The traditional Basque cider meal


Following my last video post about pouring the cider from the barrel in the Hondarribia Sidreria, this one is about the traditional meal that goes with it. It’s pretty much the same as offered at nearly all of the Basque sidrerias or sagardotegi. The furniture is usually long heavy wooden tables with benches, set amongst or near to the enormous cider barrels so that you can get up and help yourself to a small glass of wonderful fresh cider poured from a great height as often as you like. If there is a short queue of people replenishing their glasses from the same stream in turn then so much the better.

At the Sidreria in Hondarribia, the standard cider meal in March 2008 cost 24 euros with unlimited cider, or there is slight variation for the gastonomique menu at 28 euros and some a la carte options as well.

The traditional cider meal consisted of:

* cider

1) Bacalau omlette. Bacalau is salt cod, but it’s not as overpoweringly fishy as the Portuguese version which I feared, in fact quite tasty with lots of onions.

* cider

2) Bacalau with peppers. This is almost like fresh cod and the Basque peppers are always special, they have several denomination controlees for the peppers.

* cider

3) The T bone steak. Enormous and rare, cut into chunks with one steak serving two people as plenty.

Sidreria in Hondarribia

* cider

There’s baguette to mop up the juices but by this time you will have noticed that a lot of protein has been served with hardly any vegetables. So the desert is

* cider

4) Cheese. Special sheeps cheese, not Manchego but Idiazábal A smoked unpasteurized sheep’s milk cheese aged 8 months with a strong but subtle flavour from being smoked with hawthorn and cherry wood. Served with quince “cheese” ( a kind of thick fruit paste) and whole walnuts to crack. We were given a nutcracker but apparently some people like to use the traditional method which is to smash the nuts against the table with your bare hands.

* cider

5) coffee

* cider

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One Response to The traditional Basque cider meal

  1. LindaH says:

    txotx 🙂 It was all quite salty as well, ensuring a fine thirst developed!

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