DonostiaJuly 5 in Spain
We are in Basque territory. I had heard of this area before but did not realise what it really meant. The Basque people were displaced when the border between France and Spain was drawn up after the war. The Basque people were just forgotten about. They had lived in their own country in this region for centuries. They have their own language, culture and history. They insist they are not Spanish or Catalonian (another group in Spain wanting their autonomy, centred in Barcelona). The Basque people are proud of their heritage and they live in a semi-autonomous area which bridges France and Spain. San Sebastian is the name General Franco, the Spanish dictator, gave this city, but the Basque people call it Donostia.
The Basque people have their own version of Tapas. They call it Pintxos (pronounced Pinchos). They are proud of this amazing way of presenting food and the chefs in the Pintxos bars are very competitive. The idea is that customers move from bar to bar, having one or two pintxos from each location. It means that people move up to 12 times to have dinner. The streets of the old city are packed with this crowd every afternoon and night, all seeking the best pintxos. It is amazing to see this take place. It's like the whole city is having a progressive dinner.
The pintxos are only a couple of euros each, and the variety is extensive. It is difficult to capture the atmosphere in photos but here are a few in an attempt to do so. This finger-food is a fantastic way to provide food for a large number of people. They take the idea to the extreme and the taste combinations are very adventurous - too adventurous for Sam. He couldn't bring himself to try any. He thought the octopus legs and fish eyes were lurking in every pintxos. Sam lacks courage when it comes to trying new foods.Read more