Small amounts of food served in bars to accompany a drink is popularly known as tapas. The use of this word as a synonym for snack has an uncertain origin. Some claim that arose from a story about the Spain’s King Alfonso XIII and his visit to Cadiz. Before returning to the palace, the king stopped at the Ventorrillo del Chato, a restaurant that still exists on the beach under the same name, located between Cadiz and San Fernando.

tapa with jamon ibericoThe King ordered a glass of sherry, but realized that a swirling wind that entered into the local threatened to fill with the beach sand royal taster’s glass. To avoid this, a waiter rushed to cover it with a slice of ham.

When the king wanted to take a sip, asked in surprise: “What ‘s This?” . The waiter replied, ” Forgive my boldness Majesty, I have put a cover to keep out sand of your glass”. Alfonso XIII ate the slice of ham and required to be served another drink covered by a slice of ham. All present liked the idea and imitated the king asking the same.

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