Last summer I spent a lovely day with two wonderful friends in the town of Figueres in Northeastern Spain. The town on its own is small, yet sophisticated with many nice shops and restaurants. One time a few years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Castell Sant Ferran which is an enormous structure outside of the main town that was built starting in 1753 in honor of King Ferdinand Vl. It was later used as a prison until 1997. However, the castle is not the main reason that people visit the town of Figueres. It is known for being the birthplace of the Catalán artist Salvador Dalí and home to the most unusual interactive museum I have ever visited. The theatre/museum was built while Dalí was still alive and offers a wonderful walk through the life of this surreal and completely “out there” artist. Amongst other things Dalí was known for his exotic moustache, strange fetishes and curious relationship with his wife, Gala. For me he is one of the most fascinating artist to be born in Spain.
Since one needs to eat as well as enjoy art, my friends and I found a nice little “pinchos” bar in town. “Pinchos” or “Pintxos” as written in Euskadi, the Basque language, are small snacks eaten in bars or taverns. They are originally from the Basque country but also enjoyed in other areas of Northern Spain. They usually have a toothpick through the center attaching the snack to a piece of bread. Pinchar means “to poke”. You can choose your pintxos from various plates along the bar and at the end the bartender will count your toothpicks to tally your bill. The honor policy is very important in Spain. My friends and I enjoyed (too) many pintxos along with a few glasses of a smooth Ribera del Duero. Being health conscious as we are, we also ordered a grilled vegetable plate which was served with a Romesco sauce. Romesco sauce is typical in Catalunya and made from some variation of dried red pepper, garlic, olive oil and hazelnuts. (photos by my dear friend Melissa)