The txotx is a custom that is carried out following the first contact with the cider inside the kupela; that usually happens on the Friday before 20th January, Saint Sebastian's day. The txotx season at Bereziartua goes on until the end of May. This custom began with cider tasting sessions involving the cider maker and the wholesalers, restaurants, private individuals, gastronomic clubs, etc. Prospective buyers used to turn up at the cider house to sample the various kupelas to choose the cider that they felt was in the best condition to be purchased. Today, it has become a popular gastronomic event in Basque society.
In the traditional cider house menu we include two of the most important products in Basque cuisine: salt cod and the T-bone steak. The menu consists of a salt cod omelette followed by a dish of salt cod with green peppers. After that, the high point in the cider house is the T-bone steak: the pleasure of sharing delicious beef with friends or family. For dessert, we offer cheese accompanied by quince jelly and locally grown walnuts. The custom of eating standing around long tables has changed at Bereziartua, so that our customers can choose to eat either seated or standing and thus keep up the tradition of the old cider houses.
At a cider house the cider kupelas are usually arranged around the dining room, and it is the owner of the cider house who goes around opening the kupelas throughout the evening to the shout of Mojón in olden times, or today the more widespread “Txotx!” After that, anyone who wants to drink a glass of cider heads for the open kupelas taking his or her turn in the queue. The first person to reach the kupela or the owner, in the absence of anyone else, is responsible for turning on the tap and turning it off when everyone has finished filling his or her glass.
Cider should be served cool, but never cold; between 10 and 12 degrees centigrade. It should be served from a certain height, but not too high, into a long, wide, tumbler made of thin glass; this way the txinparta [sparkle] or the bubbles of carbon dioxide are released before going on to burst and quickly disappear. The tumbler should be filled with an amount corresponding to the width of two fingers, and the cider has to be drunk immediately. Only the amount that is to be drunk in one gulp is poured into the tumbler. The cider has to be drunk slowly, but in one gulp, because if it is allowed to stand for too long before being consumed, it will start to lose its qualities. The dimensions of the tumbler cause the evaporation to be greater and that way we can get a better idea of its aroma, which is enhanced by the bubbles of carbon dioxide and the air produced when the cider hits the walls of the tumbler.
SCHEDULE of cider house in TXOTX SEASON:
Monday to Friday: 20:00 - 00:00.
Saturdays: 13:30 - 17:00 and 20:00 - 00:00 (From February Saturdays only opened in January for dinner).
Sundays and holidays, closed.
To organize visits for groups or to go to the cider house at other times, call the telephone number (+34) 943 55 57 98.