Tapas are an integral part of Spanish culture. They are small plates that may serve as an appetizer or as a meal when combined with other tapas. Spanish legend tells that the history of tapas begins with King Alfonso the Wise of Spain in the thirteenth century. Due to illness, he was required to eat small amounts of food with his wine between meals to maintain his strength. After recovering, he declared that all bars and taverns must serve food to accompany wine and beer. Another version states that while traveling, the king ordered a glass of sherry in a local tavern. Due to gusty winds, the tavern owner served his glass covered by a piece of ham to keep out the dust. He liked the idea so much that he asked for his second glass to be served exactly the same way. A related theory of origin states that bread or small plates were used to cover drinks from dust or insects, as the word “tapa” literally means lid. Modern day versions of the tapa began in taverns of Sevilla and Andalucia.