Basque Country is a region in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. Home of Pamplona’s most famous bull-run every year. Basque food has a fusion of French, Spanish, and Mediterranean cuisine, rich in seafood and vegetables. However, Spain’s Basque region gets often overshadowed by its better-known neighbors, France and Italy. Still, any Basque food is sure to be a feast for the senses. Traditionally, it was a cuisine of the poor, but now it’s grown to encompass a wide range of dishes. Nowadays, Basque food is famous for its exquisite flavors and textures. Many of the foods have appeared on restaurant menus from New York to Los Angeles.
Basque food is an exquisite delight that you should allow yourself to experience. There are many dishes to try in this region, but here are 8 must-try Basque dishes for you.
Marmitako is a traditional dish that is a simple mixture made of cooked potatoes and tuna (Tomatoes are also often added). This dish, originating in the Basque region, is similar to cioppino, which has different variations in many cultures. Marmitako is a hearty dish that is best enjoyed in a city near the sea.
Chistorra is a type of sausage in Spanish cuisine. It is a long, thin sausage seasoned with garlic, paprika, and pimentón (smoked paprika), which gives it a distinctive, spicy flavor. Like many types of Spanish sausages, it is usually grilled or fried. It is primarily a tapas dish, but it appears in various other dishes, such as chistorra con huevos and chistorra con fabada. Chistorra is made from minced or ground pork and pork fat, seasoned with garlic, salt, pimentón, pepper, and sometimes a little nutmeg or cloves. The mixture is stuffed into a casing, traditionally made from a pig’s small intestine.
A typical cod dish in the Navarre region consists of shredded, desalted cod cooked with a range of chopped tomatoes, garlic, onions, red peppers, green peppers, potatoes, and hot peppers —a perfect combination to delight the most demanding palate.
BACALAO AL PIL-PIL
One of the most iconic dishes from Spanish cuisine is bacalao al pil pil. This dish comes from the Basque region in Spain, which is well known for its cold climate. The dish itself presents the importance of salt in Basque cuisine. The salt is used to season the cod and protect it from any bacteria. The dish is made with dried and salted cod that has been boiled, grilled, or fried. The dish is typically served with onions and peppers, either grilled or fried in oil. The sauce used for cooking the cod is very flavorful and is most often made with garlic, olive oil, white wine, tomato, paprika, and saffron.
Porrusalda is a typical dish of the Basque Country and Navarra. The Basque Country is just one of those great Spanish regions that always produce delicious food, and porrusalda is no exception. It has a vegetable base, mainly the white part of leeks (purrusalda means “leek soup” in Euskera). Other typical ingredients used are carrots, potatoes, garlic, and onions, although each family will add its own ingredients based on taste and availability.
Angulas is a traditional Basque dish that has been made in the Basque region for centuries. It is a dish of baby eels cooked in garlic and olive oil until they are tender. The traditional spices used in the dish are bay leaves, salt, pepper, and hot red pepper. This dish is delicious when served with bread and aioli. However, it is traditionally served as an appetizer (tapas).
CHIPIRONES EN SU TINTA
Chipirones en su tinta are a classic Basque dish made from line-caught baby squid cooked in a sauce made with cuttlefish ink.
Chipirones en su tinta is fast becoming one of the most popular dishes in Spain. A dish that has been given the name chipirones en su tinta was created as a way for the chef to avoid using a ton of olive oil when cooking them. Generating many flavors, the dish name is derived from the squid ink used in the dish.
BACALAO A LA VIZCAINA
Bacalao a la Vizcaina is a traditional dish of Spanish and Basque cuisine. Originating in Bizkaia, a small region in Northern Spain, the dish consists of cod fillets in a tomato-based garlic-soy sauce, served with potatoes, green peppers, and onions. The dish is similar to escabeche; however, it is a sweeter and less-vinegary sauce than in the traditional escabeche.
Experiencing and trying local traditional food also provides cultural education.Megastronomy