la feria de la alubia: tolosa, basque country


This weekend found us celebrating beans in Tolosa, a town about 30 minutes outside of San Sebastián. It was the Fair of the Bean, and Tolosa is reNOWNED for their beans. They have white and black beans, but the traditional plate of Bean Day is the black bean, or baba beltza in Euskera. There's music, drinking, huge markets, and general revelry, until everyone sits down for the a meal of beans.

We spread some tables with paper table cloths, then sidra and vino appeared along with a pot of Tolosa's special bean. They are cooked simply, with salt, water and a bit of olive oil. Like magic, however, they not only taste delicious, they also turn RED. I don't get it.

They are served in the traditional manner or "con sus sacramentos": pickled guindillas, morcilla, mondeju (a white sausage made primarily from sheep intestine in the town of Goierri), and cabbage.  And they are delicious.  Followed by membrillo, cheese and nuts, a "gypsy's arm" (a cake and cream roll), and a good game of throw-the-rock-at-the-metal-bar in the plaza with about fifty people who all put a euro in the pot.

Obviously a perfect day.