Our gastronomy

The magic of Basque cuisine

The Basque Country is famous for its excellent cuisine and the quality of its restaurants, which range from the most sophisticated to the most humble.Traditional Basque cooking, based on simple elaboration, owes its success to the quality of the produce used (fish, meat, cheese, etc.).In parallel, the avant-garde is of great importance in New Basque Cooking, which incorporates new ingredients aromas, textures and combinations. All these dishes are always accompanied by Rioja wine from Alava, cider of Txakolí, the three most characteristic beverages of Euskadi. Gastronomy is an important part of the Basque Country, like the greenery of its mountains, the sea that crashes against the rocks of its coast, its language or folklore. The development of Basque cuisine has maintained the same pace as the arrival of visitors to our land from time immemorial.Basque cooking first became famous internationally during the "belle epoque" (beginning of the 20th century).

Today, when the leisure culture has become deep rooted among us, the products, culinary creations and gastronomy of the Basque Country have become the ambassadors of our way of life. It would be difficult to understand current Basque culture without the leisure-gastronomic concept that is linked to the offering of our land.

The jealous love of its inhabitants for their traditions is accompanied by its geographic situation in the corridor between the Atlantic and the Pyrenees. Its farmsteads have handed down culinary traditions in which ancestral uses are combined with contributions from other lands. The Basque contribution to the discovery of America was the use of vegetables and pulses, which took well to our orchards and now form an inseparable part of our gastronomy. Our relations with France gave rise to the “international” aspect of Basque cooking thanks to the mastery of the chefs trained in French kitchens. These values, treasured for generations, have given rise to the birth (especially during the past twenty-five years) of a new culinary culture in which chefs and culinary schools have revolutionised traditional recipes by creating the region with the best quality and quantity of haute cuisine in proportion to its population in the world.

Its high-class gastronomy, which is greatly praised and valued by gastronomic guides and competitions, co-exists with a large quantity of small restaurants and rotisseries that use ancestral recipes and culinary techniques, offering what was until recently homemade cooking in suggestive, carefully-tended surroundings.

We can rightly say that today, gastronomy in the Basque Country is one of the most carefully nurtured cultural elements. No effort is spared to promote and select the choicest of product, with their own hallmark of quality and train men and women to be chefs, including the restaurants, which have laid solid foundations for a gastronomy that is world famous.

Udalarrantz - Red de municipios pesqueros del País Vasco