And so we go back to Spain... where did the idea of all these lovely dishes start from?
Well, the story goes, the Tapa was born when, due to an illness, the Spanish king Alfonso the 10th, the Wise, had to take small bites of food with some wine between meals. Once recovered from the disease, the wise king decreed that no wine was to be served in any of the inns in the land of Castile, unless accompanied by something to eat. This was a wise precaution to counteract the adverse effects of alcohol on those people who, through lack of money to buy a nourishing meal, drank alcohol on an empty stomach. Tapas traditionally was a complementary piece of sliced ham, olive, or piece of cheese served on a little cover (tapa) on top of a glass of wine. However, the wise King, might just have been implementing Tapas amongst his people by encouraging a little more mindfulness and self-control with their wine.