Tapas San Sebastian
San Sebastian is the Tapas Mecca of the world. If the love of food has ever reached a spiritual level, it is here. This is where you will find tapas (pintxos) in all their variety, complexity, and beautiful grand simplicity. Anthropologist Jacqueline Urla once said to me that, “food in Spain and the Basque country still exists within a cultural dynamic”. Tapas bars are gathering places to rub elbows and reconfirm community. You have one or two, a glass of the house wine or a short beer, say hello to everyone and then move on the next bar and repeat. Tapas do not travel well in my opinion. They cannot be mimicked, franchised or frozen. When you take them out of their natural environment they loose the flavor of their surroundings. Although you will find complex tapas that stretch the culinary envelop, for me the best ones are based on simple local ingredients that can only be grown here. You can try, but they will not have the flavor of the local soil, or the sea, or the air, or the feeling of a packed tapas bar while you meet, greet and eat the best damn food you will ever have the honor of trying. My advice is to make the pilgrimage to San Sebastian, go the old part of town and seek enlightenment. It is waiting on the top of every bar in the city. Here is a link to San Sebastian tourism to find out more.