Tapas once exclusively referred to Iberian bar snacks, including tidbits of cured meat, wedges of frittata, saucers of olives, and the like. Over the last decade, however, the term has been appropriated to signal any kind of small plate, be it Japanese, Italian, or invented out of whole cloth. But the real meaning now is Hang onto your wallet, because the motive behind many modern tapas bars is to sell you scraps of pre-prepared food at inflated prices, which then circle like small satellites around the expensive alcohol that is the real point of the meal.


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