With cider, 'sagardoa' in Basque (the fusion of 'sagar', meaning apple, and 'ardo', meaning wine, which together can be translated as apple wine) at the centre of the celebration,
the villages surrounding San Sebastian receive thousands of people who, from late January until the end of April, visit the specialised cider houses, called ‘sagardotegis’, that make and bottle cider.
Sidrería en Euskadi | Foto: Turismo San Sebastián
It is a true gastronomic festival that pays homage to the land, but also to the coast. Cider is connected to the mountains of the region that surrounds San Sebastian, but also to the sea: the Basque whalers, known for their bravery for sailing the Atlantic to Terranova, treasured cider in their boats and some argue that it was the element that prevented them from suffering from diseases such as scurvy, generating that image of indestructible Basque fishermen.
Nowadays, in traditional cider houses you can still eat standing up, but most of them now offer the possibility of sitting at the long wooden tables and on benches.
At the call of “Txotx”, diners stand up and approach the so-called 'kupelak', barrels containing litres and litres of cider. They get there with their glass and they serve themselves directly from the barrels. It is the traditional way to taste the different ciders, which will then mature in bottles.
The menu, not very adapted to vegetarians, is always similar: cod omelette, chorizo cooked in cider, fried cod with green peppers and porterhouse steak with potatoes. For dessert, Idiazábal cheese, walnuts and quince jam.
For those attending the WFCP 2020, even if the congress does not coincide with the cider season, many of the cider houses remain open during the month of October. Come and taste our wonderful cider!
Would you like to join the WFCP 2020 World Congress? Registration process here.
Do you want to know more about WFCP 2020 World Congress? Subscribe to our newsletter.