Good morning everyone! How is it going today? Are you having a nice week? I hope you are enjoying the spring season as much as we are doing here in Spain. We’ve just had two days off and my family and I decided to spend them in the Basque Country.
As we do every year, we went to Tolosa (Guipuzcua) to visit my family and to have “the cider house experience” once again. We just love it because it’s so much fun. You’ll see now what I am talking about!
My aunt booked us a table to have dinner at Sarasola cider house. If you want to get the authentic, genuine experience I highly recommend that you go to this cider house. It was amazing to get mixed with the basque culture once again.
It is very well located around 10-15 minutes away from Tolosa. We got there by taxi although during the busy season there are also buses available, which is very useful given you are, most probably, gonna be drinking more cider than you should haha.
First things first: the Cider.
For those who don’t know how this “cider experience” works, don’t worry: I’m gonna explain it to you. The most important thing you need to know is how you are gonna get your cider.
At your table you will find an empty glass but no bottle. Why? Because you will need to get up and fill your glass with the cider kept in the different barrels called kupelas, just as you can see in the picture above.
You’ll hear the word “txotx” and that’s when you have to follow everybody because one of the barrels is about to get open. After that you must drink the cider straight and more importantly, comment with the people around you how good it is. That’s crucial! Remember this!
A light starter
Going on with useful advice, I will leave you here some more wise words:”When in Rome, do as romas do”. Meaning that even if you feel the size of the menu is unbelievably huge you will still have to eat as if you hadn’t notice. Just pretend is nothing! haha. It’s just the way is done up there.
To start off with this light menu, what’s best than a very light, colesterol-free starter: Chorizo and warm/fresh bread. Yummiiii! I have to say that although I think it’s crazy to consider this just a started it was juicy and delicious. Good start Sarasola!
And even better with a bit of cider: “Txotx!”
The most basque omelette: Cod Omelette
This is such a traditional dish in the basque country and I have to say only them know how to cook this because it’s so difficult to get the point of the eggs. However, it is incredibly tasty so eat as much as you can because it will not last long.
It’s simply made out of eggs and cod and not much more. Simple but great! And big! That’s always a must! Otherwise it wouldn’t be basque. haha.
Everyone loooooves the Cod Omelette. Well, everyone but my father who hates cod. Consequently, he got this tiny sardine omelette which looks much more like scramble eggs. It was a bit salty but good as well. Sometimes you have to spoil your costumers haha.
As cod and sardines are always a bit salty, you’ll sure need something to drink so…“Txotx!”
We just can’t get enough
Just in case it wasn’t enough Cod, after the omelette it always comes the real cod, the pan-fried cod, the good cod.
It’s combined with peppers, sometimes just green pepper but at Sarasola you’ll get it with bot red adnd green pepper and also onion. So much better this way! I just love the strong taste and the texture of Cod. I’d say it’s one of my favourite fishes.
Come on…you know what comes know right? Yes: “Txotx”
The redder the betther
It’s not that I’ve been lying to you. I mean it’s not that the rest of the food was not important but..this! This is the main issue here. You must focus on this next dish because you won’t find anything like it anywhere else.
It’s just amazing how this medium done steak or chop called “txuleta” can make you enjoy meat. At least in my case, I don’t usually eat meat, not like this at least but whenever I go to the Basque Country I make an exception because oh God! This is meat heaven, taste heaven! It’s just perfection. Crispy on the surface, juicy and raw on the inside.
We all just loved it, and by all I mean men and me because women on the table prefered the well done version of it. A sacrilege in my opinion but..well. Their choice. I just like it raw and fresh! HA HA HA
And….of course after so much food we needed nothing else but…“txotx”!
It’s pretty obvious that after so much food we shouldn’t have a yummi dessert full of sugar. I mean: Come on! We are healthier than that! haha.
Yes, yes, yes, I was just joking! haha I mean: it’s not a cake but…not precisely light right? haha. Strong cheese full of flavor with organic wallsnuts sound like the perfect desser after such a huge meal right? Well, actually it is! You may or may not regret the next day but still…nice!
The next day
Speaking of the devil, next days started and I gotta say it was a fresh start. Mostly without hangover and with a shining sun up in the sky. Almost perfect if it wasn’t for the fact that it was 1st of May and it was freaking cold haha. But nice anyway!
As it was a bank holiday for everyone, we decided to do something different and what is more different for a Monday morning than getting out of the country?haha. Yes, we went to France. More specifically to Sare or Sara, a quiant little village next to the border.
We all love the place but I mean, of course, it had to be beautiful because everything with such a name is. Right? Although we didn’t get to see much because appearantly French people take Work’s day very seriously and everything was shut down but still we got to buy a delicious cake so…success!
Oh! And we also found the way to make a fool of ourselves thanks to this funny board haha. So so basque! Tough people, you know!
Pulling robbes and lifting rocks is very very exhausting as you might know so we needed a little bit of energy. Consequently, we headed back to Tolosa for a good lunch. The Chef was my uncle and he did a pretty good job!
A fresh salad and a good paella to balance out the excess of meat from the previous day at the cider house. It was just what we needed!
Well guys, I think that was more than enough food for this post. Wasn’t it? I mean I am sure I will be hungry again sometime soon but for know I think I am gonna finish this post.
I hope you guys enjoyed getting to know a little bit about our culture, specially basque culture and how they rock it up there haha. I think they are pretty cool people and if you still don’t know the area you definitely should pay them a visit. For me, one of the most magical places in Spain.
Thanks a lot and see you soon in my next post. Byeee!