Location on the map of Northern Spain

Basque Food: Txakoli wine and Idiazabal cheese

The landscape of Basque Country is breathtaking. You can expect stunning views of the rolling landscape and great sights of the marvelous blue sea. There are lots of different routes that you can take to explore Basque Country where you can also taste its stunning food.

BASQUE COUNTRY IN SPAIN

The Basque Country stands out from the rest of Spain, and it’s not just because of its enigmatic language. Not conquered by the Moors, and isolated by Franco, this land has a proud identity and a cultural heritage quite unlike any other.

The Basque Country is one of those gorgeous regions in northern Spain that’s very stunning to explore.

The Spanish Basque Country is absolutely beautiful

The Basque Country, Spain

The scenery is very diverse, the food is totally delicious and the people here are some of the warmest people you’ll meet in Spain.

Having a temperate weather on the coast, rivers, mountains, and some fertile valleys, the Basque region is strongly related to the sea, although in recent times few farmers and fishermen remain here.

WHERE IS BASQUE COUNTRY?

The “Basque Country” is a region placed along the Bay of Biscay next to the Atlantic Ocean and it´s actually the border between northeastern Spain with the southwestern France. This is where it is located. Not a country on its own, this is the place where the Basque people live and it has its own language and culture.

The Basque Country, Spain

THE BASQUE GASTRONOMY

If you are a food and wine enthusiast, then visiting the Basque Country in the Northern part of Spain will make you discover that Idiazabal cheese and Txakoli wine are among the most iconic regional products.

Idiazabal cheese is the result of unpasteurized sheep milk that needs to be aged for at least two months. As a tourist, you can savor this buttery cheese in one of the numerous pintxo bars placed in the narrow streets of the Old Town of San Sebastian. Also, they can taste on a dessert plate at one of the dining places from the city.

Txakoli is a light, dry and sparkling wine. This wine is usually poured from several feet above the glass in almost every restaurant and bar from San Sebastian because it pairs very well with the seafood served here that dominates the local menus in a way or another.

Pintxos
Basque Food: Pintxos (Tapas)

Steeped in tradition, these two products are certified as Denominación de Origen (Designation of Origin) products, which is an official recognition of their quality. Actually, all across Spain, locals are very proud of the artisanal foods and wines that are at the same time associated with the culture and history of the local regions.

 

BASQUE FOOD: HOW IS THE BASQUE CUISINE

When talking about food, the Basque Country is probably the most important tourist destination in Spain. This is a coastal and border region, whose very varied culinary delights are mainly the result of the mixture of sea and mountain cultures with modern top-quality cooking. This trend emerged in the last decades when the Basque Nouvelle Cuisine appeared around here. But most importantly, the good food is a reflection of the character of the Basque people, people which are devoted to tradition and good food.

The Basque Country is a culinary paradise
Basque Cuisine: Bacalao al Pil Pil

IDIAZABAL CHEESE

Idiazabal cheese is a cheese made from raw milk from the sheep breed in the Basque Country and Navarre and it is protected under the Designation of Origin. It is a spicy cheese with a slightly smoky note that it gains from smoking over natural wood.

By joining this tour, you will see a farm and also the step-by-step process for creating this type of cheese: from the feeding of the flock to their milking, the cheese making, and the storage of the Idiazabal cheese for their healing in the cold-storage room. Moreover, it is time to taste some Idiazabal cheese, and if you wish you can purchase some local products.

Txikiteo: Get lost in the taverns

Eat like a local in the Spanish Basque Country by mastering the txikiteo: a Basque-style food crawl.

Basque Food: Idiazabal cheese

A rough translation for txikiteo would be similar to bar hopping or a food crawl. What it actually means is going from bar to bar, eating a pintxo or two and washing them down with a glass of fresh txakoli or local cider at each stop.

Enjoy the real tradition of the Txikiteo, while we go from tavern to tavern

Basque food: pintxos in San Sebastian, Spain

TXAKOLI: EFFERVESCENT BASQUE WINE

Imagine yourself in a Basque seaside town of the Spanish Basque country in a beautiful summer day. The Pintxos (tapas) bars along the winding streets here are open, displaying a colorful bite-sized snacks featuring octopus, shrimp, clams, and other treats from the sea. The best way to enjoy this seafood is a good traditional local wine: Txakoli.

Txakoli (also called Txakolina, or Chacoli) is a young, fruity, slightly sparkling white wine made from grapes grown on the mountain sides near the sea under the gentle breeze of the Cantabrian Sea.

The Txakoli wine is unique. First for the manner in which the wine is served: it is poured into tall, flat-bottomed glasses from 8 to 10 inches in the air. This agitates the wine, enhancing its youthful effervescence.

By visiting a Txakoli winery you will see the wine-making process, walk through the vineyards and of course, taste some of this sparkling young white wine.

White wine health benefits

You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: red wine is great for your health. A glass of red a day keeps the doctor away, etcetera, etcetera. But let’s make case to red wine’s sweeter, lighter cousin: the white wine.

Among the white wine health benefits there are:

  • Metabolism improvements

  • Weight loss

  • Prevents cancer

  • Reduces stress

  • Keeps lungs healthy

  • Efficient antioxidants

  • Disease prevention

  • Lightens up the mood

  • Is good for our brain

  • Promotes sleep

  • Improves bone strength

So, if you had any doubts about why should you pour yourself a glass, hopefully these sakes convinced you for the contrary!

Basque Winery: Txakoli

SUMMING IT UP

We have prepared an awesome tour where you can taste food and wine in the Spanish Basque Country while enjoying these captivating lands. This experience will give you a firsthand look to the process and steps to produce some of the Basque Country’s most iconic foods. Take this unique opportunity to taste and learn about Idiazabal cheese and Txakoli wine!

Other experiences that may be of interest…

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Spanish white wines
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