BEST LOCAL FOOD SPECIALITIES
Jambon de Bayonne – the world-renowned dry-cured Bayonne ham is salted and airdried in a similar fashion to Parma, prosciutto, Ibérico and others that are produced this way. Subtle differences in flavour ensure they each have their own distinct identity.
Brebis cheese – the Basque region is renowned for its alpine sheep cheeses and it’s a tradition that is among the most ancient in cheese-making terms. Evidence of its production in the foothills of the Pyrénées dates back 4,000 years.
Espelette pepper – named after the town of the same name, where the Piment d’Espelette adorns the facades of the traditional Basque houses. They are hung out in lines to dry in the summer sun and celebrated in the town with the annual Espelette pepper festival in the last week of October.
Almond macaroons – these pretty little sweet treats were reputedly served at the wedding of the ‘Sun King’, Louis XIV, when he married Maria Theresa of Spain, and are still made to the same recipe at Maison Adam, 6, Rue de la République, St-Jean-du-Luz. maison-adam.com
Gâteau Basque – a delicious flanlike cake with a layer of almond pastry cream and black cherry jam. Best bought at local markets such as in St-Jean-de-Luz where it’s likely to be decorated on top with a traditional Basque cross.