There are different versions about the origin of “Tapa”. One of the most famous tells us that “tapas” appear in Middle Age.
According to legend the tapa was invented by the king Alfonso X The Wise, who had to take small amounts of food with wine whilst recovering from illness. Once recovered, the king decreed that no wine was to be served in any of the inns of the land of Castile unless accompanied by a snack to avoid alcohol intoxication…and thus the concept of the tapa was born!
As taverns became established, Alfonso’s decree remained in effect and all glasses of wine were served covered with a slice of Spanish ham or cheese, the logic being that the lid or “tapa” would prevent insects or other filth falling into the drink, while it soaked up the strong alcohol drunk by the farmers and workers.