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Basque Country Food. Where is it from ? pt. 2

Food…thats it!

Where does our amazing produce come from and how do we use this great resource. Part 2 of our quick look at Basque Country food, produce and gastronomy with the chef José Pizarro, owner of 4 restaurants in London.

Alava, Inland Basque Country

Sometimes overlooked by visitors keen to see Bilbao and San Sebastian, Alava is the 3rd province of Euskadi, Basque Country and is completely landlocked. This is wine country, and many visitors come to learn and sample our famous Rioja Alavesa wine However, it holds many surprises as Jose found out!

Salt Cheese and Txakoli

Hidden in the green valleys lies a geological gem, millions of years old but very relevant today. The Salt Pans of Añana are marvellous. A fountain (or 3) of saline liquid, used over millenia to cure, store and flavour the Basque peoples food. Today we can visit and learn about this amazing place but also taste it in our own Denominacion de Origen Idiazabal Cheese. We visited our good friend Leire who is the only producer of this most Basque of Basque cheeses who uses this salt in the production of her award winning cheeses. The surprise here though is its not only Idiazabal that one tries… 🙂

Close by and another good friend sees us visit BarraskiBide, a farm producing organic snails, a popular dish all over Spain and especially those who are fond of Biscayan Sauce…. Nestled under the Sierra Salvada mountain range, the snails are well guarded so they don’t escape….

And what would one choose to wash these delicious products down with? Well our own Txakoli Arabako. The third region with the D.O. to produce Txakoli wine in the Basque Country. Our friends at Astobiza and Beldui are perfect hosts and enable Jose to learn taste and discuss the amazing advances this wine has experienced since it became regulated in the 1980’s.

Sleeping it off….

After all these foodie gastronomic exertions, sometimes there is nothing better than a siesta… However, when staying with us here at Basque Experiences we have our own favourite places, and top of the list in Bilbao is the great Hotel Miro. Opposite the iconic Guggenheim Bilbao, the service is what you would expect from a small privately -run hotel. It never fails!!

Just a short blog extolling some of our food highlights here in the Basque Country with Basque Experiences. But keep your eyes open for a foodie surprise in the coming weeks…..

 

    Filming Geografens Testamente Basque Country

    Filming Swedish TV’s Geografens Testamente in the Basque Country

    There is a very popular TV show for children in Sweden called Geografens Testamente…. Educational, for 10-13 year olds, a bit of adventure, some history and lots of European Geography. A little bit like Indiana Jones, with a fantasy, adventure story with good guys and baddies…. All sounds like good clean fun to me!

    So we get a call asking to help them with the logistics as they are filming an episode here in the Basque Country…. So you can imagine the answer! The Bizkaia Hanging Bridge, our good friend Jaime Ortiz Mendieta and his super boat the Nayiri and finally at the magnificent Torre Loizaga.

    So this is now Basque Experiences’ second TV filming assignment and it went really smoothly. The team from Baluba TV were over the moon as we got them out of a serious problem the day before… Anyway the day was fantastic, the sun was hot, the boat ran like a dream and the tower was perfect for the sword fighting scenes!! Of course, a special mention to the Bilbao Fencing Club who were superb!

    Here we have three of the short clips we took whilst at work , believe me there was no time for more!! Its really surprising how hard these guys work….. You expect it to be very laid back and slow paced but they didn’t stop all day!! Anyway it was great fun and if there are any film or TV companies out there who need logistical support or ideas or organisation… well here we are!!