The Basque country is an area that spans the border of the nations we call Spain and France; it has a rich history and a centuries-old language and culture.
But there’s also a large Basque population in Boise, Idaho. Basques came to the American West in the late 1800s to work in the sheep industry; many settled in Boise, making it a hub of Basque tradition.
In this episode of On the Road, Bryan visits Boise’s Basque block and learns how to make creamy, deep-fried croquetas and the largest paella you’ve ever seen. He tries his hand (literally) at pelota, a handball-like game that Basques love.
Then Bryan is invited into the kitchen at Ansots, a popular eatery where owner Dan Ansotegui shares the art of making chorizo according to a family recipe that goes back to his grandmother.
The Basque block holds many charms, not the least of which is the preservation of Basque culture half a world away from the homeland; for Basques in Boise, it's where past meets present. And, as Ansotegui’s daughter, pastry chef Ellie Ansotegui says, it's a place where “You are never alone. You always have family around the corner.”
Click below to watch the video.