Monday, November 15, 2010

Oteiza, ham from the Kintoa territory

I am a sucker for pigs. No not really, but I love seeing things I eat BEFORE I eat them...  The Kintoa region got its name Pays de Quint or Kintoa in Basque, from the Spanish word quinta. La quinta was the fifth of each herd the Navarra kings took as a tax.... remember that when you complain about paying too high taxes!

Here in the Kintoa valley around Aldudes has Pierre Oteiza set down his foot and created an empire mostly based on ham. His pigs are of the race Pie Noir, the Basque pig, and roam freely to eat whatever they find in this rich region; like acorns, chestnuts and beechnuts.... They are fed til at least 12-14 months and by then they weigh 140-160 kilos! The resulting ham won a gold medal at the Concours General Agricole in Paris 2010 so the idea of make good ham out of happy pigs seem to stand true.

We went to his shop and the pig nursery. They have also a walk of about one hour up in the mountain where you can watch the pigs and learn more but we had to save that to another time... I would also want to come back to Banca close to Aldudes, where they breed the famous mountain trout or visit any of the many cheese makers... next time, next time!
Inside the shop. Try this saucisson... and this one... and the chorizo.. and this ham.. and that ham... and have a piece of this cheese.. and that cheese... Did you try this? I LOVE places where they let you try... so of course we were loaded by the time we left. We even got some fig jam that they didn't even let us try!

Dried Espelette peppers.

Take-away on the go snacks!!!!

Some of their stuff and the red gold medal.

Pig mummy relaxing in the sun. The Basque pig race was almost extinct when Oteiza started breeding them in 1988.

Bye bye... next stop Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port!!!


  1. Merci pour le lien.... C'est super joli chez elle... Tout plein de belles idées et de jolies photos !
    Belle journée, Flo

  2. How delicious! what a great site
    I am heading to the Basque region - do you have suggestions on where to eat? love local foods and local produce?

  3. Truly, in the Basque region most places are good.... maybe except some of the obvious tourist traps along the coast but really... just go anywhere and 9 out of 10 will be great! For tips, check the Pyrenees Atlantiques label on my blog or Gastronomy..... have a nice trip! /Eva


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