Page 83 - Ocean Blue World 24th Edition
P. 83

  SBy Jeremy Thompson
an Sebastián is quite simply food heaven–a place where top chefs clamor to go on holiday. It is a small coastal city boasting 18 Michelin stars, more per capita than just about anywhere on Earth.
However, in San Sebastián, you do not have to be wealthy to dine well.
This Basque enclave on the Bay of Biscay in Spain is just as well known for its Pintxo culture–scores of bars serving the local version of tapas–exquisite snacks turned into an art form. My wife and I started at the elegant Hotel Maria Christina in the heart of the old town and headed out on a tapeo, a tour of the city’s Pintxo culinary delights.
The first stop was Bar Txepetxa to taste a Gilda, - a spicy, sexy combination of olives, peppers, and anchovies - and one of the most famous Pinxto creations, inspired by Rita Hayworth’s sultry seductive character in the 1940s movie Gilda.
We then went on through a maze of bars that serve sensational snacks, from foie gras with apple compote, smoked cod cheeks, and sea urchin custard, to another local delicacy, baby eels. We tasted roast suckling pig with quince, and Txuleton, which are succulent rib steaks. There are specialty bars with only one featured item such as anchovies or spider crabs. In San Sebastián, there is a snack for every palate.
So proud are the citizens of their culinary traditions that many belong to the city’s unique closed gastronomic societies called txokos, where friends and neighbors socialize while trying out new dishes with each other.
Our favorite time to visit is from midnight January 19 to midnight January 20 when San Sebastián celebrates Tamborrada. Tamborrada is a crazy, noisy 24 hours of drumming, gourmet dining and partying. Citizens dressed as chefs and soldiers march through the streets celebrating their defiance of Napoleon’s army 200 years ago, while snacking on Pintxos. It is a vibrant and unforgettable experience–just like the city’s wonderful cuisine.
    Photos Courtesy Of: Shutterstock, Bokkado, Getty Images | 83

   81   82   83   84   85