A guy goes over and says to his friend, “Wanna see a picture of my aunt?” His friend says, “Sure.” The guy pulls a picture out of his wallet and shows it to him. His friend says, “But that’s a picture of a fish!” The guy replies, “That’s my anchovy.”

It was a very pleasant surprise when on Tuesday, thanks to Facebook, I learned that a friend from university was also in San Sebastian for a couple of days. The world is small and Australians are everywhere. Long story short, tonight (Wednesday) despite the stomach ache I had all day (probably resulting from the fried bread dessert I had on Tuesday night), I took the opportunity to show him the ropes of pintxos bar hopping. Plus, it is my last night in Basque country so there was no way I could miss out. I had another of those Kobe beef hamburgers, a kosher prawn and Iberian ham kebab, a Basque specialty warm crab dip, a piece of cheese tempura the size of my fist, and, most notably, anchovies.

Fresh anchovies are a staple of Basque cuisine and are not cured or salted as are their U.S. counterparts. On our pintxos crawl, we visited the Mecca of anchovy restaurants, Bar Txepetxa (that is what a Basque word looks like, you see, not easy). My friend went the conservative route and had his anchovy with chopped peppers and onions. I was a bit more adventurous and had two — one with olive tapenade and the other with…wait for it…blueberry jam! And to make things even more weird, I think that it was actually my favorite jam, blueberry Bonne Maman jam, that I keep at home, when I have a home.


I think I may need to lay off the heavy stuff for a day or two. Next stop, Sevilla!