La Cidrerie

Last weekend we went for lunch at a Cidrerie. It was interesting and very yummie, good good meat!
Producing and drinking cider is a Basque tradition.The more recent cider traditions  hail back to the time when buyers interested in purchasing cider from a particular maker would bring along food for the tasting as it is considered best when taken with a meal. This soon evolved into gastronomical tradition with the Cidreria becoming a cross between a grill and a cider house. In a traditional cidrerie, 3 courses are taken:
  • a cod omelette or cod with peppers
  • steak
  •  Cheese, quince jelly & nuts (we had sweet desserts instead)
In the most traditional cider houses, each guest, after having paid in the region of 30€, receives a glass and at various intervals a txotx  is called. At this, everyone who wishes for cider gets up and heads to the lower section of the cidrerie where the barrels are located. The large barrels, which are stored horizontally, have a small tap in the lid at about head-height. This is opened by the innkeeper or the first guest to reach the barrel and a thin stream of cider exits, which the guests catch with their glasses as low down as possible to aerate the cider. People then return to their tables to continue with their meal and cider until the next txotx is called. Each guest may drink as much cider as they like.