What are Pinchos?

Pinchos are small finger foods served at bars and taverns throughout the Basque Country straggling the border between Spain and France. In the center of Basque country is San Sebastian, a world-renowned culinary destination with the second most Michelin stars per capita in the world (after Kyoto, Japan). The city is also known for pinchos (or "pintxos" in Spanish) which are found in the bars of the Old Quarter and elsewhere in the city. Similar to tapas, pinchos have a strong socializing component and are are usually eaten in bars as a snack with wine, sangria or sherry.

So what is the difference between pinchos and tapas? Pinchos (literally "spike" in Spanish) uses a toothpick to skewer the goodies to a slice of bread. No spike? Not a pincho, just a tapa. 

We'll be making a lot of pinchos and tapas at both our upcoming Spanish Tapas Feast cooking class and our Barcelona pop-up dinner event. Unfortunately, the cooking class is already sold out, but seats are still available for the "Tapas Crawl" pop-up dinner on October 22. 

All of our pop-up dinners are destination events where we will recreate an international fantasy food experience right here in downtown Urbana. Our "tapas crawl" will take place on Carrer de Blai in Barcelona, the most visited city in Spain. Known as the "Street of the Tapas," Carrer de Blai is a pedestrian street lined with small restaurants and bars, each serving their own version of both classics and unique non-traditional tapas creations. Without leaving our seats, we'll "crawl" from one tapas bar to another and sample a wide range of small plates along with wine pairings, some sangria, and sherry.

On the menu are lamb meatballs, grilled octopus, stuffed sardines, gazpacho (chilled vegetable soup), and of course some pinchos. We're also known to surprise our guests with new creations not on the menu. After all, these pop-ups are intended for me to test new recipes for my upcoming cooking classes.

All of our pop-up events are private affairs not open to the public. If you want to score a reservation, you'll have to join the private popup_dinners_cu Facebook group, follow @popup_dinners_cu on Instagram, or subscribe to my email newsletter.

More information about upcoming pop-up events and cooking classes can always be found at www.cooking-with-paul.com. For the latest news, feel free to subscribe to my monthly email newsletter.