Whilst in San Sebastian, I experienced a heavenly sight. Bars filled with rows and rows of delectable tapas. Well at least that’s what I thought they were. Here in San Sebastian, the use of the word “tapas” is actually sacrilegious, and instead they are referred to as “pintxos.” Pronounced “peen-chos.”
According to a bar owner I met, pintxos are traditionally pinched with a toothpick and attached to a piece of bread. However, nowadays, all bar snacks are referred to as pintxos regardless of the toothpick. Mini sandwiches and slices of Spanish tortilla also fit in the pintxos category.
Tapas, on the other hand, originate from Granada, and usually come free with a drink. Pintxos are served buffet style and are paid for. A very dangerous combination. It’s too easy to get carried away, I had to fight my hands from grabbing more than my wallet could afford. Next time I come back to Spain, I’ll have to pay a visit to Granada to get my tapas fix.
One of my favorite pintxo bars was Beti Jai Berria in Old Town, San Sebastian. This place had the most interesting combinations of flavors and textures. The place also has a trendy and contemporary vibe, a nice divergence from the divey atmosphere of the other bars in town. My favorite was their pulpo (octopus) pintxo stacked upon dollops of creme fraiche. A gorgeous tower of amazing flavor and soft versus creamy textures.
Alright, I’m done talking. Now, I will allow your eyes to feast on the greatest collection of pintxo food porn there ever was. Buen provecho!