For centuries, the hunt for cod has been firmly established in the Basque Country. As early as the Middle Ages, the fishermen of the Bay of Biscay went to the carefully kept secret fishing grounds of Terranova near Newfoundland - in search of whales and cod.
The cod, which was once found in unimaginably large quantities in the North Atlantic, found its way into Basque cuisine as bacalao, or stockfish. One of the most famous dishes is Bacalao Pil-Pil: cod with garlic, peppers and plenty of good olive oil.
The preparation is anything but simple: the fish is shaken in the pan with a quick movement of the wrist until the egg white oozes out of it and combines with the oil to form a creamy mass.
In Hernani, about ten kilometers from San Sebastian, cooks meet every year to compete for the most perfect preparation of the: During the Festival of the Codfish.
The week before is also dedicated to stockfish: special menus are served in the city's restaurants - or small tapas in which the bacalao plays the leading role. There are workshops, lectures and cooking shows around the theme, as well as musical performances.
In nearby San Sebastian, the maritime museum shows the history of cod hunting. Also worthwhile is a guided tour of Hernani's listed old town, with the 16th-century parish church of San Juan Bautista, the municipal council house, or the Gudarien Enparantza square.
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- Location: Hernani, Guipuzkoa province, Basque Country
- Date: End of October
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