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Gourmand History ~ A Short History of Tapas

Cafe Sevilla in San Diego was founded in 1987 pushing a vision for the true essence of Spanish culture through tapas. The restaurant, opened by Spanish-born owners Rogelio and Janet Huidobro, built upon this with an arresting visual and flavorful authentic ambiance of Spain.


Cafe Sevilla specializes in Spanish tapas, or small plates, perfect for an interactive and shareable dining experience - boasting over 30 award-winning tapas, to include traditional paellas, fresh seafood, and savory meat dishes. They have vibrant and serious live music most nights - so check the schedule before you go. (https://www.cafesevilla.com/overview/)


According to popular legend, tapas were attributed around the 13th century under King Alfonso X in Spain, also known as "The Wise" (hell, he invented tapas), where his doctors prescribed large quantity of wine from recovering from an illness. But, he could only could eat small portions of food to diminish the effects of the alcohol. The method proved so successful he insisted every household should serve a small portion of food alongside the drink to prevent public drunkenness.


Another theory on its origin comes from the fields and workshops of the Middle Ages. Workers that labored from dust till dawn would only take short breaks to avoid wasting precious day light - their lunch would consist of something easy and inexpensive - to include slices of sausage, olives, chickpeas etc to keep their nose to the grindstone.


Tapas are the most international element of Spanish cuisine and exclusive culinary category onto itself - where we may associate the word tapas with a small plate, the word top itself means "lid" and comes from the verb "tapear' meaning "to cover". It is customary idea that the word originated when barkeepers covered their customers' drinks with a slice of bread, ham, or cheese to stop flies or dust from getting in their. ASG believes it may be close to covering a drink with small plate for the same purpose.


What's beautiful about tapas across time and world history is that Spain's rich and diverse background brought it to its current state of loviliness - from Roman invasion that brought olive trees and vines, to Moors bringing almonds, citrus, and exotic spices, from the New World's riches sending back corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and chili peppers - all of these have contributed to the tapas tradition.



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