They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or warm (such as chopitos , which are battered, fried baby squid). In select bars in Spain, tapas have evolved into an entire, and sometimes sophisticated, cuisine. In Spain, patrons of tapas can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal. In some Central American countries, such snacks are known as bocas.
The serving of tapas is designed to encourage conversation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them. Also, in some countries it is customary for diners to stand and move about while eating tapas.
According to legend, the tapas tradition began when king Alfonso X of Castile recovered from an illness by drinking wine with small dishes between meals. After regaining his health, the king ordered that taverns would not be allowed to serve wine to customers unless it was accompanied by a small snack or “tapa”.
If you are in Madrid from the 26th to the 30th of May do attend La Feria de la Tapas Madrid at the Palacio de los Deportes de Madrid where you will found tapas at 1.20 Euro and bear at 1.20 Euro.