the gilda


In San Sebastián, Spain, there is huge gothic Cathedral nestled near la Parte Vieja. Surrounding it is a plaza, more often than not filled with children playing, teenagers on lunch break, and adults taking a cafe con leche. To the south, a pedestrian promenade stretches out, lined with cafes and stores. One of these bars is the almost-70-year-old Casa Valles, the purported origin of 'La Gilda', the  pintxo most emblematic of this food-obsessed city.  

The story goes that as the bar was evolving from a sort of vending point for the owner's wines to a full-on taberna, they were in the habit of offering an assortment of olives, anchovies (which are worlds away from the kind Americans are accustomed to), and guindilla peppers, a popular variety of vinegar-packed capsicum.



Purportedly, one of the bar's regular customers (nicknamed Txepetxa, which is chochín in castellano, or the winter wren in English) began to combine the three on a toothpick, beginning a city's love affair with the Gilda. The name comes from a Rita Hayworth character, so derived because both were "green, salty, and a little spicy".  An irresistible combination.

I'm not sure where to source these guindillas here in the United States, but I broke out the jar I brought home last year when we had some friends over for dinner. The combination is one of those magic ones that exceeds the sum of its parts...the anchovies have an almost cheesy flavor and texture, tempering the vinegary bit of the peppers.  It's a perfect app, best served at room temperature. I used Ortiz anchovies, a high-quality importer from Spain. That part is super important, folks...don't do this at home without some good anchovies.


the gilda

2 guindillas
1 anchovy filet
1 green olive, pitted

First, take the guindillas and wrap them with the anchovy filets.

Second, pierce them with a toothpick.

To finish, add an olive.

Serve at room temperature (and I like to drizzle with some good olive oil).

la gilda

2 guindillas
50 gramos de anchoas
50 gramos de aceitunas verders 


El primer paso será, tomar las Guindillas y envolverlas con los filetes de Anchoas.

Como segundo paso, pincharlas con un palillo.

Para finalizar, agregar en el palillo, una Aceituna.

Servir a temperatura ambiente.