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Greens and a little spicy: the best gildas in Spain


Few recipes can claim to have credited the place and date of its creation, but it is that this well-known Basque pintxo, was born by chance for home


Traditional, in Casa Urola (San Sebastián).

Born almost 70 years ago in San Sebastián as a tribute to the mythical character of Rita Hayworth, the queen of the appetizer remains in the Olympus of the "pintxos"

Few recipes can claim to have credited the place and date of its creation , but it is that this well-known Basque pintxo , was born by chance to honor the main character of the Charles Vidor movie that actress Rita Hayworth embodied in 1946, consolidating itself as an erotic myth of the time and, therefore, the San Sebastian faithfully defend its origin. To the sound of the Put The Blame on Mame and just as "seriously dangerous", which is how the tape was described at the time, the Gilda - in upper or lower case, applies to both - it was considered a green, salty and a little bit Spicy (same as the provocative Hollywood diva) and, since then, became the queen of the appetizer.

Magic on a stick

Blas Vallés, in the mythical Casa Vallés of the historic center of San Sebastián, dispatched in those years the wines that the shortage allowed and a few pickles selected from what little there was to offer at the time. However, it was not he who devised the combination, but one of his clients, Txepeta (José María Aramburu), had the lighting, apostilled in his bar, of inserting an olive, a piparra and an anchovy in the same stick and inserting it in the mouth Such was the surprise of Txepeta that, more than less famously, the sons of Blas Vallés found themselves with their backs to the counter making banquetillas a cascoporro and the surrounding bars copying the idea.

On blown breads, in Arima (Madrid).

Although the original measure was the unit, now the most normal thing is that in the traditional bars of San Sebastián the gildas are found with the units changed, always more opulent, but the base ingredients cannot be the same: olive, anchovy and that piparra that neither bites (in excess, a slight cheerful aftertaste is always welcome) nor is it too acidic . While in the Basque capital of the skewers, examples of this are those that are exposed in the bars - almost cornered by tapas of the most current cut - of Txepetxa, A Fuego Negro, Casa Urola or the Bar Sport, essential of the city center , always watered with a good stream of extra virgin olive oil.

It is clear that there is no more mystery in this combination - "than there was at a time of shortage" - that the excellence of ingredients that, precisely, are not economical : a silky and bearded anchovy at its right point of salting, a fine piparra that does not overindripe and a delicate olive - the chamomile variety is recommended, although more and more we find fat - with the proper irrigation of good extra virgin olive oil.


But the gilda did not remain in the limits of the Basque Country, but traveled to all parts of Spain, becoming especially strong in the capital, where it reigns in many Madrid tapas bars . In them you fight with the Russian salad and the tortilla skewer, and it is that the joy given to this skewered iodine, which helps us to salivate, is the perfect accompaniment for a flat wine (everything was born with that txikito fight next door!), the beer cane or the glass of vermouth with which you start the appetizer to whet your appetite. Good options are those that serve in La Violeta , those that can be enjoyed in the bar of the last traditional opening of Juanjo López, La Retasca , or those that offer with a spicy point marked in Carbon Black.

With tuna, in Bistronómika (Madrid).

Being observers, this old acquaintance is the antipincho as today is promulgated, however, in its simplicity its success probably resides, as in its tradition , because, in reality, pickles - however much we now find them right and right Sinister- they are anything but modern: already in Roman times these preparations were used not so much for taste but to preserve the ingredients. The ideal piparra for a gilda is the one that is collected in its first stages of maturation, when they still have a sweet aftertaste , usually there by July, when they measure between six and ten centimeters, and for them to pickle they must be about three months in a mixture Calibrated white or apple wine vinegar (according to taste), salt, water and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Even in croquettes

Much has already rained on this trio and today it is not difficult to find it, championed by many restaurateurs who include it in their letters, always with the relevant touch of the house. And there are gildas of all types and formats, even losing the central stick that has traditionally made skeleton skewer. In Madrid's Arima Basque Gastronomy, Nagore Irazuegi dispatches those puffed breads (similar to soufflé potatoes but in bread dough, hollow inside) stuffed with piparras mayonnaise on which Guetaria anchovy, olive paste are placed and pearls of olive oil, a creation of Rodrigo García Fonseca that keeps all gilda essence alive but in an attractive format.

In the Etxeberria Brewery (San Sebastián) they have decided to introduce it into a bread pulp with their anchovy, their piparras and they have replaced the traditional olive with a crushing of it . Meanwhile, in El Berenjenal (Vitoria) they have even dared to make it in croquettes , with the anchovies, piparras and olives added at the last moment to the bechamel, which becomes more unctuous thanks to the incorporation of cream in the last stadium of its elaboration.

With Piparras de Ibarra, in Petra Mora.

These flags have also been deconstructed , because if Ferran Adrià could do it with the potato omelette, the gildas were not going to be less: in Tamarises Izarra (Guecho) they start their tasting menu with a cockleshell in which they place a spherification of the chilli pepper with a little green pepper, a slice of Cantabrian anchovy on top and the top of an olive powder (black as an exception), ground after dehydration. If we talk about novel techniques, without a doubt, the reference is the gilda that Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas defend in Enjoy (Barcelona), presented on a plate with a liquid olive wrapped in cocoa butter, textured vinegar seeds in vinegar , mackerel cured and marinated in rice vinegar and oriental sauces , pieces of anchovy, capers and even passion fruit seeds.

During the past summer, Josean Alija also decided to pay his own green-salty-spicy tribute and in Nerua (Bilbao), on those unpolluted white dishes, he marched the olive pickled pork rind, preserving all the flavors of the San Sebastian skewer with neatness more radical

More deconstructions can be found in a classic transgressor of the Basque skewers, the Zeruko (San Sebastián), where the sphere of liquid olives explodes again in the mouth, with pearls of chilli and a ball with the anchovy inside . In the same city, in A Fuego Negro , Edorta Lamo has been preparing from the beginning that fresh fried piparra with a butterfly anchovy , yolk emulsion and an olive filled with marianito gel. On the edge of Donosti, Pedro Subijana (Akelarre) filled a piparra with an emulsion of anchovy, placing it on a land of olive and almond, all accompanied by a black pudding bonbon .

With Cantabrian XL anchovy, Roses anchovy, barnacles and hedgehog, in Estimar (Barcelona and Madrid). Óscar Romero

Many have also preserved the wood that binds their ingredients but adulterating the raw materials. In Madrid's Luke bar, you should start any meal with that gilda crispy and spicy of Korean air in which the pickled lotus root appears, the piqurra in a more spicy version, pickled shiitake, red tuna bathed in sesame and a little kimchi (That pickled / fermented Korean cabbage essential in all its proposals) to finish off with joy.

More fish

The gilda of Casa Marcelo (Santiago de Compostela) is made with salt-cured Celeiro hake with its olive and some chopped Chinese chives on top (also in season they prepare it from Burela bonito), while in Bistronómika (Madrid) Carlos Portillo makes it with caramelized scallions, tuna or bonito -according to the season-, Maldon salt, piparras and mayonnaise of kalamata olives.

Mackerel, that close and tasty blue fish, is usually a good friend of the newest versions; This is how they use it in the cast Viva Madrid - cocktail bar now run by Diego Cabrera - together with sweet and sour onions, roasted peppers and Gordal olives as the perfect company for their gin cocktail and white vermouth. But above all we find the king of the sea, bluefin tuna, in mythical houses like Sacha (Madrid), where from time to time Sacha Hormaechea prepares them with piparras and olives, or in Bar Leopoldo (Barcelona), now under Rafa's supervision Peña (Gresca), who adds a bit of mojama as a climax.

They could not miss in all this string the most noble of all the gildas , which Rafa Zafra elaborates in Estimar , both in the premises of Barcelona and in the recently opened one in Madrid, with anchovy of the Cantabrian XL, anchovy of Roses in a very fine vinegar, barnacles and hedgehog yolks.

With cecina, of the Albizabal brand.

There are even those that have already replaced the fish to be delivered to the meat and cuts such as beef jerky appear , which is the case of those sold by the Albizabal brand (anchovy, anchovy, cheese and beef jerky). Or the pastrami of La Finca de Jiménez Barbero with olives and piparras that combine with the power of this cut of picaña, marinated in brine and smoked afterwards so that, when that That Kiss Burned Chicago Down sounds, everyone looks and praises directly to Mame. As in the movie.

And to decorate them at home

Ready for any task, good and tasty options to eat at home are the gildas made by Codesa , with double anchovy from chamomile olive, Cantabrian anchovy and Ibarra chilli (8 euros / 5 units); those of Petra Mora , which also bets on the piparras of the same area (5.40 euros / 6 units); those of Casa Santoña , with only one anchovy in each flag (5.20 euros / 8 units), or those of Zubelzu , where they opt for the less classic ones, such as declinations with anchovies, quail eggs or cheese (about 5 euros / 6 units). In the temple of pickled Madrid, Vallecas Bombas, Lizards and Rockets , Beatriz and Quique prepare their gilda with olives stuffed with anchovy, piparra and anchovy, all topped with a piece of dried tomato to give it the original touch. How far is the short gilda of this place - that more than 40 years ago was a humble place of pickles and pickles - in which now flags of all kinds are dispatched daily, whose ingredients are not missing salmon, mussels, cured cheese, anchovies or red peppers .

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Source: elmuldo

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