santo tomás, a tale of talo

It's that time of year again. December 21, the day of Saint Thomas in San Sebastián. One of the city's premiere parties, strategically located in the dead of winter as a preventative measure to guard against seasonal depression. 

The typical signs that festivity is abounding?

  • The bar in front of my apartment, the mysterious bar, is open.
  • Old men in boinas and three year old girls dressed like 90-year-old peasant ladies run wild in the street.
  • People are breaking out into  song in the grocery store and the fruit man downstairs is whistling a particularly traditional tune today at 7am.
  • Whatsapp is blowin up with friends trying to get you to the old town so they can invitarme.
  • There are stalls of animals in strategically random spots around San Sebastián.
  • The smell of frying pork fills the air of the entire city.

There it is, the infamous talo eta txistorra. Hello, txistorra. A brilliant sausage that's fatty (70-80% fat), tastes of garlic, and runs its paprika juices down your wrists as you eat it. It's better than you could ever imagine. And it should be, since my theory is the people here forego the pleasure of fresh corn in favor of corn flour to be able to provide the entire province with these tasty hand-pounded corn cakes.

You can do it yourself!

talo (Basque corn cakes)

  • 350 g of corn flour
  •  250 ml of lukewarm water
  • a pinch of salt.

Mix the flour and salt, and begin incorporating water from the center, until you form a dough with the correct texture. Leave it to rest for 30 minutes and then make small balls. Roll them out with your hands from the center until you form a sort of thin round, which you then toast lightly on a griddle on both sides. Serve with fried sausage, morcilla, bacon, tenderloin, chocolate, etc.