Basque-ing in the Glow

TALKING SHIT

Basque-ing in the Glow

05 JANUARY 2017

As much as I love everything French, Basque cuisine and culture are quickly beginning to steal my heart. It has been 3 short years in the making. In total, I’ve spent what amounts to over a year in Paris and France, in contrast, I have barely spent a full two weeks in Basque Country. However, I just can’t get enough of what this magical place has on offer. There is one special tiny city nestled neatly between the Atlantic Ocean and some mountains (not sure which ones, just some mountains). This city is called San Sebastian, and it is by far my favorite city in Basque Country. Like I said, I haven’t spent that much time here so you can just tell me to fuck off if you think you know better than me, and this is all subject to opinion anyway. However, if you like food, beer, wine, beautiful beaches and some of the nicest people in the world then you will definitely love San Sebastian or Donostia in Euskara, we’ll get to that later.

San Sebastian from Monte Igueldo - Cooking Shit in Paris
A View of San Sebastian from Monte Igueldo

What the fuck is Basque Country?

If you haven’t noticed I use Wikipedia a lot, so according to Wiki Basque Country is “the name given to the home of the Basque people in the western Pyrenees that straddles the border between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast.” I know, that’s a shitty definition that really doesn’t mean much, especially if you are unfamiliar with this region. It’s simply an amazingly beautiful place, with great food and drink and some of the best people in the world. They even put up with my non-French/Spanish speaking ass. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete idiot, but I will not be having any extensive conversations in French/Spanish anytime soon. I’m learning, but my knowledge is currently limited to food items. I’m actually pretty good at the market. O yeah, not only do many of the residents here speak French, Spanish, and English fairly well, they have their own language called Euskara. What the fuck??? I know, it’s crazy. What’s even more interesting is that Euskara, or Basque Language, is not related in any way to any other European languages. It is what’s called a language isolate, and only in this small part of the world is this language spoken. And that is part of the charm of this place.

Sidreria Beharri - Narrika Kalea, 22, 20003 - Cooking Shit in Paris
Sidreria Beharri - Narrika Kalea, 22, 20003, Donostia

It welcomes you with its gorgeous backdrop, the people grab hold of you with their generosity and love of sharing their culture and the victuals makes you never want to leave. It truly is an amazing place and one of my favorite places in the world. This is why I decided to make this San Sebastian series. I had to share this jewel with those that haven't had the pleasure to visit. So look out for articles coming soon about restaurants, bars, attractions and recipes from the Basque Country.

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What is Cooking Shit in Paris?

ABOUT SHIT

What is Cooking Shit in Paris?

When on vacation most people don't even want to think about cooking. Especially when in the food Mecca that is Paris. With so many boulangeries, patisseries, cafes, bars and boucheries around with some of the most amazing food why would one cook? I say fuck that. I love cooking, I'm not a pro but I think I'm pretty damn good. My wife and I try to make it to Paris once a year for at least a month. Staying someplace for that long while eating out can be a bit expensive, so unless you're Scrooge McDuck or a kept man/woman, you got to do some cooking.

View of Germany from Basel Switzerland - Cooking Shit in Paris
Montmartre carousel at foot of Sacre-Couer

Even if I was that well off I would still cook on occasion and spend that money on some of the best ingredients in the world. I would probably lose my shit if I a week went by that I didn't cook at least once. I mean how can I resist when at most any time in Paris you can run into a farmers market and find some of the freshest ingredients.

And then LARDONS. For the uneducated this amazing thing is bacon chopped into little bits, perfect for cooking with chopped onions and scallions and serving with a baguette, butter and tomatoes. By the way, fresh butter from the marché, one of the most amazing things in the world. But I digress. This year was the fourth year my wife and I spent part of our summer/fall in Paris. We normally stay for 3 months with stops in other countries (I mean it's so easy) in between. Before our trip this year I came across the Texture App , a magazine subscription service. So I downloaded mad amounts of the food-themed magazines they have available (Food Network, Bon Appetite, Saveur, etc.).

So, while I have Paris at my disposal I will use her to cook some hopefully amazing meals. Well, honestly I'm back in Miami now, been back for a couple months now. I planned to do this while still in Paris, but I drank a lot of wine and had so much fun I really couldn't be bothered. I will post what I made while in Paris and continue posting what I make here in Miami until my next trip to Paris. I'll also throw up some guides on buying things in Paris for the non-French speakers, which I am one of, but I have been able to get everything I need with a little common sense and help from others (Google, friends, English speaking store employees).

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