Casa Vieja in
Spanish, means “Old House”, and that is exactly what we have
tried to capture.
The Tapas tradition can be
traced back to the nineteenth century, in Andalucia, southern Spain. King
Alfonso the 10th, ‘El Sabio’ (‘The Wise’), due to an illness, had to drink wine
between meals accompanied by small bites of food. Once recovered from the
disease, the wise king ordered that throughout the land, wine was not to be
served in without something to eat.
Therefore, in ‘botillerias’
(bottle-shops) and ‘tabernas’ (taverns) throughout Spain, wine was served with a
free ‘bite’ of food. A slice of either smoked ham, chorizo sausage or Manchego
cheese covered the mouth of each bottle or glass. The small ‘bite’ served two
purposes, to soak the strength of the alcohol, like King Alfonso had advised, as
well as to keep insects and other impurities out of the glass. The verb tapar
means ‘to cover’, thus the origin of the word “tapa”.