Trend Spotter: Tapas Parties

Becky Low, from the Dairy Farmers of Utah, explains some of the history behind the trend.

Is it History or Legend? Where did Tapas come from? (fun stories, there are several legends/stories, will just as few as you like)

• King Alfonso of Spain was ill and was nursed back to health with    small amounts of food and wine. When he recovered he ordered    all the tavern not to serve wine unless it was accompanied with    small amounts of food.

• Patrons of the local taverns would cover their drinks with very    salty slices of ham to keep fruit flies from the sweet drink.

• Another similar story goes patrons would place sliced ham on    top of glasses to allow the impurities to fall out (I like the fruit fly    theory better)

• Another popular story, King Alfonso stopped at a pub and    ordered a glass of sherry. The owner brought the glass of    sherry covered with a slice of ham to keep the sand from    blowing in the glass. After drinking the sherry and eating the    ham he ordered another with “the cover”

• Dating back to the 1600 – the strong smell and taste of cheese    would mask the taste of bad wine

• Tavern owners found if they served small portions of strong or    salty foods, patrons would drink more, adding to the nights    profits for the tavern.

• Taverns were crowded and patrons had few places to sit. To    accommodate eating and drinking they would balance plates    (which had to be small) on top their glasses. And with such a    balancing act, the foods needed to be small and easy to eat. (it    doesn’t say what happened to the plates then the guest had    had too much to drink)

Today Tapas are a very social, enjoyable appetizers or meal with friends. (and no, you do not need to stand and balance your plate on your glass). Although Tapas originated in Spain, they can be found in almost every culture and cuisine with varying names (the results are the same) Generally the characteristics include:

Small portions on small plates

May be eaten with the fingers or utensils

Strong flavored and /or salty (refer to or look at the
samples on display)

Enjoyed with family and friends

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