La Cidrerie du Fronton: Come taste the "Txotx" in a Basque cider house

Sitting together at large friendly tables , a few meters from huge wooden barrels ... You are in a cider house in the Basque Country , a style of restaurant from the region of Guipúzcoa. In these casks, cider: the sagarnoa or apple wine . Come and enjoy with us this little sweet and festive cider, come fill your glass and enjoy a drink full of know-how and traditions .

Basque cider

The origins of cider in the Basque Country date back to ancient times . This is not a product that can be enjoyed at dessert with pancakes or chocolate. Much less sweet than its Breton counterpart, Basque cider is above all a drink that must be thirst-quenching , as it is what workers consume throughout the day. In Astigarraga, once past the Spanish border and in the mountains of Guipúzcoa , there are plenty of apple trees . The apples used to make Basque cider are tart , fresh and juicy . Once harvested and pressed in the month of September , they are kept in cellars where the natural fermentation is done for several months. In January , cider is ready and traditionally, the buyers of cider and the producers met to feast on the first drops of the cuvée of the year. At that time, we had simple, unique and friendly meals made with cod omelette, meat, sheep's cheese, a few nuts and quince for dessert. This is the " Txotx "! It is the fact of removing the piece of wood (txotx, it is him), which closes the barrel, for this first tasting.

taste Basque cider

It is an art !

The tasting of Basque cider

In the Basque Country, you do not fill your glass of cider up! To appreciate the sagarnoa , it must be allowed to oxygenate and the liquid will crack the bottom of the small flat glass that is used. The large barrel is equipped with a valve and after removing Txotx, cider jet gushes from the tap. You approach your glass from the ground, going up to froth the beverage. With a large and sure gesture of you (I do not promise that you will emerge immaculate!), You then pass the jet to the person behind you. We serve online! During the evening, it is a gesture that you make then several times and the cider will not always have the same taste, the aromas develop, you eat different dishes and the feeling is not the same anymore. That's also the magic of Txotx!

serve Basque cider

We use bottom up, in small quantities

The Cidrerie du Fronton, for a convivial and delicious meal!

If the cider had fallen into disuse in the late 20th century, since the new millennium he returned to the center stage. Apple growers rely on orchards of ancient and ancestral varieties , consumers appreciate (re) discover this traditional product , which is not complex to achieve, but requires expertise.

The cider houses are now open all year , you can come to lunch or dinner with friends, meet new people in a friendly atmosphere because everyone shares the same table.

meal at the pediment cider house

The Cidrerie du Fronton is located in Arbonne , on the village square that has just been redone! Christian offers you a typical menu in an equally characteristic atmosphere ! Sit on the benches, after an aperitif at the bar. On the side of the restaurant, you can see the big casks : that's where the cider is .

As an appetizer, enjoy a delicious fresh cod omelet prepared with care by Christian Decorde and his team. Perfectly cooked, it is garnished with garlic, olive oil, parsley and Espelette pepper. Christian created this establishment about a dozen years ago, and now locals and tourists alike love to come and enjoy its menu.

cod for omelette

Premium cod, desalted at the restaurant and prepared as an omelette

cod omelette Use yourself generously

You'll have just enough time to put ONE LITTLE (not up to the top, we told you) of cider in your glass, while the sumptuous txuleta , (the prime limousine beef rib), is to grill on the barbecue over a wood fire . It will be served with a very generous portion of homemade fries , tasty, melting and crisp at a time. The most reasonable of us add a salad leaf ...

The beef rib is a piece of meat that should be honored with proper cooking. The front of the kitchen is the place where Christian works for this purpose and one understands with his assured gestures, that he is used. It tenderizes the meat , with a mallet that has the effect of softening the fibers and reducing the cooking time: the txuleta cooked homogeneously , neither too much nor too little! He precuts the piece of beef to facilitate the service of the guests.

soften the txuleta

Tender the meat

cut the beef rating

Cut it into pieces

leather ox rating

Cook like a pro!

plate of beef rib cider house of the pediment

Beautiful plates to share

good meal at the cidery of the pediment

Yum, yum !!

Are you still hungry? Here comes the sheep cheese . Beautiful ivory color, cut into fine and long slices, it has a sweet smell and a milky flavor. It refreshes the palate and for more gluttony, you can enjoy it with local cherry jam . Both are perfectly fine. The dessert consists of quince paste and some nuts , with which you will take a glass of cider, do not you?

>> Experience tempts you? During your next visit to Arbonne, I invite you to push the door of the Cidrerie du Fronton for typical Basque culinary experience!

sheep's cheese and jam

Sheep cheese and black cherry jam

christian decorde

Come eat at Christian's place!


Learn more

Did you like our story? Find more on the Facebook page of the Basque Country Guide and follow us on Instagram @guidedupaysbasque

Back to "Party Time"