Bask in the Basque

pobalscoil iosolde, palmerstown, d20

3 Sackville Road

Dublin

Ireland

24 Gold Street Road

Dublin 22

Ireland

 

Dear Graham,

My friend, I know you have been travelling across the great food capitals of Europe, Paris, Rome, Sicily, Berlin and Barcelona but you’ve been overlooking the underrated cultural sprawl of the Basque Country. This little autonomous community in northern Spain is the epitome of what you would think of when you hear the world bustling food country. Yes I will forgive you for thinking that ‘I’ve already been to Barcelona that’s the best, right?’. Sadly you would be vastly misappropriating the immense little province of Basque country which in ways is nearly closer to a country like China with their guarded secrets and strong traditions than Spain.

This little enclave of magic is for all intents of purposes  its own country. It has its own parliament separate from Spain, and its own unique language to the area which is the most isolated language in the world , having no other relative match or resemblance to any language known in the world. In a world surrounded by romance the Basque language is a wild shock when heard by traveling tourists. A stand out topic of the Basque Country is the strong tradition of food which has shaped the entire mecca for food that is the Mediterranean, from Spain to Greece it shares its influence graciously. Like every child in Kilkenny is born with a hurl in hand, the children of the Basque country are born with an innate ability to manipulate fresh ingredients from the land, sea and air around them into affluent dinners where everyone enjoys their meal. They hone these skills in private clubs called txoko’s if you are granted an invite to one of these closed gastronomic enigmas you’ll see how the region’s proud yet somewhat reserved people open up around the common bond of good food and drink. For this reason San Sebastian, a main city in the Basque country,  is abundant with amazing restaurants and three michelin stars, the unattainable mastery of cuisine has become the industry standard in ‘Little Paris’. Of course your not only there for the food of the place. When I tell you that you can have crystal clear waters and blistering hot white sand beaches believe me, as this is all I saw on my travels through there as I made the scenic road trip from Bilbao to San Sebastian. From wild expansive tourist traps to little quiet romantic getaways it really does have everything that you would want my friend.  So take the small trip down to the wonderful Basque country soon before the secret gets out.

Look forward to catching up over food soon,

Jamie