Bilbao is known for having exquisite foods. If you like seafood, then this is a place to visit. It is a coastal city, so most of its dishes are centered around seafood or fish. There are plenty of seafood dishes to try. Here are some of the foods and drinks that are most popular in Bilbao.
Marmitako is a traditional Basque tuna stew. The basic ingredients are fresh tuna, potatoes, peppers, garlic, onion, wine, fish stock, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and spices. There are some variations to the recipe. This stew was originally created by fishermen, like many other fish stews, as a simple, rustic meal. Three things make this stew different from other traditional fish stews, they are two key ingredients, the method of slicing potatoes, and picking a good species of tuna. The two key ingredients are pimiento choriceros and high quality fish broth. Pimiento choriceros are a type of dehydrated red pepper. Marmitako can be found at several restaurants in Bilbao.
Kokotxas is another Basque fish stew. Bilbao is the only place you can find this dish. The key ingredient in Kokotxas is the hake fish. The lower chin part of the fish is called the kokotxa in that region. This part of the hake fish is no longer discarded and has become a tasty delicacy. Kokotxas is often served with a special sauce made from garlic, white wine, olive oil, and flour. It is also served with salsa verde. It can be served with bread to mop up the special sauce.
Something else enjoyed in Bilbao is idiazabal cheese. This cheese is made solely from sheep’s milk, has an intense flavor, and is eaten as an appetizer. Baby cuttlefish and bacalao a la vizcaína are other fish dishes enjoyed in the city.
The Marianito is a vermouth-based cocktail that combines sweet vermouth, gin, Campari and bitters, and is served over ice. It is a very popular drink in Bilbao. Recipes vary from bar to bar across the city because each bar prepares the drink in its own way. It is said that the variations of the drink make it very unique and interesting. Although it is popular for being an aperitivo, or pre-meal drink, many people drink it in bars at night. Other popular drinks in Bilbao are sagardoa, patxaran, and txakoli. The sagardoa is a cider made from fermented apple juice. The patxaran is a distilled liquor made from sloe berries. The txakoli is a white wine accompanied with pintxos.
Bilbao has many dessert options to choose from. One popular dessert in Bilbao is the pantxineta, which is a baked dessert that has two sheets of puff pastry filled with crème and sprinkled with almonds. Another dessert is goxua, which is a sponge cake soaked in syrup, crème patissiere, and caramelized sugar. One of the most typical desserts in Bilbao is intxaursaltsa, which is made with walnuts and milk. Not only can some of these desserts be eaten after a nice meal, they can also be eaten for breakfast.