Give us a hog, we’ll fall in love!

20
Oct
2015
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Wouldn’t YOU fall in love if they gave you this little Euskal Txerria heritage hog??

Chef Michael continues to share with us images of this amazing trip in Spain!! Maybe next time, we should jump on the periscope bandwagon!!!  These photos are making us both, so happy and jealous that they are enjoying all of these sights and places!!!  In this round of photos, we share with you some of their adventures from yesterday, and today (given that they are so many hours ahead of us!)
On Monday, the group got to enjoy the Savory Society + Cider House Rules.
A highlight of their time in this town famed for having more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than any other city in the world, was to enter the
IMG_1659Luis Irízar professional culinary school, where for years the dearly beloved “maestro of the masters” taught many of the superstar chefswhose Michelin stars now make San Sebastian shimmer.
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Chef Michael with Maestro Luis Irizar

Pedro Subijana (Akelare) is perhaps the
most renowned of Luis Irízar’s lauded alumni. Luis’ daughter Visi who runs the school, got to meet our Xplorers for an insider’s glance into the heart of the “Nueva Cocina Vasca” (New Basque Cuisine).  Afterwards, Visi & Luis were their culinary hosts at the private gastronomic society where Luis Irízar is a member of honor. Not only have they gotten an chance to meet such influential figures in Basque cuisine, but they also got an extremely rare invitation inside a traditional gastronomic society (called a txoko in the Basque language and a pillar of Basque social life).
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Latxas Sheep

 They got to spend an afternoon of imaginative home cooking, drinking and lively, multi-lingual conversation.  After that, they got to spend  a lively evening at a traditional Basque house, where patrons enthusiastically line-up with their glasses when the chef yells “txotx” indicating that a stream of effervescent cider is to be released from the barrel. (We are curious about the fate of their shoes… if your shoes are drunk, do you have higher chances of tripping or getting lost???).

After resting up, they got to continue their adventure on Tuesday morning by shadowing a Basque shepherd on an engaging variation of his morning rounds. They got a chance to try and milk the Latxa breed of sheep which produce the region’s smoky, nutty Idiazabal cheese. Make and chill ‘cuajada’ (fresh cheese curd) and taste some of the farmhouse cheese washed down with a bottle of refreshing, txakoli.

Idiazabal Cheese

Idiazabal Cheese

Jim Kane then got to introduce them to his friend Pello, a Basque engineer by training who, after learning that his family’s pig-farming roots date back to at least 1575,
re-dedicated his life to saving & developing a market for the region’s last remaining heritage breed, Euskal Txerria.
Pello guides us up a small mountain back road to his family’s 17th century stone farmstead, set high in the hills above Tolosa with breathtaking views of the valley below. See firsthand his rare Euskal Txerria pigs with their signature long, floppy ears.
They got to enjoy a hosted lunch with the family which included some of the sublime cured ham produced on the farm.
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Pello’s family 17th Century stone farmstead

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Pello himself, greeting and teaching Chef Michael and his group

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Euskal Txerria hogs

 

Series NavigationChef Michael reporting from Spain
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