Once the capital of Gipuzkoa, Tolosa was for centuries a strategic commercial point that connected the interior of the country with the Cantabrian ports due to its location on the Oria River.
Wandering the narrow streets of the old town you will discover historical buildings and monuments from its glorious past. The most impressive building is the Santa María church (17th century) in the so-called Basque gothic style.
Tolosa is famous for its produce and Saturday market. The Saturday market is probably the largest market in the Basque Country. Farmers from the region gather in Tolosa to sell their local products, always of the highest quality and freshness. And there are many specialties in the area!
The most famous produce is the “Alubia de Tolosa.” These dark beans are usually accompanied by chili peppers from Ibarra. Famous all over Spain, they are one of the main ingredients of Basque cuisine. These beans are so beloved that they even have their own feast called “week of the bean” (“babarrunaren astea” in Basque), celebrated in the middle of November.
T-Bone steaks from Ox are also common in this area. These steaks, called “Chuletones de buey” in Spanish, are enjoyed by locals at “asadores” (restaurants specialized in grilling meat) and “sidrerías” (restaurants specialized in cider). Again, there is even a feast dedicated to them: the “feast of the Chuletón” is celebrated at the beginning of December.
There is also a large tradition of sweets in Tolosa, supported by the local cake and candy store “Gorrotxategi,” founded in 1680. Their most famous specialties are called cigarillos, tejas and zaxus. The Gorrotxategi family even has a museum in Tolosa containing the machinery used to produce cakes and sweets for over 300 years.
But don’t worry if you happen to visit Tolosa on a day other than Saturday. You can still find stores in the old town selling local produce and it's also possible to enjoy some pintxos and local cuisine at one of the many bars and restaurants.
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