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A Saveur of the Côte Basque

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A Saveur of the Côte Basque

Cristina Soriano

Typical Basque architecture

Typical Basque architecture

Vibrant green overlooking the Atlantic

Vibrant green overlooking the Atlantic

Spending part of the summer at the Côte Basque is unlike any other. The air, not desert dry like Andalusia, or the sea salty like the Mediterranean, but the gastronomy, the flavors of the region and the smells of the boulangeries are unparalleled

Le plage del St. Jean de Luz

Le plage del St. Jean de Luz

A Basque cross over loooking the Atlantic

A Basque cross over loooking the Atlantic

Flanked between Spain and France, the Basque Country brings together the culinary wonders of both countries; creating the best mix my pallet has ever savored. (Fine, I'll admit, the fresh flavors of Italy will forever capture my heart!) What could be better than a region that brings the best of burgundy wine, French paté smothered on fresh baguettes, Spanish Manchego and queso de cabra, Jamón Ibérico and Catalan salumi? Only in the pays basque.

French and Spanish wines and Sevillana dancers!

French and Spanish wines and Sevillana dancers!

Now this is my kind of store entrance. 

Now this is my kind of store entrance. 

Camila content after a decadent meal at Zuberoa!

Camila content after a decadent meal at Zuberoa!

You can probably predict that an activity I will not miss is visiting the market - hello, it's my MO! And although I could probably spend all day speaking with each vendor about how their particular cheese is aged, how each bulb of garlic is uprooted and how full of flavor are their barrels of wine, I will not bore you with all the details. Here instead, are a few of my favorite photos (of all the 1000 or more I've taken) to give you a better understanding of the colors and flavors of la Côte Basque.

Chris sampling some salumi

Chris sampling some salumi

But of course, here are few of my favorite things:

Cerise Gateau Basque: an almond cake with a dark cherry filling, only found in the Basque Country!

Jamón, Jamón, Jamón: I could live only on the jamón for the whole summer... and I basically do!

Fresh baguettes: no explanation needed.

Le Prune Reine Claude: a delicious small plum that I only enjoy when I’m in St. Jean de Luz. Its green flesh is so juicy and melds the flavors of a typical plum with a tangy flavor.

Fresh almonds and hazelnuts!

Fresh almonds and hazelnuts!

Fresh Nuts: for only a month out of the year, we can find fresh almonds and hazelnuts in their shells. They are much lighter in flavor and are much more juicy!

There is always always always a long line

There is always always always a long line

Txomin icecream: you can't stroll on the Rue Gambetta without a cone of Txomin ice cream in hand.

Pimientos de Padron: it becomes a game to find a spicy one!


Agur! - From a little beach town, St Jean de Luz! 

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