San Sebastian’s BEST cider house | A Real Basque Country feast!
Hi guys it’s James Blick here. Now I’m in San Sebastian, a town in the Basque Country, a region in the north of Spain, right on the Bay of Biscay. A beautiful town. And the drink that the locals drink as well as wine and beer is cider. They’ve been making cider for centuries. And a true local tradition from January to April is to head to the towns around San Sebastian and go to cider houses. Now these are the places where the cider is made and what it means it means drinking freshly fermented cider from massive barrels, eating incredible food, big steaks and things like that, and having a whale of a time. So tonight with a couple of friends, couple of colleagues from Devour Tours, we’re going to have the true Basque cider house experience. You guys hungry? Before the first course we need a drink. And if you want a glass of cider at a Basque cider house you have to head for the barrel room. And drink directly from the barrel. This stuff is is almost a acerbic. It’s bitter, it’s refreshing, it it hasn’t got all those bubbles. It’s just aerated a little bit by when the cider hits the back of your glass. And one of the beautiful things about this cider is it just begs to go with food. First course chorizo and morcilla – blood sausage. We’re starting a little light because there’s a lot to come including the big slabs of T-bone steaks it’ll be grilled on that grill right behind me. It’s all you can drink cider and I’m told the tradition is to drink small amounts but regularly. This is getting dangerous. It’s perfect! Creamy on the inside but it’s got the sweetness of the slightly caramelized onions. There’s the slightly saltiness of the salt cod. Ok more cider. As the man said:a little bit and often. What I love about salt on is that it’s not like normal fresh fish. You know obviously it’s been it’s been salted and dried. It’s meaty, it’s delicious and and here in the Basque Country they love it. It’s so important to the cuisine. Once again, back for more cider. These cows are about 6 or 7 years old when they’re when they’re killed. And that means they have a lot of fat inside the meat. Because he said the fat around the meat does nothing. It’s the fat inside the meat that gives it all the flavor. I feel weak at the knees. You get the hit of salt, it’s charred on the outside, it’s raw but warm on the inside. It is really really good. And as is the tradition when you’re eating communally we’ve made friends with a group of guys alongside us. A huge basket of walnuts which we’re going to be cracking. Idiazábal cheese which is a smoked sheeps cheese that’s typical to the region. Nuts, cheese and a marmalade. You know what? That’s my kind of dessert. I sense what is coming from these boys behind me is a txotx. Now when somebody calls txotx that means you’ve gotta head to the barrels. Here we are with our new friends Ricardo, Manuel, Javier. ¿Y que vamos a decir a la gente chicos? ¡Txotx!