Marti Buckley, American gastronome in love with the Basque Country
"I came here as an Erasmus student and ended up falling in love with this land". A native of Alabama and passionate about the Basque Country, Marti has written a book about Basque gastronomy and culture: "Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through a Food Lover's Paradise".
How did you end up living in the Basque Country?
I was on Erasmus in Pamplona and I wanted to get to know more. Then I came to San Sebastian on holiday and ended up falling in love with this land, its culture and its gastronomy, until I settled in San Sebastian for good in 2010.
Why were you attracted to the gastronomy of the Basque Country?
At first, it was the pintxos, but then little by little I discovered the dedication there is to the product. The brotherhoods, the celebrations around a product, in general, the obsession with food. Also the connection of the people with the land, something we don't have in the US.
What can we find in your book?
Basically, there are 94 traditional recipes from the Basque Country. However, it is not just a book about gastronomy, it is something more, because I talk about Basque culture, including the history of cuisine from its beginnings to the nouvelle cuisine. That is why my dream is that one day it will be translated into Basque and Spanish.
For someone visiting the Basque Country for the first time, what is one thing they should not miss?
I usually recommend the things that might have the biggest impact on people, like eating pintxos. It's an impressive ritual, going from bar to bar, eating and drinking.
I really like to walk from San Sebastian to Pasajes through the mountains, visit the Albaola museum and then have something to eat. I think it's the perfect plan: culture, nature and gastronomy.
From Basque gastronomy, which dish do you enjoy the most?
I love squid in its ink. The black sauce has such a rich flavour... And among the desserts, I prefer Basque cake and intxaur saltsa.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
We have the best quality tourism content and we deliver it to your inbox every fortnight.