Snacks to beer Spain

Snacks to beer — Pintxos

pinxos2.jpgA pintxo (or pincho) is any tasty little morsel of food you can nibble with a drink and some good company. In practice, these days they’re usually slice of baguette with interesting toppings, speared through with a cocktail stick.

Although they´re to be found all over Spain (particularly in studenty places like Salamanca), the Basque country is the spiritual home of the pintxo, where even the caff in the railway station has a few on the counter.

In some bars, they bung you a couple for free, to accompany your drink. In most places, they’re a Euro-or-so each. You help yourself, generally, and present all the used cocktail sticks at the end of the night so they can tot up the bill.

They’re yet another brilliant “snack-to-beer”. Whatever the experts say, salty food is great with beer. Sometimes, we find we really only get a real sense of the taste of a particular beer when we’ve calibrated our tastebuds with a salty snack.

Here are some excellent Pintxo toppings to accompany a glass of almost anything:

1. Pickled fish — sounds grim, but sweet, salty little bits of herring or anchovy go exceedingly well with beer.
2. Tapenade (olive paste) — salt and oil, basically, with some spiciness from the olives.
3. Small pieces (what they call “goujons” in pretentious pubs) of battered salt cod — salt, oil… are you beginning to see the pattern here?
4. Spanish omelette — nothing soaks up booze better than spuds and, although the thought of eggy potatoes and beer might not sound that appetising, it works a treat.
5. Anchovy and cream cheese — not the pickled variety, but the dark brown salty, oily ones you get on cheap pizzas.

To be honest, you can put just about anything on a bite-sized slice of bread and it works. And they’re very easy to make. Give it a go.

4 replies on “Snacks to beer — Pintxos”

Never been a fan of tapas-style food myself. You always end up eating too much or too little. The whole beer with food thing is a bit overblown generally, it seems a bit of a try-hard effort to put beer on the same footing as wine. I’m not sure that’s a sure route to success.

Interesting. I tend to find that drinking makes me want to eat, and vice versa. I don’t necessarily have much interest in being brought a bottle of stout in a silver bucket by a somelier while I eat monkfish cheeks up a tower in the City of London, but I do think that the right snack with the right pint can be a magical thing. And we’re talking pork scratchings with Butcombe Bitter, here…

In which case, Stonch, you might enjoy an upcoming post from Boak, the central theme of which is likely to be: “Which idiot decided that IPA went with curry just because of the name?”

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