May 25, 2003, 11:31 AM
Post #1 of 2
A cultural note in my Spanish book discusses "tapas" which is explained as the word used in Spain for "a small, tasty, often spicy snack or appetizer traditionally eaten at the counter in a bar." It further explains that this word means literally "lid" and that the origin of its use to mean "a bar snack" may stem from the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939) when bar patrons would ask the bartender to put a small plate over their drinks when being bombed to prevent ceiling debris from falling in their drinks. They would ask the bartender to put food on the plate (so as not to waste a clean plate).
The author states that he is not completely sure that this story actually explains the origin for the use of the word but it remains a popularly accepted explanation.
I am curious if this same word "tapas" and this same meaning, "a bar snack", is used in Mexico or other Spanish speaking countries of Latin America. I thought this might be an interesting topic for the forum.
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