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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Roasted Chestnuts – A flavour of Autumn

There are many flavors of Autumn, but for me, roasted chestnuts is what brings memories of autumn to my mind.

I grew up eating chestnuts in the Fall time and just few weeks ago roasted them at home. I love them, and my family

too. The smell of roasted chestnuts brings me back to memories of my childhood.

If you’ve never had a roasted chestnut, try it. The taste and the aroma is wonderful.

Here in Bilbao in winter, chestnut-sellers stand on streets with their little braziers. I love the smell in the open air and I always buy a small paper cone filled with roasted chestnuts. They are perfect for a stroll on a cold evening. Holding the warm chestnut paper cone in your hand and getting the smell while you eat them is a must for visitors to Bilbao.

If you stroll around the streets in Bilbao, you can find locomotive-shaped carts roasting chestnuts. If you see them, buy some to warm the chill of the crip autumn days. You can have a nice experience for just around 3 euros.

Here are some photos of the chestnuts that I picked up from a friend’s chestnut tree, roasted at home on an old frying pan and ate with my family last week. The photos of the street carts were taken in Bilbao.


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“That Immense Love… That Hurts So Much”

Ese Inmensoamor ... Que Duele TantoMany congratulations to Carmen Martínez, rhapsode and poet, for such a delightful book that was just released, for offering me the chance to discover the world of poetry, and for being a Greeter.

Motivated by Carmen’s invitation, I attended her book presentation: “That immense love… that hurts so much”, held in Bilbao. I’ve never been interested in poetry, but I was curious and Carmen deserved to be with friends on this important day for her.

Carmen presented her last collection of poems, which is the 11th book of her emotional baggage, as she likes to say. The presentation was lovely. Family and friends joined her in this sensational evening. I was deeply touched to hear Carmen and her rhapsode friends read the poems.

I can only say I was deeply moved, my sentiments flowed, and she won my admiration. The presentation was simply spectacular. At least, it is how I felt.

Now that a great curiosity for the poetry has aroused in me, I am sure that I will repeat.

If you are interested in her poetry and wish to buy the book and CD to listen to Carmen read her poetry, be sure to visit her website: http://www.lavidadecarmen.com/

Thanks Carmen for writing and sharing your wonderful poems with us all.Carmen Martínez

Agur, Adiós, Goodbye San Mamés, our mighty “Cathedral”!

Everybody in Bilbao is getting ready to say goodbye to one great football stadium “San Mamés”, or the Cathedral as it is popularly known. home of the Athletic Club. Sunday May 26 will be a sad day for many Athletic supporters as it will be the last league match at the incredible and historic San Mamés.

The ground, opened in 1913, has seen plenty of action during 100 years of history. It will be demolished within few days. However, supporters will forever remember the “Cathedral” and its arch as a landmark in Bilbao history.

Progress, they say. Things change!

“San Mamés Barria”, the new stadium, is currently under construction just a few meters away from the other stadium. Part of the old stadium will be embedded into the new one so as to pass its magic to the new one. It is scheduled to open in time for the 2013/14 league season. However, it will not be finished till 2014.

It’s going to be tough saying goodbye to the “old” San Mamés. Although its successor has the look to sufficiently take its place,

We’ll miss the old San Mamés a lot!!!

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The 18th Korrika on its way to Bayonne (France)

What’s “Korrika”?

Korrika is an event that was started in the Basque Country to raise awareness and money for the Basque language. The first korrika was put on in 1980.

The word “Korrika” is Basque for “running”.

People of all ages run the Korrika.

As Del Valle in Korrika describes the race, “Technically Korrika is a colossal footrace run in relays of 1 kilometers in which thousands or runners, men and woman of all ages, pass through the seven Basque territories carry a symbol identified as the testigo, or witness (baton). The principle objective of the race is to generate popular support for Euskara, the Basque language”.

Each kilometer is sold to raise money.

The money raised by Korrika goes to the continuation of the Basque language, especially to fund teachers and schools of the Basque language.

It is now ran also in countries across the world, as USA (San Francisco), England (London)

2013’s Korrika continues, with great success, its way to every corner of the Basque Country.

This year, the non-stop relay race will last 11 days, 24 hours a day, over a distance of more than 2,500 Kms.

It started in Andoain (Gipuzkoa) and will end on March 24th in Bayonne (France). The slogan is “Eman Euskara Ekarri” (“pass on Basque”)

The 18th Korrika was running through Barakaldo yesterday. Here are a few pics.

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Korrika 18