Origin: Basque Country
Porrusalda is a typical dish of Basque Country and Navarra. The Basque country is just one of those great Spanish regions that always produces very tasty dishes, and porrusalda is no exception. It has a vegetable base, mainly the white parts of leeks (in fact purrusalda means "leek broth" in Euskera). Other typical ingredients used are carrots, potatoes, garlic and onion, though each family adds their own ingredient according to taste and availability as well as thye budget they are working to.
Even though porrusalda is believed to be a Basque dish, the truth is that is actually consumed more commonly in a number of other regions in Spain, such as Castilla y León and La Rioja. The dish has yet to make it too far out of Spain though. So why not be one of the first to bring the dish to your region!
However the most controversial ingredient is cod, families argue whether traditional porrusalda should use this ingredient or not. There's not an accurate answer available. Porrusalda is a popular dish, and the mother's and daughter's of the different families prepared it as they wished. What is true is that porrusalda with cod is more wholesome. Naturally, if you are having vegetarian guests then you could always serve the dish without the cod and with cod if you were entertaining meat eaters - both versions would be correct and authentically Spanish.
There are many different cooks who say the original dish had many different ingredients, so while some say it uses cod, others say it doesn't, and some swear that it's made with pork ribs or beef. In a way, this just means that you can be as creative as you like with the dish and add what you like.
But in the central regions of the Spain people barely ate cod or conger eel or any other fish for that matter, as it was expensive to bring from coast areas and people generally ate what they could gather from their orchards or what their economy permitted them to buy, so the dispute is in the Basque country alone. Potatoes did not exist in Spain before the discovery of America, which leads us to think that it is a fairly recent ingredient in the recipe.
Even if it's base has mainly vegetable elements, leeks are not the easiest to digest, so it doesn't serve well for diets! On the other hand, that makes this a perfect Spanish dish to make during the winter as it will warm you up and keep you filled with calories throughout the cold winter days. Another advantage of this stew is the fact that it is made with common ingredients that are normally not too expensive nowadays. This makes it a great option for Spanish food lovers who want some great Spanish food but on a budget. So why not bring a bit of Basque culture into your home, and cook this traditional stew. The recipe can be found below:
If you decide to take a trip to Spain you can ask for Porrusalda in many restaurants and bars. A great idea would be to go out and try some of these dishes with your fellow classmates. Or you could try cooking it for them instead!