The cuisine of Navarra is as complex and diverse as its wines. Layering not just flavors but textures, there are a dizzying number of different traditional dishes to try.
Celebrated chefs and locals alike start with an abundance of fresh vegetables coming from the Ebro Valley plains in southern Navarra. White asparagus is one of their specialties, as well as artichoke and red piquillo peppers. Meat-based dishes can be anything from local lamb, beef, rabbit, quail, and more. Fish and shellfish come from both the fresh mountain streams of the Pyrenees and the nearby Atlantic. Its cheeses — Roncal (Queso de Roncal) and Idiazabal (Queso de Idiazabal) — come from the milk of sheep thriving in the Pyrenees and each is made using a fiercely guarded recipe and has its own regional quality council. Olive oil from Navarra is also name-protected.
The types of olives grown in the region include Arroniz and Arbequina. The region is packed with restaurants serving up meals created from these local ingredients, and at prices that make you want to eat out daily. For haute cuisine, the cities of Pamplona, Tafalla and Cintruenigo offer up exquisite experiences equal to those in the best restaurants of the world. Major restaurants are listed on the Navarrans’ restaurant association website.
For a small taste of Navarra, click at right on the local ingredients the Navarrans consider staples for regional dishes: