Xamingoxo in the Baztán Valley

I thought I might write about a recent trip to the Baztán valley. As a non-Spaniard I believe I can give an objective view of Spain, and Navarre has got to be one of the best regions in Spain to eat. Spain has some excellent dishes, and all regions are worthy of a gourmet visit, but Navarre for me comes out on top! An average meal in an average restaurant in Navarre would not look out of place in a more expensive restaurant elsewhere. If you like food….. go to Navarre. As I have a couple of recipes to share, this will be the first of a two-part post.

The Batzán river flows along the most northern part of Navarre and in fact is the border between France and Spain for the last 10 miles or so as it flows out via the Gulf of Biscay into the sea. We spent most of our time in and around a town called Elizondo. We are fortunate to have quite a few friends who enjoy exercising their palates and we spent the whole weekend going from one gourmet experience to another.

2014 11 05 Elizondo


To alleviate a guilty conscience we did enjoy a morning in the Señorío de Bértiz Nature Park which covers many kilometres of wooded hills as well as a botanical garden. The latter in particular has a large and interesting variety of trees.

2014 11 27 Bertiz Nature Park

Señorío de Bértiz Nature Park


What most surprised me was not the variety but rather the size of the trees in both areas. It might be because of the relatively heavy rainfall or the fact that the nearby sea moderates any temperature extremes, either way the trees were some of the tallest I have seen anywhere.

2014 11 22 Bertiz Nature Park

Señorío de Bértiz Nature Park

In the area we visited, many of the words are or have a Basque origin. The Basque language is nothing like Spanish. Other languages and dialects spoken in Spain have Latin roots and are therefore relatively easy to pick up. Basque has a very different root and has few similarities to Spanish. The best way of understanding of just how different Basque is to Spanish is to think of the difference between Welsh and English.

So for those of you who want to show off at your next candlelight supper please note that the “X” in Basque is pronounced as an “SH”. The word “xamin goxo” actually means “sour – sweet” in Basque and comes from the mixture of lemon juice and condensed milk that the recipe contains.



Serves 8 people.

Ingredients:5 Ingredients

1 Tin Condensed Milk (370g)

6 Plain yoghurts

200ml Cream

3 Lemons




Beat together the milk, yoghurt and cream. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and beat in.

6 Ingredients with whisk

Leave for around 12 hours in the fridge for it to firm up.

8 Finished dish


Well I hope you enjoyed the post for this week….. and the recipe couldn’t be easier. I poured the Xamingoxo into a large bowl, but it can look very elegant in individual glass cups with perhaps a little finely cut lemon peel to decorate. If you are planning a special meal, this is the perfect dessert as it should be made the day before, so it ends up being one less thing to do on the big day!

Until next time……..

2016 Lincoln W. Betteridge


3 thoughts on “Xamingoxo in the Baztán Valley

  1. Pingback: Xamingoxo in the Batzán Valley | Other Man's Flavours

  2. Great ! Such a beautiful landscape and a recipe that makes me very hungry….this is the way and the place to spend happy days. I took it as a clear recommendation to visit the region.
    Have a good time , without snow. Currently we have snow here and the dream of spring is far away.
    Bye Ursula


  3. Hello Ursula,

    I am glad you liked the photograph and the region. Perhaps we can head up that way next time you are in Spain?? It is a great part of the country and great food.

    The sweet is also very good and of course couldn’t be easier. It is a happy marriage of the sweetness of the condensed milk with the tartness of the lemon. I hope you like it!

    Bye for now,


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