How to showcase your canapé

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Put a stick in it and frame it with bread.

Pintxos should always look beautiful! It’s not written anywhere that pintxos are meant to be beautiful, but it’s kind of an unspoken rule. They just are. Pretty much always.

If you think about it, the slice of bread is a bit like a food pedestal that automatically showcases the food on top as if it was something precious that needs to be elevated and put on top of a sort of foundation. Making your pintxos look beautiful is half the fun of making them in the first place, and as a firm believer that we “eat with our eyes”, it just all makes sense to me. So get your creative brain flowing, get a few Pintxo sticks to hold them together and have fun!

Put a stick in it and frame it with bread from
Showcase your canapé

In Spain, traditional bread or pan is a long loaf, similar to the French baguette but wider and shorter, generally called "barra" and many other different names along the country like "pistola" or "bastón". Also there's a long variety of types with different forms, presentations and recipes such as "chapata", "payés", "gallego", "candeal", "mollete", etc. Bread is widely consumed alongside almost every meal, or even making it an important part of some iconic pieces of Hispanic cuisine such as bocadillos or Pintxo.

Pan de barra is a Spanish-style baguette, a rustic bread loaf that’s made with a simple dough consisting of flour, water, yeast, and salt. The dough is shaped into a long, thin loaf, and it is then allowed to rise before it’s slashed on the surface and baked until crispy and nicely browned.

Although it resembles the French baguette, pan de barra typically has a harder and drier texture, which makes it an excellent base for sandwiches. In the past, there were slightly different versions of the bread in different parts of Spain, although they all shared the same long, cylindrical shape.

In Madrid, the bread used to be distinguished by a denser texture, while those prepared in Galicia tended to be lighter and fluffier. This bread is consumed everywhere throughout Spain, and it’s the most popular choice of bread used for making Spanish bocadillos, delicious sandwiches that are staples of Spanish cuisine.

The challenge: take three or four ingredients assemble on a slice of baguette and secure in place with a wooden stick.

I am going to show you how to delight your dinner guests, with new, fresh and creative Pintxo easily recreated at home. I’ve been inspired by a new wave of Michelin starred chefs working in San Sabastian, plating new combinations of ingredients and flavours. Nothing encompasses Basque Culture more than its cuisine, the Pintxo is the quintessential representation of the region’s best cuisine; but in miniature.

Morcilla & Quails Egg from PintxoTapas
Morcilla & Quails Egg

This really is a slice of bread, black pudding with a fried egg on top, very popular across northern Spain. Taking this as a starting point below is my pork four ways; a miniaturised pork chop, black pudding, sticky honey and mustard sausage topped with a Yorkshire pork crowned with sage...

And something from the ocean, below is my scallops wrapped in bacon.

Prawn and Romesco Pintxo topped with red and piquillo peppers

Put a few of these together and delight you guests something a little different and a whole lot of fun.

I blog/vlog about everything PintxoTapas, the past and the future trends from San Sabastian being driven by Michelin starred chefs.

I am a self-taught semi-professional chef working in a 300 cover restaurant in Surrey UK. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved, or sometimes not but you've got to push the boundaries. Inspired by cookbooks, other food blogs, TV chefs, and family recipes.

​I try to make practical PintxoTapas recipes available on this site that can bring your family and friends together for an informal, but an amazing adventure into the world of Pintxo. As well as writing, I work on my YouTube channel and with suppliers to produce all sorts of video content, from interviews, how-to guides and recipe guides.


Mobile: ‪+44 7920 801120

Phone: ‪+44 1252 710780

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