In the comarca of Enkarterri in the province of Biscay, you’ll find Avellaneda, a neighborhood known for being the site of the Avellaneda Assembly where the representatives of the towns of the comarca met until the early 19th century. In Avellaneda you’ll get the chance to try authentic Basque gastronomy. Do you want to know where to eat?
Avellaneda is a neighborhood in the town of Sopuerta and the site of the Avellaneda Assembly, which was tasked with governing the inhabitants of the comarca of Enkarterri; today it is an interesting historical site. The biggest nearby town is Balmaseda, where all kinds of traditions are preserved, including gastronomic customs.
The most traditional dish of Avellaneda and the surrounding area is called putxera, which gets its name from the vessel in which it is cooked. A putxera is a pot used to cook a stew made of beans, vegetables, meat, and embutidos (a type of cured sausage). It cooks food slowly over burning carbon in the bottom part of the pan. Embutidos are especially important in Enkarterri, reaching the peak of their relevance during the Feria Chacinera del Sopuerta (Sopuerta Pork Festival) where, among other ceremonies, the “best butcher” is chosen.
In the town’s bars and restaurants you can also find other dishes common to the region: vegetable stews, salads, stewed pinto beans and white beans, and grilled meat as well as fish from nearby ports on the Cantabrian Sea.
When it comes to beverages, the area’s signature product is Txakoli de Vizcaya, although cider is also very popular. For lunch, it’s very common for visitors to have pinchos invented by the owners of local establishments. If you get the chance to visit Avellaneda and discover all that there is to eat in the area, we recommend that you plan to visit during Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Balsameda, which is characterized by its Stations of the Cross in which the whole town participates.
You can’t find tapas bars directly in Avellaneda, so we recommend going to Balsameda, which is six kilometers away. One of the best bars there is Pintxoi Blanco; as the name suggests, you’ll love their pinchos. They also have an excellent wine selection and they’re known for their calamari. On the other side of town you’ll find El Rincón, which has a full pinchos bar as well as a foosball table.
Although there aren’t many places to eat in Avellaneda, the town’s restaurant scene is supplemented by other towns in Enkarterri.
The restaurant in the Batzarki hotel is the main place to eat in Avellaneda. It’s a family-owned restaurant that specializes in the traditional cuisine of this part of Biscay. They also offer several special prix fixe menus and a large brandy selection, most of which you can sample.
The restaurant Mendiondo, located in the San Martín de Carral neighborhood, is another place to keep in mind when it comes time to eat in Avellaneda and the surrounding area. The restaurants in Balsameda complete what Avellaneda has to offer.
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