Beans and Wine in Basque Country: MUNCHIES Guide to the Basque Country (Episode 4)

By Brian Lemay 67 comments

Tighter, tighter,
tighter. Can you give me
a quick lesson please? Just do what
they’re doing. Oh fuck! Okay.
Please help me! We’re in the Gothic town
of Tolosa and in search of traditional food
in the Basque nation. The Fronton is a high end
restaurant that happens to host an enormous
pelota vasca court, the fastest sport
in the world. But we are here to eat one particular
local bean. We’ve come across a
pretty particular place, where the love for
beans conquers all. What are these
awesome things? What makes these beans so
special and why is there such
a culture around them? We’re very fortunate to
have a product that’s ours, a product with a
real tradition behind it, of such exceptional
quality. The Tolosan bean can cost
up to 14 times the price of your average kilo and
we wanted to see why. Here at the Fronton,
it takes center stage. We decided that
the bean had to be our signature dish as
we’re in Tolosa, a town associated by
name with the product. And I’m going to show
you how to cook them. For each kilo of beans
we use around 4 litres of water. Once on the stove we
bring it to boil. Once it’s boiling we add
a bit of olive oil, and bring it down
to low heat. We leave it simmering for
3 or 4 hours until it’s done. We always serve the beans
with Beasain black pudding, cabbage, cured
lard, and green chillies. Tolosa beans produce
a cream different to other beans. People would eat this as
their only daily meal for energy. Joining us in
a tasting of Tolosa beans were
their number one fans. With matching medieval
style uniforms, and an almost unhealthy love
for the Tolosan bean. La Cofradia Alubia De
Tolosa has advocated for the bean’s place in
Basque culture for 25 years. Irene, smell it. Smell it. Shit, this
smells amazing. Very authentic. I’ve tried
the black pudding. And a bit of cabbage. I’ve tried the cabbage
like you told me to and it’s delicious. They are very tender. Very tender. It’s delicious. Little bonbons of yum. Yes?
Yes. Yes.
Yes. I grew up eating these. Oh definitely. What role did
this dish play in traditional cooking? This is the dish
of the people. In the villages,
in the ’40s and ’50s, people at this
every day, Irene. Every day. Every day? This woman has cooked so
many kilos of beans. Kilos and kilos. God. I made 400 kilos
in a single year. I’m not surprised
you’re so happy and
such nice people. If you eat this every
week day in and day out. What is the significance
of these outfits? The green Txapela [hat]
represents the green of the plant. And the purple and
black is for the bean. And you wear badges,
don’t you? The tradition is to
exchange the pins between different
societies. I think the Basques are
in love with their land and traditions. They are not as
political as they say. Of course, some want
independence but many others don’t and normally
they are peaceful. Pride and satisfaction. I am delighted to be
even a small part of this tradition. And to be in the good company of
these fine, fine people. We left the cobbled
streets of Tolosa and headed for
nearby Ordizia. For over a thousand
years, people have gathered in this market
town to buy and sell delicious country produce
and catch up on gossip. The smoked one is
the pinkish one. The market has sent
Leire to show us around. They sell for
about six Euros each. We usually eat it
with sauce and a lot of vegetables, and
some people even add chocolate to the sauce
to darken it. Where I come from
normally when you see the pigeon
it’s squashed. And there’s some
tire in the street. It’s usually delicious. We’re here at the market
finding out about this culture, are you local? Yes. How long have you
been coming here? To Ordizia? Yes. All my life. Has it changed much? No.
I don’t think it’s changed at all. What do you do when
you come here? I come here
mainly to talk, just like we’re
doing now. To chat,
to see my friends who I haven’t seen
during the week. So you come here, chat, have a drink, eat a
pintxo and there you go. Just while away the time. What you have on is
the traditional Txapela? Yes, this is a a Txapela. What does it represent? It represents
the Basque country. The Txapela is round but you always have to put
the same bit to the back. You don’t even
need a mirror. To the side. You must always put
it on the same way. Why? That’s the way it is. If you want red
garlic take this one, that one’s white garlic. For bulbs that
one’s better. 17, 18. Will you just give
me 6 of them? This, this stuff you
can’t find in the city. You can’t,
you simply cant. You see there. They bring around
600 kilos of mushrooms every week. Wow. Will the Visqueros last
a few days in a bag? Yes.
Give me your smallest portion, I’m
taking them to Barcelona. They have a spectacular
color, look at that. I love it. Five bucks for a kilogram of wonderful,
wonderful bliss. These wonderful mushrooms
weren’t the only fancy fungi the land
had offered up. There were some rarer
delicacies awaiting us in Vitoria-Gasteiz. We are in a city called
Vitoria-Gasteiz, which also happens
to be the capital. And we are going to have
some truffle pintxos. We headed to a small
pintxo bar to meet head chef Josune, a hard working lady with
an award winning pintxo. How is to be a woman in
the Basque food world? A really masculine world. It’s hard starting out. That’s all. We came here to see your
world famous pintxo. Mr. Prudent. In honor of
Saint Prudencio, patron saint of Alava. It’s got egg yolk, bread, perrechicos cream
from a spring mushroom, Idiazabal cheese sauce,
and finally, we add the grated
truffle on the top. Take that. no. Firmly.
Like that? Away from you. Yes.
Like that? Yes, a little bit more. A little bit more. Come on. I get stressed easily. Powerful women
make me nervous! Customers are waiting for
you. There aren’t
any customers. On the plate,
not around it. it’s worth
more than that. It goes on the plate. That costs 600
Euros a kilo. What?
600 Euros a kilo? Yes, that’s why you need to put the truffle
on the plate. Well. One and another one. I’m not surprised
you’ve won everything. So delicious. Mm. Mm. Shit, this is
fucking tasty. At 3202,
stay on the right. What do you mean? Oh my god. We’ve been driving for what must have been
an hour or an hour and a half. We come through,- Take the second
exit onto the 124. What? Come again. We are traveling
to La Bastida, the highest point
in Spain’s most important wine region
La Rioja, famous for the tempranillo
grape variety. Whoa, look at that,
fancy. I think we’re in for a, if these walls could
talk situation. Because this place
is really old. We have come to
meet Sancho, one of the two
brothers running the award-winning
Remelluri vineyard. Don’t pull it off. Remelluri, it was
a property from monks the earliest that, we
have is from, from 1457. We’re just in time to see
the last of the harvest? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Is that right? That’s right. Could you take
us there please? Let’s run before the sun
goes down, let’s do it. Come on! This is an amazing
vineyard. It was here that the
musulmanes, Muslims come in here, the Basques
on the other side. The Mediterranean,
the Atlantic, we are in a place
of conflict. Which is always good
to to create extremes, which are good for
the wine. All right, we are here
in probably one of the highest vineyards in
La Rioja Alavesa and so we’re in
the shock between the the Mediterranean
climate that funnels up the valley and
here the Atlantic. All the vegetation goes
into the the grape. Mm-hm.
We’re probably the last ones like, harvesting
a regular La Rioja. When you have to harvest, what kind of team do
you gather to do this? How do they work? Is there a machine? Do they do- No, no, no.
Here, here, here, no machines. No machines? No, no.
Here, no machines. We always get a team
of like 30 to 40, like people that come
harvesting to do it super fast. It does have a very
serene beauty to the, the whole ritual of
cutting the grape. Yeah, that’s a small
bunch, yeah. Can I keep it? Keep it.
Yes? Yeah, that’s for you. Thank you.
All right, you can make raisins. Fry them. This vineyard has
been producing wine using organic methods
since before it was fashionable. And while other producers
were bringing in foreign vines to crossbreed for
their crop, Remelluri has and will only ever
use the varieties of grape native to
the Basque Country. Public are like,
asking for things that are produced
like, where you’re from. In the future, to do small agriculture,
sustainable and respectful with the soil
is the only way that you can produce good food and
take care of your land. For this part we have
recruited the help of Telmo who is Sancho’s
older brother, and who actually
runs the winery. Telmo has been
described as one of Spain’s greatest
wine makers and owns vineyards all
across the country. The oak is,
It’s got some pores. The pores are big enough
to have oxygen through. And oxygen is going to
be the catalyzer of thousands of
different reactions. And now the, we
are going to go to the, where we ferment
the white wine. You know,
our white wine is a very, very special one. So this is a tiny, it’s a tiny room because
we produce a very small quantity of this
special wine. The wine will have
nine grapes that we know that together they
will show in the best way the profile of Remelluri. This is our,
our approach. You can listen to
the fermentation. This is- It’s like
something’s burning. It’s that kind of- You know? I don’t know if- Reaction that we can
find it in Earth. Be careful because you’ve
got the juice there. Did I I did. This looks like an enema
for colonic irrigation. You’ll taste
a lot of yeast. This wine is the shit. How much sugar
is in this one? This still has
a lot of sugars, it ferments very slowly. Very fizzy. This is alive, right now. Having tasted wines,
white wines from around, around everywhere,
more or less, I can say that
this one is particular. And now having the
experience of getting to know you and getting to
know the land, well, one can understand your
efforts in making this. These places always move
you inside somehow, and the living entities of
each wine casket just bubbling or moving or resting, waiting
to be bottled up. So, now that we’ve been
shown this place and tasted some wine
in the making, I think we should go
have some dinner. To the kitchen. At the end of
the harvest, it’s a custom that all the workers are invited
to the big house for a feast of food, drink
and even a sing song. To go with Remelluri’s
classic red wine, the brothers had prepared us
a harvest supper of pork chops, black puddings and
sizzling chorizos. We’re bringing people
together after work, you know, giving
them food, relaxing. I have spent a day
immersed in the world of Remelluri and now I felt
like I was taking part in a tradition with an
almost mystical quality. The harvest,
the feast, and the celebration,
had probably taken place, in some form, since
people first settled here all those thousands
of years ago. I, I, okay. Okay.
Love you too. I love you too. Okay. Are we good? Now we’re good. What are you
munching are at? Hey, hey, stop. Pretty excited to meet
Martin Berasategui. So this is our latest
creation with the edible crystal scales technique. I have a crush on
this dish right here. Anxton has itchy bits. Txintxurreta has
itchy tits.


LaLa BamB4m

Feb 2, 2015, 12:16 pm Reply


Nick Ronaldo

Feb 2, 2015, 12:26 pm Reply

Eddie Huang is missing

Dat boi Kwesar

Feb 2, 2015, 1:01 pm Reply

this guys are like the assassin's creed of the beans


Feb 2, 2015, 1:17 pm Reply

7:25 looks delicious


Feb 2, 2015, 1:32 pm Reply

A lot of farting afterwards. Haha love the Spanish everyone is cursing from babies to grandparents. 

Edward Samuel Miliband

Feb 2, 2015, 3:24 pm Reply

Guy with the Yes badge is a fucking legend.

Rafael Cardozo

Feb 2, 2015, 4:00 pm Reply

brilliant series! brilliant host!

Mike G

Feb 2, 2015, 4:06 pm Reply

3:27 fuck a spoon


Feb 2, 2015, 5:05 pm Reply

Always makes me cringe when I see a woman that feels absolutely alien when doing some kind of physical activity. 

Fluffy ass bitches who think body sweat is your very soul crying for pain…


Feb 2, 2015, 5:09 pm Reply

Scare girl again…(


Feb 2, 2015, 5:35 pm Reply

Too cringe, stopped at 3 minutes. Where's Bronson?


Feb 2, 2015, 5:43 pm Reply

Would somebody please tell her she's got a red bean stuck on her right chin? Thanks!

Vegan Demon

Feb 2, 2015, 6:07 pm Reply

They need better host… This cursing and there disgusting actions get me mad as fuck… Do what you gotta do and get the fuck out…


Feb 2, 2015, 6:10 pm Reply

One of my favorite series on Munchies! I've never even heard of this place before these episodes, good job Vice!


Feb 2, 2015, 7:45 pm Reply

Love this girl!! Absolutely entertaining to watch!


Feb 2, 2015, 8:42 pm Reply

She swears at such inappropriate times haha

Vicente Akira Kamata Rivera

Feb 2, 2015, 9:26 pm Reply

Awesome! Can't wait to see episode 5. 

Vicente Akira Kamata Rivera

Feb 2, 2015, 9:27 pm Reply

Hope to see more Munchies Guides in SPAIN!!


Feb 2, 2015, 9:46 pm Reply

Get another host. Better yet bring Bronson or Eddie!

Noah Cisneros

Feb 2, 2015, 9:54 pm Reply

Me encanta este show, buena onda la chica.


Feb 2, 2015, 11:28 pm Reply

Her mole though.

cuck fragile white bois

Feb 2, 2015, 12:58 am Reply

i hate this host

Daniel Roy

Feb 2, 2015, 2:01 am Reply

Irene is so cute! bet she's a nympho


Feb 2, 2015, 2:13 am Reply

0:02 special ed from crank yankers


Feb 2, 2015, 2:15 am Reply

beans = fartknockers club


Feb 2, 2015, 2:20 am Reply

15:29 ………….. mole


Feb 2, 2015, 4:26 am Reply

Wow, you people watching this are so salty… Irene does a great job. She keeps it real! Also this series is amazing, cant wait for the next episode.


Feb 2, 2015, 5:13 am Reply

Go back to Mexico you Mexicans, get outta my town!

Carl Loewenguth

Feb 2, 2015, 5:51 am Reply

I like this host. Give her more work.

Quintin McManus

Feb 2, 2015, 5:57 am Reply

bad host good episode.

Lando P

Feb 2, 2015, 8:23 am Reply

This Irene girl kind of looks like Eva Green from that movie 300: Rise Of An Empire


Feb 2, 2015, 12:03 am Reply

Loving the poopshots around 7:25 

Periadus W

Feb 2, 2015, 1:56 am Reply

I feel bad for the camera man. Every Fking time he has to watch other people eating delicious food


Feb 2, 2015, 2:12 am Reply

I am sure this has been said already. 7:25  looks exactly like a dog shit. They couldn't make it not look like that? lol! 😀 With that being said, I love this host. She reminds of me of that actress Penelope Cruz. Talks and looks just like her.


Feb 2, 2015, 1:46 pm Reply

She doesnt swear much, shes speak normal street-spanish

Alan Sinclair

Feb 2, 2015, 3:58 pm Reply



Feb 2, 2015, 5:13 pm Reply

 best part!


Feb 2, 2015, 10:10 am Reply

holy shit she just drank cheese sauce from the pitcher. I love this chick.

Camilo A. Castañeda N.

Feb 2, 2015, 7:36 am Reply

Que vieja mas BRUTA! Primero desperdicia una trufa que vale 600 euros la libra y la chef estaba que la mataba! Despues se cuelga de la campana y el muchacho tuvo que regañarla porque sino la a tumbar y despues mete el microfono dentro del barril y cuando le sirven vino va y lo escupe y le escupe al dueño del viñedo en el ojo? Digame que presentador hace todas esas estupideces juntas en un solo capitulo? Que falta de profesionalismo para hacer un programa a la altura como se lo merece el pais Basco!


Feb 2, 2015, 6:40 pm Reply

How the fuck is she hosting this!?!? 


Feb 2, 2015, 10:54 pm Reply

stop doing chef's night out and just do more guides 


Feb 2, 2015, 3:01 pm Reply

Gora Euskal Herria!


Feb 2, 2015, 3:47 am Reply

yknow i didnt like her at first but shes actually pretty cool

Stephan Schwarz

Feb 2, 2015, 8:21 am Reply

Irene is as much of a poser as Charlet was at her beginning. I really disliked Charlet's style but now, she seems to have found her "balance" and is actually entertaining. It might happen to Irene. #itmight


Feb 2, 2015, 4:45 pm Reply

halfway through and for the 80th time we get the "powerful woman in a male dominated space" narrative… and ffs Irene stop cursing and have some class

Pierre S.

Feb 2, 2015, 9:48 pm Reply

viva la basque autonomistas!


Feb 2, 2015, 9:00 am Reply

People complain about her foul language but love Action Bronson's and Eddie Huangs show. Wow people are so stupid


Mar 3, 2015, 9:32 am Reply

Holy cow! Irene should grab her one of those male model wine makers!

Charlie Vega

Mar 3, 2015, 4:15 pm Reply

This bitch is cute tbh.


Mar 3, 2015, 5:25 pm Reply

Que bruta pero simpatica.

Mika Winkler

Mar 3, 2015, 2:49 am Reply

Loved this. She seems fun, and enjoys life

Diego Martin Pintos

Apr 4, 2015, 12:00 am Reply

Euskal independentzia


Apr 4, 2015, 5:47 pm Reply

Alguien me podría decir si la palabra 'hostia' se considera una mala palabra en España?


Apr 4, 2015, 11:30 am Reply

Took three videos for me to fall in love. Her accent is melodic. She isn't so uptight as to censor herself. She's beautiful. She's quick with her tongue. She can eat. This chick is dope.

Jon G

Apr 4, 2015, 10:23 pm Reply

I think she's terrible.  Has no idea how much truffles cost in her country.  This is a food show is it not?

Wilhelm Bèthvéder

May 5, 2015, 5:45 pm Reply

I expected the guy at 9:59 to be taller based on his face.

Princess Kay Feet

May 5, 2015, 7:28 pm Reply

She looks like the love child of Eva Green and Jemima Kirke.

jesus janice

Sep 9, 2015, 7:56 pm Reply

hahaha good try at playing jai-alai

jesus janice

Sep 9, 2015, 7:56 pm Reply

hahaha good try at playing jai-alai

Bella B.

Oct 10, 2015, 11:36 pm Reply

Haha, I love Irene! I loved the cheese dance.


Dec 12, 2015, 1:56 am Reply

Great segment. Bravo Irene!


Feb 2, 2016, 2:15 am Reply

The tolosas look like chocolate when they're ladled out… never have I wanted a bean so much in my whole life

Cristian Jimenez

Aug 8, 2016, 11:28 pm Reply

wow I actually found something i wouldn't eat…pigeons

Door Knob

Feb 2, 2017, 5:45 pm Reply

Don't force the Basque accent for the love of god.

Fraser Anderson

May 5, 2017, 4:01 pm Reply

that bean guy had a Scottish Independence badge. scum.


Sep 9, 2018, 2:19 pm Reply

the guy at 4:20 has a YES THEORY badge Wtf

Jesus Filio

Mar 3, 2019, 3:37 pm Reply

Jai alai.

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