Originally a free 'lid' (tapa) of ham across a drink, nowadays they consist of small portions of everything from octopus to olives.
An integral part of Mallorca's foodie culture, it is also a fantastic way of cheaply eating yourself around the island. Locals eat tapas before going out to eat a proper meal, but several portions can make a meal in itself. The idea behind tapas is one of community and conversation, designed to encourage conversation, because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them.
Some dishes are served cold such as mixed olives and cheese, or hot such as chopitos, which are battered and fried baby squid.