My review of the cooking and Spanish lessons course with Instituto Hemingway
I am a cooking teacher in Lyon and my husband bought me a very different type of holiday. We started off by travelling to Bilbao, to the Spanish school to improve our Spanish. I had already studied it at university and therefore I had a good level of Spanish but my husband Pierre struggled to say a few words. This is our third week of studying Spanish and I am writing this review as part of my class. My teacher is called Egoitz and he has hardly had to correct many faults in my essay… I am very happy.
We have definitely learnt a lot in class and we have really got to know the city. Saturday the 19th of June was the city’s birthday and we really enjoyed “noche blanca.” We were with our friends from Instituto Hemingway and the city was filled with concerts and performances.
As I am a cookery teacher, I was interested in taking part in the special cooking course that Instituto Hemingway
organises with the Casa Rural
restaurant in Arauko. We stayed in the bedrooms of the Casa Rural during a weeknight. Arancha was our basque cookery teacher and we learnt to cook two typical Basque dishes: bacalao a la vizcaína and marmitako. Fish is very important in Basque cooking and specialities are cod and tuna which is also known as “bonito del norte”. It was for this reason that we chose these dishes. The bacalao a la vizcaína is made with slices of salted cod, which are incredible, which has had the gelatine removed into the casserole dish that is put into the fire. Afterwards a sauce is added which is made from tomatoes, onions and dried peppers to give it an extraordinary colour, aroma and taste. Our second recipe, Marmitako is a typical fisherman’s dish, based around ‘bonito del norte’ (a type of tuna from Cantabria) put together with potato, pepper and tomato. It’s like a soup.
As well as the cookery course, we went to a winery in la Rioja, in a village called Haro which recalls the traditions of Bordeaux wine-making. In fact, we visited the López de Heredia winery, which makes the well-known Viña Tondonia. My husband was like a child in a sweet shop, and spent more than our bill filling our luggage with boxes of wine. This is just part of our adventure in bilbao and Valdegovía. We still have a week ahead of us, but I’m already sure we’ll repeat it in future.