Food is such an important aspect of Basque life and nothing defines the role of food better than the pintxo, that small morsel that you find on every counter in every bar throughout the Basque Country. As I mentioned earlier, in my most recent trip to the Basque Country, my friend Gonzalo Aranguren took me to some of his favorite bars and I was able to sample some great pintxos in Donostia. I was unaware, though, that there was an actual championship of pintxos, the brought together the best of the Basque Country to determine who made the best pintxos.
The last edition of the Euskal Herriko Pintxo Txapelketa was held in October in Hondarribia. The winning pintxo, “huevo al oro con migas de pastor y txipiron” by Bixente Muñoz, is pictured above (not sure exactly how this translates, but something like “golden egg with shepherd’s crumbs and squid”). On the website, they show pictures of other entries, all of which look amazing.
This is the fifth Pintxo Txapelketa and since 2008 they have also released a book of the best pintxos of the competition. Information about the books can be found here.
I personally think it is awesome that they have this championship. It pushes the boundaries of what the pintxo is, and keeps Basque cuisine on the cutting edge. It forces chefs to experiment and bring out their best ideas. If anyone has been part of the championship, please let us all know more about it!