Pinxos was a big part of my trip to the North of Spain. What is a pintxo you might wonder? Well, a pinxo is basically Basque style tapas, and very popular up north. A Pincho (Spanish) or Pintxo (Euskera/Basque) is literally a toothpick, or a skewer, with food on it. Often a piece of bread with some sort of topping and a toothpick holding it all together.
The concept of the pintxos has of course developed and it seems you can call any small dish or portion a pintxo, even without the toothpick. At least that’s what we experienced in certain bars around la Rioja and Pais Vasco. Like this one, Bacalao a la Riojana:
Or this one, some kind of crepe filled with a mushroom-mousse:
Or this one, a piece of grilled meat with foie:
A pintxo can also be a mini sandwich/baguette:
A story of its origen says it’s as simple as it being a way to protect your drink from flies. You got a pintxo with your drink, a piece of bread with something tasty on top, and put it on top of your drink. Just like one of the said origins to the tapas really.
There are loads of different pintxos and it’s not unusual that a bar specialize in one. They have one star pintxo, that can be absolutely wonderful at this bar, and just average and nothing special at the next bar. So if you have the chance, find out what the specialty of the house is, and ENJOY!
Have you ever eaten pintxos and what is/was your favourite?