The word 'tapas' is synonymous with Spanish cuisine. Spanish tapas are usually deemed as a wide variety of small plates whether delicious snacks, finger foods and appetizers or just a small portion of a special dish in Spanish cuisine.
Although tapas ideas originated in rural Spanish taverns, many countries, especially Mediterranean, have their own equivalent of tiny starter-size dishes: hors d'oeuvres in France, antipasto in Italy, maze in Greece or Turkey, and dim sum in China.
Unlike their cousins around the world, tapas are more than just finger foods and appetizers - a tapa is not a particular type of food, but rather a way of eating it. Tapas is best defined as the tradition of enjoying small portions of different appetizers and finger foods. In addition, tapas are neither starters nor a main course. If you start eating tapas, you don't stop eating these authentic finger foods and appetizers until you're full. But tapas are not a main meal, composed from a collection of small dishes of finger foods and appetizers either. Tapas is the way of eating less focused upon eating than on bring people together and encouraging conversation while enjoying this informal ritual.
The History Of Tapas Style Food
According to Spanish legend, the history of tapas dates back to the 14th or 15th centuries, when Castilian King Alfonso the Wise issued a royal decree that insisted on everyone taking tapas style food with their drinks to avoid fights. Tapa literally means a 'lid' or 'cover'. In the early days of tapas, a slice of bread, cheese or ham was given with your drink and placed over your drink.
Through the rich history of Spain, tapas tradition has developed by integrating ingredients and influences from many different cultures and countries and these appetizers and finger foods became more and more diversified and elaborate. Eating tapas style food has become a way of life in Spain. Diverse tapas ideas are the integral part of Spanish culture and social life to such an extent that there literary is a verb 'tapear' which means "to eat tapas!"
Now a days tapas style food is served day in and day out in many different finger food and appetizer forms throughout the world. They can be as simple or as complicated as you like and you can order virtually any finger food or appetizer that takes your fancy. As long as it is still a 'little dish' served with your drink, it is tapas. But whichever way you prefer these authentic appetizers and finger foods - tapas style food is best served with an early evening drink among friends and lively company.
There is no limits in creating tapas ! Hot or cold with what ideas you want , just respect the size , mix colors well and balance the taste .
Photography creation By:Chef Nicholas Anderson for www.culinaryglobetrotter.com