When you think of Spanish food, you inevitably conjure up an image of Tapas in your mind´s eye. However, although many people have heard of Tapas, and they are available in most Spanish bars, it´s not always apparent where to find them, and what to ask for. The reason for this are many, including the fact that the word rarely makes an appearance on any menu or billboard, and the fact that many bars and restaurants don´t stick to the real tradition of Tapas
In order to work out what tapas are, it might help to understand where the word Tapas comes from ( at least this is the most commonly accepted version ). It´s actually a Sapnish verb ( tapar ), which means, “ to cover. So, a Tapa was a snack ( usually free ) which was placed on the top of a drink “to cover “ it from flies, insects, and dust.
There are many bars that still provide Tapas with a glass of wine or beer, but it is not the normal practice anymore. Nowadays, whe you go out for some Tapas ( more often than not )
ordering a plate of food known as a “ración”. It is usually something that is shared among a few people, or perhaps a canapé, which is something on a small piece of bread. In many bars, you can get sandwiches made with a bread roll or baguette, which are called bocadillos ( or bocatas ).
The good thing about this modern Tapas is that they provide the customer with a wide variety of foods, meaning you can sample many different Spanish delicacies all at the same time. And do not worry to much if you can not understand the menu – it´s becoming increasingly common for bars to place out a selection of their wares for the customer to see. That way, you can see exactly what´s what, without having to ask for an explanation.