A tapa is a small snack or appetiser served with a glass of beer, wine, etc., in bars and restaurants. How was this tradition born?
Legend has it that back in the thirteenth century, Alfonso the Wise, king of Castile and Leon, ordered owners of taverns to serve glasses of wine with small bites of food so that patrons wouldn’t get intoxicated.
With time, tapas have become a veritable culinary art and a feast for the senses. Ham, callos madrileños (tripe dish), patatas bravas (potato cubes in a spicy tomato sauce), tigres (mussel croquettes) or calamares a la romana (fried squid) are but a few of many traditional tapas. In Madrid, you can also try many more old Spanish recipes like Valencian paella, fabada (bean stew), pulpo a la gallega (octopus with paprika), Andalusia-style pescaíto frito (fried fish), patatas alioli (potato seasoned with olive oil and garlic), croquettes, shrimp or grilled cuttlefish
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