Off topic: GASTRONOMY IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY
Thread poster: Maria Luisa Duarte
Today I would like to interest you in the Basque Gastronomy.
There are few pleasures greater than just having finished a good meal. The Basques are very much aware of this, which is why the country's cuisine is one of the most cared for aspects of contemporary Basque culture.
In fact it would be difficult to understand the latter without the recreational and culinary concept that is bound up with what our country can offer.
Although traditional recipes retain their basic ancestral culinary customs, they have been revolutionised by new trends which have made Basque cuisine into the leading international exponentof Basque culture.
This has resulted in the Basque Country having the greatest quality and quantity of haute cuisine per head in the world.
Today Basque cuisine is praised and held in high esteem by gastronomic guides and competitions and receives the international recognition it deserves components of traditional Basque cuisine are cheese, dairy by-products such as curds, a basic pudding, and traditional pastries.
When talking about Basque cuisine mention must be made of a unique phenomenon, the popular gastronomic societies which keep alive culinary orthodoxy and without which it would be difficult to understand the social influence of contemporary Basque cuisine.
In 1976 the need perceived by some young chefs to renew traditional cooking and
circumstance coincided practically by chance.
Two troubled Basque chefs, today culinary superstars, met the great French chef Paul Bocuse, the precursor of "Nouvelle Cuisine", at a conference. This was the start of a creative movement which has led to a thorough renovation and extension of Basque recipes.
Ultra-conservative dogmas fell by the wayside and new ingredients, new ways of preparing food, new flavours and textures and new combinations were brought in. Each chef made their ovens and hobs into places for experimentation and investigation.
Today the most famous chefs are being joined by the new generations who combine excellent training with a commitment to continue contributing new ideas.
La Rioja in Álava is without doubt the great wine cellar of the Basque Country and the wines made in the region have won international recognition and prizes. Consumption of them has grown hand in hand with production and the area is now one of the most important wine-producing parts of Spain.
Álava Rioja wines, bearing the rioja alavesa denomination of origin, include reds made from tempranillo and garnacha grapes and whites made from the viura variety. Wineries there also produce vintage wines and excellent rosés, whites and cavas.
By contrast, production of txakolí and cider is still practically on a craft scale when compared with the industrialised wine production to be found in La Rioja in Álava.
Txakolí is a young, fruity and slightly acidic wine with a low alcohol content which has always been linked to Basque cuisine and popular culture. Nowadays and with the backing of its denomination of origin it is being sold more widely. Nevertheless, the fact that not much of it is made means its distribution is still limited.
Cider is the most popular drink. Made from apples, it is best drunk within a year and should be served between 13 and 15ºC to bring out its flavour.
> Wine cellars The Rioja of Alava-Araba covers practically all the left-hand bank of the Ebro river, Betwein Las Conchas de Haro and Lanciego, with Laguardia regarded as the capital of wine production.
The most famous red table wines in the country, whether young or aged, come from Alava-Araba. These wines are also well known on an international level thanks to their success with respect to different prizes and competitions.
The main varieties of grape cultivated in Alava- Araba are the “tempranillo” and “viura” species, the former of which is an indigenous variety found in 70% of the region’s vineyards.
There are plenty of wine cellars which arrange catering for groups and visitors.
Have a nice Sunday.
Maria Luisa Duarte
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| My mouth is watering! || Aug 30, 2003 |
Although I lived for 18 years in central-southern Spain until I moved to Barcelona, both my grandmothers are Basque.
Being that so, I just want to comment that Basque cuisine is really something.
If you enjoy different, new and surprising cuisines, you can't miss Basque!
| | Templum
Local time: 18:38
Spanish to English
| How could I miss this topic! || Sep 1, 2003 |
Basque cuisine is great, I can only agree and keep on tasting it at home and at the restaurant!
For those far away that cannot come to this wonderful land, if you are curious and a gastronome ask me for a receipt of a traditional dish such as "red beans with cabbage, black pudding & pork meat", or if you like fish "hake in a sauce with garlic and persil", or a more modern type of thing such as "bass with green pepper sauce" or still "sweet red peppers stuffed with haddock" and I will be pleased to send you my personal one!
For those not so far away, just come and enjoy our fresh fish and seafood or our wonderful grilled meats!
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GASTRONOMY IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY
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