Pintxos and Tapas Culture in San Sebastian
Pintxos or Pinchos (pronounced "peen-chos") are small portions of food, eaten in bars, and are an expression of "miniature cuisine". They come from the Spanish tradition of tapas, which are small portions of food, generaly taken from a bigger part, that are served in many Spanish bars along with the drinks.
Pintxos origins are in San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque), where some bars started to create small portions of miniature cuisine (similar to "canapés"), and were displayed on the bar counters so the customers could take them by themselves. This custom evolved, as many more bars started to create differente kind of pintxos, nothing now to be with tapas, offered in "hot" and "cold" versions.
Locals and visitors enjoy eating those pintxos as well as drinking, just as an appetizer, or in a sort of pintxos crawling.
The success of the Basque Cuisine, and of the cuisine schools located in San Sebastian, made that many graduated chefs applied their knowledge in the kitchens of the bars, cooking many creations of high quality that now live together with popular recipes that remain through the years.