Food and Drink in Aquitaine and the Basque Country
As mentioned above, Bayonne has two delicious specialities; it is famous the world over for its cured ham, but the fact that it is the cradle of French chocolate-making is a better kept secret. More generally, Basque cuisine is quite literally peppered with flavour, with liberal sprinklings of locally-grown Espelette pepper added to many dishes. Piperade is a typical dish, made with sautéed roasted peppers, tomatoes, garlic and ham. Fish, pork and goats’ cheese feature heavily on the menus in the south, while further up the coast towards La Rochelle it’s all about fresh oysters and seafood.
© Alison BOISSARD / CMT
Wine pairings are a dream – choose from a typical Basque wine such as Irouleguy, cultivated on hot, steep and sheltered slopes which produce a refreshingly distinct flavour of reds, whites and rosés; a full-bodied Bordeaux that needs no introduction; or a sweet white Pineau from the Charentes region, before finishing up with an after-dinner Cognac.