(According to the interwebz, “gehiago jan hegaluze gisatua” is Basque for “eat more tuna stew.”)
Today’s choice of web sites merits an explanation. Going is the former Scott’s Cheap Flights, always an excellent source of information about air travel and creative ways to fly less expensively.
As for marmitako, it’s a dish I’ve head about but not tasted, perhaps because my visits to the Basque lands (in northeastern Spain and nearby areas in France) have always preceded the fishing season. For more about Basque cuisine, go here: The Ultimate Guide To Basque Food.
And now, a marmitako primer. Obviously we’re in no position to fish for fresh tuna of the precise variety preferred by Basque cooks, but I might try this with cod just for the fun of it.
Marmitako: The Fish Stew That’s a Summertime Symbol of Basque Country, by Marti Buckley (Going)
Humble potatoes in a red-tinted broth. Beautiful pieces of fresh tuna. Steaming with the scent of choricero pepper, stewed tomatoes, and onions, marmitako is pure comfort food. A dish that was born of necessity on the deck of a boat at sea slowly grew its land legs and is now one of the dishes par excellence of Basque cuisine.
Warm soups are usually a wintry affair, but this potato and tuna stew could possibly be one of the only steaming soups whose season is summertime. During the Basque fishing season—around July to September—the fleet typically catches over 3,000 tons of tuna a month (more than 50% of the Spanish tuna quota, a hard limit set by the European Union). While much of this tuna gets canned, some of it ends up in the “marmita”—or pot, in the Basque language—to make this famed soup.
Amigo Foods has more on marmitako, as well as a recipe and today’s cover photo credit.