Fresh Local Veggies

In the Basque country, food an eating are the center of everyday life. I have never taken cooking classes. I was taught to cook and about the importance of eating fresh foods by my mother, and my mother from her mother.

Growing up, I remember her cooking every day, three meals a day for my sister, my father and me. She shopped every day at the neighborhood shops. I used to go along and loved watching her. She knew exactly what products she wanted, always fresh.

Today, I am a food and cooking lover thanks to my mom. Needless to say, I follow her recommendations: Use fresh, natural ingredients and keep it simple!

I feel lucky that I have great local small businesses and farms around my area. Buying seasonal ingredients is great!

They taste and look better. In addition, shopping at small local businesses, is a good way to support the local economy.

Local matters, and if one is a Greeter, much more! 🙂

Let me share with you the photos I took to the box of colorful organic veggies delivered yesterday directly from the farm.

My mouth is watering just looking at them!

verduras 1 verduras 2 verduras 3

Did you know Basques love Mushrooms?

If you are interested in the world of mushrooms, then you must know that the Basque Country is a recommended place.

The world of mushrooms is fascinating and it has a long tradition among Basque people. It begins in the forest and finishes at the dinner table.

It is a common practice here, during the autumn when rains come, that large numbers of people go into the forests to enjoy a pleasant walk while filling their baskets with mushrooms.

Boletus edulis, Cantharellus, Milk Caps and many more have a special place in our gastronomy.

At Bilbao Greeters, none of us are experts or claim to be experts. We simply want to shareour passion for them with you.

If you are considering visiting the Basque Country, and you love mushrooms too, let us know. We will be happy to help you find good local places where to eat them.

Stuffed, grilled, with eggs…… well, mushrooms are delicious! You can eat them at restaurants as a main dish (grilled mushrooms, served with an egg yolk, or with scrambled eggs), as a side dish (sautéed in mixtures with garlic and parsley) or at the bars displayed on the counters as “pintxos” (delicious small snacks).

I do like mushrooms. I must confess that I much prefer the eating to the hunting. The season is now, so a few days ago, I visited my friend at his local bar. He likes foraging for fungi and other wild edibles and enjoys cooking them later. He is really good!

Here are some pictures. What’s more, the food was incredible, the Rioja wine superb and the “Sobremesa” (the talk after the meal in Spanish) great! Of course!

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TODAY IS THE DAY! The 2012 Bilbao Saint Thomas Market

I just want to share a few images I shot yesterday while I was downtown.

The Plaza Nueva and the streets surrounding El Arenal were full of workers getting the stalls ready for today’s unique festivity. December 21st is always a special day in Bilbao.

Small farmers from the area will take part with stalls offering the best products from their vegetable gardens and farms: Vegetables, cheeses, fruits, txakoli, cider, talo, home-made bread, honey, live animals, plants and flowers …..

In addition, whoever visits the city at this time should know that there are two other markets in the area. One is the Christmas street market by the Santander train station, offering small arts and crafts, gifts, accessories …..

The other one is the Bilbao craft fare, which is located beside the Arriaga Theatre and specializes in pottery, jeweler, leather, painting …….

I can’t wait! The smell of “Txistorra” (a typical Basque spicy sausage), will take over the streets of Bilbao. My mouth is watering right now just at the thought of talo and txistorra.

Tomorrow I will share the pictures of the fair in Friday 21th December.

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The Ribera Market sitting grandly again

After 3 years of reconstruction, the Ribera Market is sitting grandly again along the riverfront in the Old Quarter of Bilbao. They just opened up the last part that was still being restored. December 7th 2012 was the day and I was there, of course!.

Food holds a special place in Bilbainos’ hearts, and the market is a reference for most of us. I love coming to this place …. I always have to get my freshly fish and vegetables.

The Ribera Market is a great place to visit for anyone interested in food. If you are a food-lover, cook or just a visitor to Bilbao, don’t miss it! It is opened Monday through Saturday.

Here you have some pics. I hope you like them!

Located: Ribera, 20, 48005 Bilbao
Tram: La Ribera stop
Open: Monday – Saturday from 8am

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Basque farmer markets

Local farmer markets, where Basque food products can be seen and sampled amid traditional celebrations, are very popular during the summertime. Last Sunday, I came across one of those markets in Barakaldo, a town in the metropolitan area of Bilbao, half way between Bilbao and its harbor. Barakaldo was celebrating its annual local festival.Who doesn’t love farm fresh fruit and veggies? I sure do! I love wandering farmer markets and the charm that comes from the opportunity to meet the farmers face to face. The other day the market was teamed with stands and people. Everything looked so wonderful. I had to keep reminding myself not to spend a lot of money. Even so, I couldn’t resist and I bought a few things!I captured a few images from the time spent there to share with you.I hope you enjoy watching this exhibition revolving around fresh fruits, veggies, beans, baked goods, flowers, all sorts of cheeses, honey, handmade soaps made with the purest of essential oils, wines and so on.You’re welcome to visit us. Bilbao Greeters will be more than happy to go with you. Weekend markets are very popular during the summertime.

I look forward to reading all the comments. Thank you for taking the time to leave them.

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