The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, meaning “to cover”. The original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips. This was meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry. 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 parts of Spain it is customary for diners to stand and move about while eating tapas. Tapas is not a collection of small dishes brought out on a platter and eaten as a main course. The Spanish have a word for this – ‘tabla’. Tapas is not a starter. If you start eating tapas, you finish eating tapas, and you don’t stop until you’re full.