apas is the name of a wide variety of appetizers in Spanish cuisine.
Served cold or hot, Tapas have evolved into an entire cuisine, whereby patrons of tapas restaurants can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal.
Tapa means "lid" or "cover" in Spanish. There are several explanations for the etymology of "tapa":
A commonly cited explanation is that an item, be it bread or a flat card, etc., would often be placed on top of a drink to protect it from fruit flies; at some point it became a habit to top this "cover" with a snack.
It is also commonly said that since one would be standing while eating a tapa in traditional Spanish bars, they would need to place their plates on top of their drinks in order to eat, making it a top.
Some believe that the name originated sometime around the 16th century when tavern owners from Castilla-La Mancha found out that the strong taste and smell of mature cheese could help disguise that of bad wine, thus "covering" it, and started offering free cheese when serving cheap wine.
Another popular explanation says that the king Alfonso XII stopped by a famous venta (inn) in Cádiz (Andalusian city) where he ordered a cup of sherry. The waiter covered the glass with a slice of cured ham before offering it to the king, to protect the wine from the beach sand, as Cádiz is a windy place. The king, after drinking his wine and eating the tapa, ordered another sherry "with the cover" .
But regardless its origin, come and enjoy our Authentic Spanish Tapas in uptown Dallas.