Although Manchego can be enjoyed in many ways, it’s worldwide known for it’s central role in traditional Spanish “tapas”. These small, delectable portions of food, served individually or in groups as a designed meal, are more than food, they are a way of life.
Traditionally paired with beer or wine, “tapas” stand for casual dining in an unhurried atmosphere where spirited conversations flourish among family and friends.
Yes, everyone knows “tapas”. We all love them. But do you know how the famous “tapas” originated?
History says that weary travelers would disembark from coaches and saddle horses, to be met by eager innkeepers with glasses of wine covered with a slice of bread. In Spanish, this covering referred to as a “tapa”, from the verb “tapar”, “to cover”. This “tapa” kept insects and dust from settling into the wine and also served to satisfy the appetite of the hungry travelers.
From this simple beginning the “tapa” evolved. A slice of Serrano ham, a bit of Manchego cheese with marinated olives, were added as toppings, as innkeepers were keen to attract the travelers by offering inventive and luscious dishes.
Today, there are thousands of different “tapas” and each bar and restaurant in Spain has its own versions and specialties. Nevertheless, something remains the same: Manchego cheese is and will always be a must in any “tapas” assortment. Good things never go out of fashion. That’s it.