Given the nature of the area with its open countryside, mountains, clean rivers, well-cared for allotments, pigeon shoots, etc., it is not difficult to deduce that good food plays an important role here.

Amongst the typical products and dishes of the area the quality of its beef stands out with offerings such as “chuletón a la brasa” (a huge charcoal-grilled T-bone steak); the lamb is also excellent either roasted or in the form of chops or ribs; pork products are very popular – “txistorra” (spicy sausage), “birika” (thin spicy sausage), “tripekis” (lamb-based black pudding), “tripotxa” (tripe) and “morcilla” (black pudding). Other local delicacies include: dried salt cod either cooked as fillets or in “ajoarriero” (traditional fish stew cooked in a tomato sauce); and of course the vegetables, “menestra” (a mixed vegetable dish); and pulses, a favourite being red kidney beans cooked with belly pork, chorizo sausage and black pudding.

The cow’s milk is sold to central dairies, although yoghurts and butter are also produced. However, the area is better known for its products made from sheep’s milk, in particular cheese and cuajada (junket). Numerous cheesemakers and local shepherds produce an excellent cheese with the Idiazábal Designation of Origin.

Game shooting and fishing are popular as well as gathering wild mushrooms. Seasonal dishes include pigeon, wild boar and scrambled egg with wild mushrooms.

Not to be forgotten is the patxarán, an aniseed-flavoured liqueur made with sloes and one of the most typical drinks of the region. “Las tortas de talo” are also very typical and are fritters made from cornflour. Some cider houses offer home-produced cider and a typical cider house menu would include dried salt cod omelette, small salt cod fillets, “chuleton” (T-bone steak) and for dessert walnuts and cheese with “membrillo” (quince jelly).