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About "Ligar" and tapas...


The word "ligar" comes from the Latin ligare, which is related to the Indo-European root leig- and is present in the words liga, ligamento (ligament) and ligatura (ligature).

Apart from meaning tying or mixing, it is used colloquially as "flirting with someone of the opposite sex", but in several areas of Andalusia, and especially in Andújar, it is used as going out to eat and drink with friends, so it is very likely that its meaning comes from that acceptation of uniting, mixing with a group of people...

Since when this term is used to go out to eat and drink we can not know, but what we can assure you is that in the Andalusian Vocabulary Dictionary (1933), by Alcalá Venceslada is already included, and defines it as: drinking wine eating some tapa.

This illustrious jiennense (1883-1955), during more than forty years was dedicated to collect and study the Andalusian lexicon; he determined the inclusion of a very considerable number of entries (18,000) of figures of diction or barbarisms, as well as the vulgarisms, which occur in Andalusian.

As a correspondent of the Language Academy, he became friends with Mr. Julio Casares, teacher of recent Spanish lexicography, and author of the Ideological Dictionary of the Spanish Language (1942), and it is this author, Casares, who gives us a definition of tapa in its dictionary, defines it as "slice of sausage or other sausage or cold meat that is served on a glass of wine" so that the origin of this word can be deduced.

The Dictionary of the Real Academia de la Lengua defines the tapa as "a small portion of some food that is served as an accompaniment to a drink in bars, taverns, etc."

As for the origin of the tapa tradition there are many legends and it is even said that it emerged in the thirteenth century thanks to King Alfonso X The Wise; The reason is that he had to take sips of wine by medical prescription, and to avoid the effects of alcohol took small bites accompanying the drink. After recovering, he ordered the Castilian taverns to serve a portion of food to accompany the wine and prevent it from going to his head. Others attribute it to the more alcoholic customers of the taverns back in the sixteenth century, who were given a sausage cover to soften the effects of the drink.

In the first half of the nineteenth century, as we have said, this name was given to the slices of ham or chorizo ​​with which they covered the wine glasses in the bars and taverns of Andalusia. This custom, which was consolidated in this region at the end of the last century and later spread throughout the state, aimed to arouse the thirst and appetite of customers. During the postwar period the tapas were replaced by sandwiches, much cheaper since their main component is bread. In the fifties, the tapa regained prominence due to the increase in bars due to economic growth.

The tapas also receive the name of aperitif or, if they are punctured in a toothpick, skewer or banderillas (this term bullfighting and Andalusian), and also changes the name according to geography, for example, in Aragon and Navarre is called "alifara" and the Basque Country "poteo".

Andujareña Route of the Tapa and Fair of the tapa


The tapas of Andalusia are something that the visitor never forgets. The custom of tapas, that is, going to a bar to have a drink and a tapa and then go to another bar, you learn quickly. For Spaniards, and in particular for Andalusians, it is a very important social event, in which people talk about banal things or do business.

In many places the tapa is free, it is an accompaniment to the drink, with which, going to dinner "tapas" is increasingly popular on weekends. And following this custom there are countless tapas: cold as ham or salads, hot as fried fish or tripe, traditional or very elaborate, montaditos (small sandwiches) or casseroles.

This is also the case of Andújar, where it is typical for bars to offer a small aperitif accompanying the drink at a single price. What is popularly known as "tapas" or "going out for tapas" has its culmination in the traditional Andujareña Route of the Tapa that has been held in the city since 2010 and in which different bars in the town offer a special tapa together with the consumption.

Promoting this offer not only among the residents of Andújar and the localities of the region, but also the rest of Jaén and visitors in general, is the main objective of the celebration of the Route of the Tapea; a route of flavors and business opportunities, jointly promoted by different local institutions.

During the months of the Route of the Tapa celebration, Andújar becomes an authentic capital to "ligar". Thus, any visitor can choose between numerous proposals made in Andújar. It is worth noting the fact that in 2014 more than 35 establishments between bars and restaurants participated in this event.

As a culmination of the Route of the Tapa, the Andujareña Fair of the Tapa is held, which takes place over three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in the Andújar Fair Pavilion, and in which all the establishments participating in the Route meet to offer its cover specialty to the public. There are also different beer and wine distributors that accompany the tasting of the food. To complete the success, in recent years various musical performances have been developed, usually by local groups.   


Also during the Fair of the tapa, neighbors or visitors who have made the complete route and have submitted their sealed road in the Tourist Office of the city choose, by lot, different prizes. The best establishments are also recognized according to the vote of clients and the best-selling cover.

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