It is told that King Alfonso X, el Sabio or “the Wise One,” made sure that Castilian taverns served wine accompanied by something to eat, so that the wine would not go straight to the clients’ heads.
Another story claims that while on a long trip, King Alfonso had stopped to rest in the town of Ventorillo del Chato in the southern province of Cádiz, and he ordered a glass of jerez or sherry. There was a gusty wind, so the inn keeper served him his glass of sherry covered by a slice of ham to prevent the sherry from getting dirty. King Alfonso apparently liked it, and when he asked for a second glass, he requested another tapa or “cover” just like the first.
Whatever the true origin of tapas, enjoy them like the Spanish do – with a glass of wine and a relaxed attitude. ¡Ah! Divino… or Divine…
Head Chef Shaun Hanna from the canteen at the Mac’s take on Tapas is very impressive and inexpensive. What with their new Speciality coffee Brew bar, this is one of the most exciting restaurants in Belfast.