Gipuzkoa - Guipúzcoa. A love of food
Gastronomy is a way of life for people of Guipúzcoa. It is a society which cultivates the pleasures of good cooking and has been able to take advantage of its culinary tradition to evolve towards a ‘nouvelle cuisine’.
It is particularly difficult to differentiate Guipuzcoa cooking from Basque cooking, as the same gastronomical tradition merges all over the territory of the Basque country.
Guipuzcoa cuisine, as with most Basque cooking has an ancient tradition that dates back many years, which has been maintained thanks to dining clubs, that adhere to strict rules and specific cooking canons. These clubs were exclusively made up of men.
The culinary event par excellence in the province of Guipúzcoa is dinner on the eve of San Sebastián (19th January), when all the dining clubs meet around a dish of elvers 'al pil-pil'. If you visit the province between the end of January and the beginning of April, then a visit to the cider bars is inescapable, where, apart from seeing how this drink is made ‘in situ’, it is possible to taste excellent cod omelettes and beef steaks.
In recent decades, probably due to the influence of neighbouring France, a new trend has appeared which attempts to conjugate the Basque culinary traditions with the new tendencies of French gastronomy. Following the line of other modern cuisines, the New Basque Cuisine is a seasonal cuisine, based on fresh food according to the season.
The fish is the most valued product. Among which we have hake, red bream, sardines, tuna and, above all, cod. The most exclusive product, due to its exorbitant price on the market, are elvers (the fry of the eels which return to the rivers from the Sargasso Sea). As for the pulses, it is worth mentioning Tolosa beans (prepared in an earthen ware cauldron and accompanied with chorizo (a spicy sausage) and spare ribs). The traditional meat in Guipuzcoa are beef steaks and roast lamb. Finally, as regards the drinks, 'txacolí' (an acidic dry wine elaborated in the regions of Getaria and Zarautz, and which has its own Denomination of Origin) is highly valued and, above all, cider (a slightly sparkling drink which comes from the areas of Astigarraga and Usurbil).