The tradition of tapas began in the south of Spain around the turn of the century. Tavern owners placed a slice of bread over the top of the glass of wine (usually Fino Sherry) to protect it from airborne objects. Some owners started putting tidbits of food, like ham or cheese, on the bread to bring in more business. The edible lid (tapa) became a tradition that was always included in the price of the drink. Today, putting a lid on a drink is no longer necessary.