This Tuesday, the New York Times, in its travel section, has regaled us with an article by Caitlin Raux Gunther where she covers 5 restaurant recommendations from Álvaro Garrido, the chef at the Mina Restaurant.
There is so much to like about this article. The five restaurants Álvaro Garrido recommends are extraordinary, and excellent proof of what Basque cuisine is like for any travelers who pay us a visit. We also like how the article describes the spirit of successful ability to resist and overcome the unfavorable conditions that, at least so far, our society has been under.
Similarly, we (just like the journalists) loved the thought Amaia García de Albizu, the manager at the Arrea! Restaurant (one of those on the list) shared with us:
“when the crisis arrived, it reminded us of our grandparents during the Spanish Civil War.” Mindful of the hardships of their ancestors, they did their best to soldier on and maintain a sense of gratitude.
Nevertheless, there were a few things that “grated” on us (our regular readers will know how sensitive we are to some subjects).
For example, they describe the Basque Country as a “region.” It is not now, nor ever has been, a “region,” even now, as it is legally defined within Spain, which the Lower Basque Country is administratively a part of. The Spanish constitution defines our country as “a nationality,” which is an elegant way of saying that we’re a nation without it being outright rejected by the unionists. The citizens of the US should understand this very well, as they would understand how they’d feel if someone called Texas or California “a region.”
However, given that all the restaurants chosen are within the Basque Autonomous Community, which is made up of three of the six/seven Basque territories, we could accept, begrudgingly, that they’re referring to a specific region within the Basque Country.
Another element was the mention of the “Cantabrian Sea.” The part of the Atlantic Ocean along the northern coast of the Iberian Peninsula is part of a much larger region called the Bay of Biscay. This term, the Bay of Biscay, is the one commonly used on nautical charts, and is a direct reference to the extraordinary maritime tradition of the Basques.
Anyway, setting aside our obsession with correct terminology (which is nonetheless important), the article is very interesting and will help the many readers of this leading publication, which we so appreciate for how it regularly features the Basques, find one more reason to pay us a visit. We hope there will be many more articles like this in media throughout the world, and that Caitlin Raux Gunther will come back soon!
New York Times – 19/7/2022 – USA
5 Great Restaurants to Visit in Basque Country
Álvaro Garrido, the chef of the Michelin-starred Mina restaurant and a Bilbao native, shares five favorite restaurants that exemplify the resilient spirit of Spain’s northern autonomous region.