Pulpo Zumaia
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The octopus of the Flysch

Once you have discovered Zumaia, something invites you to return, urges you, entraps you. Perhaps it is the tentacles of the octopus that inhabit Zumaia’s waters and which, since 2004, have been the star of Olarro Eguna, a popular festival that aims to further tighten the octopus’ hold. Locals talk of a special relationship between the town and the octopus, which are considered neighbours, along with the pulperos (octopus vendors) and octopus driers who still work using the area’s traditional methods. In fact, it is common for local people to go down to the tidal plain to watch or to use a long metal hook or boathook to catch one of the elusive eight-limbed creatures that are such a local delicacy. True gourmands eat crab, lobster and crayfish, and they become adept at the skill of prising open clams, mussels and other molluscs. How could it be anything  less than delicious?

Here, octopus is most frequently enjoyed with potatoes, but there is also a special recipe that is rooted in local culture and that is traditionally enjoyed on the second day of the San Telmo celebration. It is for a soup, olagarro zopa, made with octopus that has been dried by fermentation in a process that gives the place a somewhat spooky look, but that is cherished by local communities. It is a strong-tasting and dense soup, made from sautéed vegetables (leek, garlic and plenty of onion), rehydrated dried octopus, sopako bread, cognac, white wine, sweet and spicy paprika and fried tomato.

Detail
In Zumaia, it was habitual to catch octopus and, along with them, limpets, winkles, mussels, crawfish, txoazkiñak (warty crabs), velvet crabs, sea urchins and more.

The gastronomic experience "The Octopus of the Flysch", a walk along the cliffs and paths of the Geopark, shows the visitor how the flysch octopus lives in its natural habitat. The gastronomic experience includes tasting an  "octopus pintxo and a glass of "txakoli" wine.

Information and reservations (required): www.geoparkea.com or Zumaia Tourist Office - tel. 943 143 143 Hour: From 11:00 a.m. to 01:00 p.m.. Price: 15 € person /10€ for children.

Available only in Spanish and Basque.

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