat less, with the result that his chefs had to create tiny dishes that also looked appetising, and tapas were born.
The Andalusians know better. They say the first tapas were created in the south, where sherry drinkers sitting outside in the sun had to protect their glasses from pesky flying insects.
They were forced to cover their glasses with covers (tapas) and because it’s rather rude to put an empty dish over a glass, they had no option but to fill the covers with something to eat.
The 3rd possibility? That in the Moorish tradition, it is a sign of refined hospitality to serve lots of little tiny dishes to one’s guests.
Here's how to throw a quick tapas party of your own...
Serve each in a separate little dish at room temperature.
Throwing a Spanish-style bash? Click here to see Food24's Spanish party menu!
- Fry a few mushrooms in a little oil with a touch of garlic and parsley;
- Scramble a few eggs until they’re reasonably dry but not crumbly and serve with a few pieces of grilled bacon;
- Tuna belly and tomato sauce (both cooked);
- Salted almonds;
- Small fresh green chillies fried in a little oil;
- Salted anchovies;
- Russian salad and slices of grilled bread that has been rubbed with olive oil;
- Salt and a raw tomato;
- Tiny potatoes and a spicy dip;
- Clams cooked in wine;
- Any kind of croquettes;
- Goats cheese in olive oil;
- Grilled or deep fried calamari