art and preparation of good food is as much a part of the region as the green
hillsides, wave-beaten shores and its language. Basque cuisine began to earn international
fame in the early part of the 20th century. Today the cuisine has become a way
of life and old recipes have been revived. The region's closeness to France bears
some influence on the food with many of the master chefs trained in France.
ocean has long been the pantry of the region and the Basque people, along with
the Japanese are two of the world's biggest consumers of seafood. The Basque coast
has always been quite generous in terms of the quantity of seafood. The spiny
lobsters are a classic example of the high quality available, as are the clams
squids are one of the most popular dishes, especially when served in one of the
curious black ink sauces. Rough seas make it an ideal home for outstanding fish
including sea bass, grey mullet and red scorpion fish. The number of recipes in
the region for cod alone is endless.
it comes to food from the land, no two places in the region are the same. The
land is perfect for all manner of land crops including green peppers, tomatoes,
beans and mushrooms. The woods also provide a wide selection of game, although
now strictly controlled.
in the region date back as far as time itself and the region produces some excellent
wines. Wine has always been part of the region's tradition but only in recent
times have Basque wines gained worldwide fame. Even before wines became part of
the culture, the early settlers were producing cider from local grown apples.
This continues in great strength and cider tasting is a ritual.