In October, November and December, some of nature's produce, whether carefully cultivated or wild, reaches its ideal point of ripeness in our region. They reign supreme at the popular markets held during this period or in the traditional and delicatessen areas of the capital cities. Figs, quince, sloes, mushrooms, chestnuts... Don't leave without tasting them, fresh or processed.
In September the apples start to be picked in Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa. Local and zero kilometre varieties will continue to supply the local markets for weeks. The apples that are not consumed fresh will be used to make sweets, tarts and jams. And apples are also transformed during this period into cider, the barrels of which will be opened in January with the Txotx rite.
In autumn, anyone who does not walk through the woods looking at the ground in search of mushrooms does so with their eyes up, tracking sloes. Sloes are vital for the production of the typical liqueur of the area: Patxaran. This is an eau-de-vie in which the right proportion of sloes have been macerated. Whether it is handmade or from a distillery, you will find it everywhere, with its sweet touch and cherry colour. Most people serve it on the rocks.
Sloes are essential for the typical product of the area, Patxaran.
The great love of mushrooms offers menus that usually start with chanterelles, cantharellus, blue foot, galampernas or cow's tongues, among other mushrooms, and in which the black mushroom, the white mushroom and the pine boletus play a central role. Mushrooms and fungi in salads, baked, pan-fried, grilled, scrambled and in omelettes; on large plates or in pintxos; in taverns or in Michelin-starred temples. Enjoy them.
Hazelnuts and walnuts are in full season during these weeks. The native walnut tree produces slightly smaller and darker nuts than the walnuts that invade the general markets, but their flavour is more intense. It is not uncommon for a smooth puree made with them to accompany game dishes.
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