There’s plenty to eat in Balsameda, a town whose gastronomy reflects the culinary tradition of the comarca of Enkarterri. The cuisine of Balsameda is closely linked to local produce and livestock. The most popular meats are veal, which is usually grilled, and pork, which is used to make embutidos (cured sausages) and other products. There’s a strong presence of traditional Basque recipes in Balmaseda, so you’ll find dishes such as codfish al pil pil, potatoes with anchovies, and different kinds of bean stews. The region is also known for products like honey, cheese, and Txakoli de Vizcaya wine.
If there’s one traditional dish that you should eat in Balsameda, it’s putxera, which has its roots in the stews made by train conductors working on the Bilbao-La Robla railroad line. They would cook in a metal pot heated by burning carbon which was placed in an opening in the bottom of the pot. Today, this dish made mainly of beans, bacon, chorizo, blood sausage, and pork chop is a true classic in the cuisine of Balmaseda, and it is still prepared in the traditional manner on particular days, including the holiday in honor of San Severino in October. The town’s Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebration featuring the Stations of the Cross is the perfect occasion to discover all that there is to eat in Balsameda.