EPIC BASQUE COUNTRY FEAST!
There we go. Come on baby! A quick little… I’ve never had my hands so far up an animal’s genitals before, but hey. First time for everything Yep. Good morning Euskadi. Buenos días, hello, good morning! It is as close to dawn as we can manage We just woke up after staying in this beautiful, centuries-old farm house What’s on the menu today? Well, on the menu there are many things. But the first thing is that we’re going to learn the basics of making cheese. Our hosts are the champions of cheese making in the region But first, we’ve got to do the most important thing, which is looking the part As you can see, we are wearing a Basque berret known here as a Txapela. A champion cheese maker gets a txapela as a prize. So they’re are called a Txapeldunka. So what we’re going to do today is we’re going to meet up with Eneko. who is the latest generation in this family of cheese makers. We’re going to learn a couple secrets of the trade and then try our own hands at being pastores. at being Basque pastors Right. Well logically, the first step to making cheese is getting milk So do you think you can milk a sheep? You can milk anything with nipples. I’ve got nipples, Greg. Can you milk me? It must be extracted in the most delicate manner. Just the tip. It just shit on my hand! You squeezed so hard you made it poop. Oh my god. That just made my year. That literally is the best thing that’s ever happened while we’re filming. Marko getting pooped on by a sheep and our catching it on camera. Yes. Spiteful much? The best thing that’s ever happened to you is my getting pooped on? I love it. I love it. It’s beautiful. It’s not easy. These nipples are temperamental. This one is ripe. Look at that. The camera So fresh. It’s also very fresh on our camera so you might want to clean it off before the milk turns to yogurt. I will give Alex his victory, but we’re going to move on to something different. Just how in the Scottish Highlands they have Highland games, here in the Basque Highlands, they also have rural sports. So now we’re going to take part in a series of competitions to see who is the best pastor. You’re going down. First up? Wood chopping. Normally this is a speed test. Right now we’re going to try to do this without cutting off our toes. Not as easy as it seems. Typical younger brother thing: older brother starts a job younger brother comes by and finishes it and takes all the credit. For all of you from Mexico or South America, these are called chingas and the people who carry them are called chingadores. Chinga Chingador Ok. Watch your mouth. These things hold 25 liters each. They weigh a lot. This is basically Basque cross-fit. While Mark is getting his cross-fit I might just go upstairs, grab a coffee, eat some cheese. That’s not easy. So these are just a couple of the sports that would have been daily chores. Another job would be to lift on a pulley system a bale of hay up to the top floor. A caserio in Basque is called a Extea and this word of a house……. it’s kind of like the foundation of Basque culture. A lot of Basque, back in the day, would introduce themselves by the family house name. We’ve learned a little bit about the Basque culture of Extea I think we should head down the valley, to Tolosa Aldea OK. Oso ondo! We’ve just arrived in Tolosa, which is the town I used to teach English in. Haven’t been back in about three years To be completely honest when I was teaching here, I was living in San Sebastian so I just commuted to work. I really didn’t do much exploration of the actual town of Tolosa So this will be familiar, yet new for me.. Well the day continues with something that is super typical for the Basque Country called Cesta Punta. You might know it as Jai alai. It’s basically hand ball with a basket. You’ve got to wear a helmet with this. When the ball leaves the net, it goes at 300 kilometers per hour. That’s why it’s called the fastest ball sport in the world Hi. How are you? I’m good. Marko. Fernando. Let’s just say that hand- eye coordination is not my strongest attribute. I’m on a roll. Now catch it. It’s your turn, Brother. Mark had the advantage of when he was learning, there were only two people here. And now I have an audience. Alex also the advantage he’s enjoyed his whole life as the younger brother, which is to watch his older brother fail, learn from his mistakes, and pretend he’s a natural. You gotta take him down, Rocky. He’s limping on the left. You gotta come in hard and quick, Rocky. Usually in sports you give a fist bump. I don’t know. Cheers. Boom. Boom. Well, we just learned how to do Jai Alai. Thoughts, Bro? It’s super fast. It’s not very natural. You do have to let your whole wrist be like this. Your arm is loose like spaghetti, and you just flop it over like that. Feeling like we worked up a little bit of an appetite, no, Bro? Basically, we’re going to let the kids take over, and we’re going to go do my favorite thing in the world, which is to eat in a Basque cider house. We’ll show you more when we get there. I’m so happy because we are at a Basque cider house. This is my favorite thing to do in the world. No lie. If I had one last meal on earth, it would be at a cider house. I’m so ready. The Basque Country is a place that grows apples. They’ve always been cider drinking people. People would bring their apples here after the harvest. They’d ferment them into a cider. In the winter and the spring, people come here to try the newest batch of cider. Traditionally, you’d bring your own food here, but now they come with a 5 course meal, and basically you drink all the cider you want. This is the Txotx. It’s like a big toothpick….. almost like a cork for the barrel. When they yell, “Txotx,” you’d better get your butt into the cider house because that’s when all the cider comes out. Everybody lines up, fills up their glass, drinks one or two, and you go back,eat the course of the meal. There are 5 courses, and in between every course, Txotx! You get another fill. First course: Anchovies. Second course: Codfish Omelette Bacalao Txotx One of my favorite things about the cider house is everything. Each time you go and do a Txotx, you come back and there’s a new plate of food. Third Course: Codfish With Green Peppers The main course: Basque steak called Txuleta Fat, thick, salty, bloody. Bloody good. Dessert: It is cheese, walnuts, and membrillo (quince paste). Oh my god. I need some air. [Spanish] Txotx. Ok. Happy, Marko? Marko is super stoked. Today has been an amazing day full of authentic Basque experiences. I could not be happier. And a belly full of authentic Basque cuisine and cider. Tomorrow is going to be amazing. We’re waking up super early and climbing a mountain, and then eating at one of the best restaurants in the Basque Country. So stay tuned for that. And in the meantime, if you like the video, give it a thumbs-up, share it with your friends, and subscribe to Vagabrothers for travel videos from all around the world every week And remember, stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road. Agur.