First published on travel.cnn.com
Pintxos has developed over the years from being a simple bar food to innovative small plates that can rival the offerings at any Michelin-rated establishment.
While a typical pintxo (literally "spike" or "thorn") is made up of several skewered ingredients atop a piece of bread, the term can refer to any small bar food, from a plate of Idiazabal cheese risotto to a potato-filled wedge of tortilla.
The bar scene has always played an important role in Basque living, with tavern owners offering small snacks like olives for their guests to enjoy with their drinks.
In the 1940s, men who were spending more and more time in taverns, drawn in by the local betting culture, started combining the snack foods to create meals, then giving their creations names. more…