Well, if you are in Spain, tapas are appetizers, snacks or finger food. They are served both hot and cold.
Tapas restaurants are springing up in the U.S. The name comes from the Spanish word tapas. This word means cover or lid.
In the Spanish culture, most businesses, including restaurants close for a siesta (nap) in the afternoon. People there would eat tapas bit-sized snacks before returning to work. This came in handy since they then worked late. Dinner time could be as late as 10 or 11 o’clock at night.
It is felt that serving tapas helps to encourage conversation because eaters are not focused on the food.
As a side note, in some Central American countries the name for this type of food is bocas.