Most people have heard of tapas. But do you know what tapa means? It literally translates to a lid or the cover of a pot. Historically in cafes, they would serve a glass of wine or beer with a piece of bread or jamón (ham) on top. This was to prevent flies, mosquitos or dust from getting inside the glass. Also by the sea, it was to prevent sand from blowing inside. Some bars will also offer a free small tapa with every glass of wine or beer you order, as an incentive to visit their establishment.
Nowadays, tapas are very typical of Spanish cuisine. They are considered appetizers or small bites. It is very typical to gather at an outdoor cafe in the afternoon or evening and enjoy a glass of wine and a tapa. They can also easily make a complete meal by ordering several different kinds of tapas.
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