San Sebastian the beautiful coastal city forms a natural amphitheatre facing the sea, it has been crowned the Pearl of the Cantabrian Sea. The cradle of Basque cuisine, San Sebastian boasts more Michelin stars per square capita than anywhere else in the world, and its pintxos* - the Basque word for tapas - are the best in the country. These pintxos use a multitude of delicious ingredients from the region and decades of tradition to create truly world-class, bite-size pieces of heaven.
In this space we plan to showcase some of our favourite pintxos: where to get them and what to pair them with. This week on #PintxoTime, ladies and gentlemen we are pleased to introduce our first guest: the Anchovy.
The Anchovy has been an important ingredient for years, and it is a true stand out in its field. They were so abundant and affordable that fishermen used to give them away at the port. After overfishing and a forced 5 year moratorium on anchovy fishing it’s a different story. Considered a delicacy it’s now a very sought after ingredient with a price tag to match. Anchovies are at the heart of Basque culinary culture. Locally caught and used in many dishes, including tapas, they are a taste you need to acquire fast to eat well in San Sebastian.
There are many that share our appreciation of this tasty little fish and know what it takes to prepare a truly great anchovy. Here’s one of our top picks:
Bar Antonio in the center of San Sebastian serves a made to order pintxo de anchoa: with spicy guindilla peppers, and housemade anchovies on crisp toast, salty, with a kick, it has been a staple in the tapas bars from the beginning. Bar Antonio does a great Pintxo de Anchoa. Traditional but somehow bang up to date, it is sought by locals as much as visitors. When they’re lining up at the door you know you have a great pintxo.
Pair it with a Txakoli (chac-oh-lee) the traditional Basque white wine and you’ve got yourself a winning combo!
You’ve got to taste it to understand, the anchovy is a fascinating ingredient not something to be picked off a pizza! But make sure you get the good ones - we’ll be highlighting more here in the months to come! You’re in for a treat!
Bergara Kalea, 3, 20005 Donostia, Gipuzkoa
7:30 - 23:00
Monday to Saturday
Closed on Sundays
Pintxo: Pintxo de Anchoa
*Pintxos: the Basque word for tapas, pronounced pin-choss.