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Navarra for 'foodies': asparagus, artichokes and olive oil

Navarra is famous for vegetables, but in reality its gastronomic offer goes much further. Rediscover it.

The Foral Community has 15 quality marks between Denominations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications (PGI). In the garden the peppers of the quality are labeled Lodosa piquillo. They are an endemic variety of the area, who owe their fame to Bilbao vacationers, who popularized their consumption. Fresh or packaged, they can be found in the establishments of the Wide or Main streets of Lodosa.

The Tudela artichoke It also has IGP. It is known as' the flower of the garden ', and the only variety that is grown in the 33 producing municipalities is the' Blanca de Navarra. Two crops are harvested: in autumn and spring. In the month of May in Tudela, capital of the Ribera region, the Vegetable Exaltation Days and the National Menestras Championship. Asparagus from Navarra is another protected vegetable. Spain is the fourth largest producer in the world and the Espárrago de Navarra Geographic Indication is linked to Asparragus officinalis, kind of very soft texture, whitish color and low fibrosity. Its collection is done manually, at dawn, at the exact moment when the tips begin to appear on the ground. As the saying goes: "April's for me; May's for the master; June's for none" Simply boiled, with a stream of extra virgin olive oil, they are delicious.

Piquillo peppers from Lodosa, mmm… © Piquillo pepper from Lodosa (Denomination of Origin)

The Navarre oils They are also a small great treasure. Sweet and aromatic, they are made with the varieties of arbequina, empeltre and the native arróniz olives, which is distinguished by its intense green and marked notes of bitterness. The olives take their name from the town of Arróniz, a town of Roman origin, whose silhouette appears between the hills. Wines are another important potential. Yes the rosés had fame forever, now reds, whites and sweets add to a rising offer with excellent value for money, welcomed by the D.O. Wines of Navarra and, in a small part, to D.O.C. Rioja (those of the wineries located in the Rioja Baja). Among the most striking wineries in Navarra are Señorío de Arínzano, Pago de Larrainzar, Otazu, Pago de Cirsus and Aroa. Every October, Navarro Wine Night is celebrated in Pamplona, ​​a party that combines art, wine and gastronomy.

Navarre oils are also a small great treasure © Reyno Gourmet

Two cheeses of great personality stand out from the rest in the autonomous community: the Idiazabal, considered by the experts the best smoked cheese in the world, and that of Roncal, made in the valley of the same name with sheep milk latxas. Other irremediably Navarrese products are the will pacha (sloe liquor), the mummy (lightly smoked sheep milk curd), the chistorra and the chorizo from Pamplona. The stamp Reyno Gourmet protects and promotes the gastronomic heritage of Navarre.

MENDÍA TRUJAL

It is a cooperative that emerged from the union of 22 old trujales (olive farms). At present, it is the largest trout in the regional community, with more than 900,000 olive trees and 1,500 tons of virgin olive oil, half of total Navarre production. It offers guided tours of the facilities and sells extra virgin olive oil. Ctra. De Allo, s / n; Arroniz; tel. 948 53 76 51

CAVIAR PERSÉ

The caviar produced in Yesa, in one of the main tributaries of the Ebro, is among the best ecological caviar in Europe. These are Mediterranean sturgeon roe or Acipenser nacarii, which are processed at the plant that the company has in the same farm where sturgeons are raised, under strict environmental and nutritional control. These specimens, which began growing up in Riofrío (Granada), They were later transferred to Navarra for better development. Ctra. De Javier, km 1; Yesa; tel. 900 10 15 16.

MUSEUM OF THE TRUFFLE

Sheltered by the Sierra de Lóquiz, this is a unique museum in Spain. Explain what truffles are, how they occur spontaneously in the soil and also everything related to truffle farming, that is, their cultivation. In addition to touring the museum itself, organize visits to the truffle areas in season (from November to March) and different activities according to the time of the year, under the name 'Truffle experiences', which include tastings of the product accompanied, for example, by wines from the Navarre region of Estella, where the facilities are located. The godfather is chef Koldo Rodero. Ctra. De Ganuza, 1; Metauten; tel. 948 54 01 02

* Published in the Gastronomic Guide Condé Nas Traveler 2015, it is already on sale in digital format in Zinio and Apple. You can also download the application for Android and the App Store completely free of charge and start diving on the Spanish gastro map.

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Have you lived a 'Truffle Experience'? © Truffle Museum

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