Appetizers becoming tapas
How did appetizers suddenly become tapas?
I know how tapas became tapas. People liked the idea of little tidbits while they had a glass of wine in a bar, so they embraced the Spanish tradition. It's easier to have a conversation when you're nibbling rather than focusing on a full meal.
Then as tapas caught on here, they evolved into a full meal with a lot of small dishes. ...
Pretty soon you could spend as much on a tapas meal as you could on a traditional one -- or more because they seem relatively inexpensive, but you just keep ordering and ordering.
Nowadays "tapas" doesn't have to refer to anything even vaguely Spanish. I've seen hummus labeled "tapas." Or how about the Asian tapas at Red Maple in Mount Vernon?
But guest poster John's description of the tavern he went to that had shifted some of its appetizers into the tapas category amused me. He didn't tell us what they were, but I have a mental picture of the owner saying to the cook, "Can we call the Buffalo wings tapas? Probably not. Better leave those in the appetizer category. How about the fried oysters? Yeah, those'll do."
Maybe tonight when I serve leftovers to my family, I'll arrange them on little plates and tell them we're having tapas for dinner.
(Elizabeth Malby/Sun photographer)