what is basque food?

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What is basque food?

This is a question that is so much more complex than what most would have you believe. It’s not just pintxos. It’s not just chuleta (steak) or seafood. And it’s not just food.


It’s a table set for all your friends, in a txoko, or dining society.  It’s fresh products, eaten at their peak time and with hardly anything added.  Basque food means leave your curries, leave your spices, and heck, you don’t really even need your black pepper.

Basque food is a food that is equally at home in restaurants of the highest caliber and grandma’s kitchen.  This is so not true of all cuisines.

Basque food is a sporting event.  Who has the best marmitako? Where do you have your hamaiketako (midday snack)?  And most importantly…how many courses can you fit in your stomach? There is no room for people with a hesitant relationship with food. And there is  definitely no room for the word ‘calories’. I can’t remember the last time I used it, in fact.

Basque food is bar food, to be eaten one at a time, moving from place to place and always accompanied by a small glass of wine or beer.

Basque food is a food that is shrouded in mystery. Due in part to the mysterious language and in part to the tendency of Basques to stick with their social group of toda la vida (lifelong).

This is just a little intro. Here we’ll be talking about all things Basque, so I hope you chime in!

What do you think of when you think of Basque cuisine?

8 thoughts on “what is basque food?

  1. Collene and Joe

    Having lived in Bilbao for six months recently we just love the flavours and presentation of Pintxos and the way Basque meals are served with all the beautiful fresh food from the basque Country. It was a gastronomica experience.
    Thankyou from two Australians.

  2. Daniel

    Basque cuisine is going to a bar or taberna, to ask for drinks for several people, to take only one pintxo each (there has to be time to try other bars (therefore other cuisines)) and when the waiter asks about how much drink and how may pintxos have you taken, to answer the truth, with nobility, because trust is the base of the Basque cuisine.

  3. Rachel

    A friend of mine just liked this post on Facebook and now I am craving pintxos… I lived in Bilbao for 6 months and miss it more and more each day!
    Yendo de poteo through the Casco Viejo in Bilbao was the highlight of my week!!! And I got paid to do it as part of my job :)

  4. Arkaitz

    Basque cuisine is not just the cooking and the eating of the food, or even the remaining at the table even after all the food has been eaten… it is also the chit chat that happens during the meal, the singing session that follows where everyone joins in and all accompanied by either friends or family… It’s an event in itself :)


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