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In praise of gilda, the quintessential bar snack

On a recent city break to Bilbao I discovered the perfect bar snack: the gilda. Allegedly invented at Bar Casa Vallés in San Sebastián and named after Rita Hayworth's character Gilda in the eponymous film, it’s been a star of the pintxo bar for over 70 years.

Equal portions of pickled guindilla pepper, salted anchovy fillet and tangy green olive neatly stacked onto a cocktail stick: a perfect mouthful of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and piquant that awakens the tastebuds. In the same way that a club sandwich is the mark of a good hotel bar, the test of any good pinxto bar, is the quality of its gildas.

Making a tasty gilda at home is easy, as long as you have the best quality ingredients to hand: a pickled Guindilla pepper, a Cantabrian salted anchovy fillet, and a juicy Manzanilla olive. Carefully add each layer onto a cocktail stick and in seconds you have an exquisite mouthful of pintxo. Partner with a house-made vermut or a crisp txokoli and you’ve got the perfect aperitivo to awaken the taste buds, ready for an evening of picoteo. Vamonos!






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