Serious food lovers will tell you that tapas, a Spanish tradition, originated in Andalusian bars. Often featuring a slice of ham or a piece of cheese, these tasty tidbits were put to practical use covering mugs of wine or sherry to deter the fruit flies between sips. Tapas got their name from the Spanish verb tapar, which means “to cover.”While the word “tapas” is officially still used to describe authentic Spanish dishes, the definition has blurred. America has gleefully adopted and embraced the concept of small plates, evolving it to include inspirations and flavors from around the globe. This type of noshing is as much about the dining experience as it is about the food itself. When a meal is not centered on one specific plate, it encourages sharing, conversation and an atmosphere that’s downright celebratory.This month we take a look at exciting small plate options throughout the greater Atlantic City area. Here’s to grazing in all its delicious glory.