¨San Sebastian is your oyster¨ by NadineVisagie for Sawbuona in flight magazine.
As a traveller, your time is precious and if you don't want to use the trial-and-error method of finding the best food in the city, it's best to request the help of a local food guide. Mine is Gabriella Ranelli de Aguirre of Tenedor Tours, who's been named one of the best food guides in the world by the Wall Street Journal.
Donostia— san Sebastian, nestled between verdant mountains in the Bay of Biscay, attracts visitors from all over the globe not only for its beauty, but also for its reputation as a gastronomic gem. Selected as the 2016 European Capital of Culture, its tourism rate is set to increase.
is a traveller, your time is precious and if you don’t want to use the trial and—error method of finding the best food in the city, its best to request the help of a local food guide. Mine is Gabriella Raiielli de Aguirre of Tenedor. who’s been named one of the best food guides in the world by the WalI Street Journal.
Meandering through the narrow streets, we visit Zapore Jai, a gourmet shop in the old town. It sells a variety of gourmet products, including Idiazabal (Basque cheese made of sheep’s milk) and jamón ibérico be bellota (iberian acorn ham).
The owner, Sylvain Foucaud, cuts a thin slice and hands it to me. I’m not fond of ham, so I’m reluctant to try it - but when I do, Iimrnediately begin salivating for more. I've never tasted anything like this before, with its smooth, oily texture and rich, full flavour.
Foucaud explains that this pig's fat is intramuscular, so it's intertwined in the meat, not sitauted outside it, as in ordinary ham. He says this fat is actually good for you, as it contains oleic acid, which has a beneficial effect on cholesterol.
The free-range Iberian figs are raised in the west of Spain and gorge on a rich diet of acorns. “We don’t eat this hain every day, as it's very expensive. We might eat it on Sundays or special occasions he adds — and at around RI 798 per kg, that’s quite understandable.
It you prefer to spend your money on something more permanent, like enhanced cooking skills, a class in Basque pintxos (literally ¨toothpicks¨-the kind used in tapas- but the term also refers to hors d'oeuvres or snacks) is ideal. We learn how to make an array of pintxos in Gabby's kitchen, includig the classic ¨Gilda¨, which consists of guindilla peppers, salt-cured anchovies and olives. I love the ¨urchin prawns ¨that are made with angel hair pasta: it's original and tasty. Another way to learn more about Basque cuisine is to visit famous tapas bars with a pintxos walking tour in the city's historic quarter.
There is always a cheerful ambience here and even though it's past 9pm, we still see families with kids standing and eating in pintxos bars. Gaby explains that it's common to practice to thow used napkins on the floor- something I find diffcult to do at first.