Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

September 23, 2021
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Andalusia is the birthplace of the tapa. Beyond that, little can be said for sure of this little plate’s beginnings. According to folklore, the Spanish tapas tradition began when bread was set atop a glass of sherry — Andalusia’s other claim to fame — so that dirt (others say flies) wouldn’t get in. Cheese and/or ham were later stacked on top and the result was a tapa. Believable enough, especially since tapar means “to cover.”

Another story attributes the snacks’ start to Alfonso X, a 13th-century Castilian monarch who insisted that inns serve snacks with wine in an attempt to curb drunkenness. No word if it worked — though it seems unlikely. Soon the drink plus the snack equalled the pub crawl.

Either way, tapas are now popular not only in Spain, but also worldwide. They’re certain to be a hit in your home too, especially if Joyce Goldstein’s Tapas, published by Chronicle Books, has anything to do with it.

Recipes from the book