Destination Dining: Spanish food tours
Author: Kendall Hill
Basque is a notoriously difficult language but "mimo", meaning a love for food, is a word any gourmet traveller can relate to (and say). In fact it's a term used throughout Spain but in the gastronomically blessed Basque Country, it has the sense of preparing a dish with the same love usually lavished on newborns. So it's an apt name for an outfit that inducts outsiders into Spain's culinary treasures.
Launched by London expat Jon Warren, Mimo San Sebastián began leading visitors into San Sebastián's labyrinthine Old Town on insider tours of its finest pintxos bars in 2009. "Pintxos line every bar in San Sebastián's famed Old Town, but knowing where to find the best is an art," says Warren.
In November, Mimo expanded its tours to Seville, the birthplace of tapas, where travellers can sign up for outings to the Andalucían capital's traditional and avant-garde bars or immerse themselves in the "definitive ham and sherry experience". And in February, Mimo débuted in Mallorca with a team of experts to bring the best of the Balearic table to travellers.
Highlights of the Mallorcan itineraries include visits to country bodegas to taste local wines followed by a banquet at an estate matched with the owner's "blue" wines made from the island's prensal blanc grape. There are also olive oil tastings and a lesson in making pa amb oli, bread with olive oil and tomato, and a trek into the countryside to feast on suckling pig. Fans of Mallorca's cuisine can stock up at Mimo's providore in the St Regis Mardavall Hotel, where 60 per cent of the produce is endemic to the Balearics.