I’ll let WJ do the food thing, but the Basques came into the Intermountain Basin (Southern Idaho- Upper Nevada- Western Utah and eastern Oregon) as sheepherders, moving with the grazing herds of sheep. Even today it is a large constantly moving business that covers huge tracts of what appears to be desert lands. There are smaller groups in SoCal and in the Central Valley of California also, but the communities from Boise down to the Rt 50 area of Nevada have many communitiy services designed to support the migrating herds and the herders who care for them. We have enjoyed some fine dinners at Louis’ Basque restaurant in Reno over the years. If I were to describe the food in a sentence or two, it would be "Heavy and solid" It reminds me a lot of the basic Greek dishes, Lots of Lamb (naturally), thick gravies, roasted veggies, and dark wines. Great food to survive the pioneer journey across the barren desert !!