San Sebastián

Bourdain’s Field Notes

SAN SEBASTIÁN, May 2017—Basque Country, San Sebastián in particular, is a place I make television as much as possible. Possibly, my reasons are selfish: San Sebastián and the surrounding region has more outrageously good restaurants per square mile than just about anywhere in Europe. Even the bad restaurants are good.

One afternoon, hungry and at loose ends, I stumbled lazily into one of those tourist-friendly restaurants with all the warning signs: an overwhelmingly non-local clientele, menus in English and Spanish, large color photos of the menu items posted outside, and proximity to a popular tourist site.

I ended up eating a delicious order of morcilla sausage, followed by some braised beef cheeks. And I was happy.

You almost can’t lose in San Sebastián. The Basque can’t seem to help but make good food from great ingredients.

Though we revisit some of my old favorites on this episode, we take a deeper, more specific dive into who the Basque are—where they might have come from—and why their food is so damned delicious.

Basque Country extends over and beyond the French border, so we cast our net a little wider this time around.

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