Whether you’re a foodie or not, you can’t help but become one when you visit Spain and in particular San Sebastian which is renowned for its gastronomony. Even a simple meal of tapas is a delight. So hold on to your taste buds and sample some Spanish scrumptiousnesss.
In the Basque region, tapas are called ‘pintxos‘ (pronounced pinchos) and are rather like substantial canapes. They sit on the bar so you can choose which ones you want, and go back again and again and again! Seafood, egg and cured meats are common ingredients. They are typically available from lunchtime till very late and are constantly replenished. A fantastic dinner substitute if you haven’t adapted to Spanish dining hours and can’t wait until 9 pm (at the earliest) to eat dinner. The top image was taken in one of the most popular and renowned bars, Atari Gastroteka, in the old town of San Sebastian opposite the cathedral. You can have a ‘proper’ meal as well but you need to book a table at busy times. You can even sit on the cathedral steps with your pintxos and glass of whatever you choose (I can highly recomment the Rosado).
Some of them look too good to eat.
Not for the vegetarian! Cured ham and salami is a staple in Spain, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here, specialty ham – Jamon iberico which comes from the black Iberico pig, is served tapas-style with a decent drizzle of olive oil and fresh bread. Eaten at the highly recommended gastrobar Dona Blanco in Laguardia (capital of Rioja), just behind the old wall.
See what I mean about the cured meats? This was taken in a butchers in Bilbao in the Old Quarter (Casco Viejo).
A meal in itself: an appetiser of melt-in-the-mouth goats cheese mixed with cream, a waterfall of honey, sesame seeds and chives.
You can’t visit La Rioja and not sample the wine. This from the bar at Hotel Marques de Riscal, El Rioja.
And now for the arteries: Churros and hot chocolate.
Being a gastronomic go-to for gourmands, San Sebastian has several of the top, Michelin star restaurants of the world. This from one of them, Arzak Gastroteka, featuring lobster and bee pollen, nasturtiums, mustard sauce and other flavours I cannot remember as I was too busy savouring every mouthful. The theatre of the presentation was worth it as much as for the food.
In Barcelona, we stumbled upon La Boqueria market and realised we should have had it on our list of things to visit. It is amazing! Mounds of food that is super-fresh and enticing.
There were lots of fish stalls. This woman doesn’t look too busy but at least she’s got a job. Spain currently has a 49 per cent youth unemployment rate.
In 38 degree heat, all you sometimes want is an ice cream. Italian gelato can be found in the old town in of San Sebastian.
Just to prove we did eat some vegetables! I don’t know what’s in Spanish soil but the tomatoes are huge and glossy and a vibrant red.