Pintxos: The Flavors Of Spain, On A Toothpick
Pintxos embody everything I love about food: beauty, flavor, imagination, fresh ingredients and community. You do not eat pintxos alone. You eat them in a bar filled with people just off work, hungry and eager to share the day’s gossip. You eat pintxos with friends or new acquaintances, following the traditions of txikiteo (pronounced chee-kee-tay-oh), a pintxo pub crawl, eating one or two pintxos in each bar and paying by toothpick on the way out (each toothpick representing one pintxo) before moving to the next destination. In pintxo bars, plates of these skewered delicacies, croquettes, small sandwiches or montaditos (miniature, open-faced sandwiches) are organized on bar tops, so diners can revisit the counter every few minutes to choose a new bite, return to their tables to indulge, sip beer or txakoli (a sparkling Basque wine), count toothpicks and move on.