First, we must travel to Basque country, which lies in the North of Spain near the Bay of Biscay and in South Western France. Basque country has a rich culinary heritage and is best known for Pintxos – small, composed bites that are not unlike tapas, but are worlds different.
Pintxos, pronounced “pinchos”
Small, savory canapés presented in a myriad of colors, forms and flavor combinations, laid out on giant platters and spread along every counter in town. Twice a day, hundreds of people pour into the streets of San Sebastien for a traditional “pintxos crawl,” moving from bar to bar: tasting, drinking and socializing.
Gildas – White anchovy, olive and pickled pepper skewer (named after 1946 Rita Hayworth role).
Soft Boiled Quail Egg with Black Anchovy and Piquillo Peppers.
Fried Eggplant with Honey and Goat Cheese.
Wood-Fired Chorizo with Pickled Carrots.
One of the easiest ways to spot a good pintxos bar is to look at the floor. If it’s covered in napkins and skewers, it’s worth going in. Those in the know drop everything on the floor after finishing, leaving the waiters to quickly clear the plates (until the bar closes). The bars are lined with plates of different cold pintxos that you help yourself to. Be sure to save room for the hot ones, which are listed on blackboards and cooked to order.
“Katrin sipped again, the savory liquid coaxing her to relax further, the smooth taste flowing down her throat and unfurling her muscles. She moved the delicate bundle of flavors through her mouth. “My Heaven’s this is good.” She closed her eyes and inhaled.
Santiago smiled and lifted his glass. “To trying new things.”
She sipped and another burst of flavor sprang to life over her tongue. “Definitely time to try new things . . .”
Blog information and photos from: http://www.thelondonfoodie.co.uk/2013/08/the-london-foodie-goes-to-spain-san.html. http://compass.coxandkings.co.uk/compass/travel-articles/a-guide-to-pintxos-in-san-sebastian/. Here’s Why You Have To Try Basque Cuisine, According To A Basque Chef. Alison Spiegel. Huffpost Taste. July, 2014.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pintxo_de_pulpo_con_alcachofa.jpg