Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tapas and pintxos

Tapas refer to appetizers or snacks in Spanish cuisine and can range from a chunk of tuna or sardine, a cocktail onion and an olive skewered on a long toothpick to piping hot meat with sauce served in a miniature clay dish. In Spain, tapas has evolved into an entire lifestyle. The Spanish has perfected the art of socialising over drinks and having snacks in between at different times of the day, in fact at any time of the day and night.

In San Sebastian and Bilbao which are Basque country, tapas are called pintxos or pinchos which essentially is the Basque version of tapas. Eating small meals throughout the day is quite a good idea as it makes digestion easier and keeps the weight off. This strategy didn't seem to work for us as we were snacking on tapas throughout the day and eating full dinners at night.

Some of the tapas and pinchos that I have tried included

patates braves  - fried potatoes with hot spicy sauce
bacalao - salted cod usually served with bread and tomatoes
boquerones - white anchovies served in vinegar
croquetas - little potato nuggets filled with meat
tortilla - Spanish omelette
truita - Spanish omelette containing fried potatoes and onions
pulpo - Galician-style octopus
gambas - prawns sauteed in peppercorn sauce
pimientoes de padron - deep fried green chilli peppers

boquerones - white anchovies served in vinegar
A selection of pintxos at Bar Diz at San Sebastian

Tortilla and truita - Spanish omelette

Pintxo selection at Bar Diz in San Sebastian

The locals have their tapas or pintxos with wine

A cute little dog waits quietly while his master enjoys his pintxos

The Basques specialise in pintxos on a stick

Pintxos also consist of meat served with sauce in hot miniature dishes

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