This article was translated by John R. Bopp

 

The  Black Twig Cider House has just opened its doors in Durham, North Carolina.  Now talking about cider in the US is no strange thing since it is a country of apples and cider; there’s a reason one of its national heroes is Johnny Appleseed.  What’s more interesting is to see how over the years we’ve accumulated references about the country’s interest for Basque cider, and for its ciderhouses and traditions.

We can see this now in the opening of this cider house.  It’s not a Basque cider house—it  doesn’t offer the traditional Basque cider house menu.  But its partners have “imported” the tradition of Txotx to help create a sense of ambience and community inside.

Matthew Beason, one of the partners of the Black Twig Cider House in North Carolina, and a frequent visitor to Basque cider houses.
Matthew Beason, one of the partners of the Black Twig Cider House in North Carolina, and a frequent visitor to Basque cider houses.

Here’s how they explain it in an article published in FsR Magazine.

“To create the communal feel inherent in a cider house, Black Twig features a traditional txotx – a Spanish cider barrel – where patrons gather around the cider barrel to sample the featured cider…. Black Twig’s txotx is a traditional nod to the unique aspect of cider culture camaraderie.

“Beason discovered his passion for cider while traveling through Spain’s Basque region 10 years ago.  ‘As soon as I experienced their incredible ciders, the rituals, and the communal aspect around the txotx, I knew I wanted to make it part of the Durham community.’ “

Someone ought to explain to the journalist that cider is enjoyed this way throughout the Basque Country, both on the French side and on the Spanish, just like the barrels that contain the cider.  This journalist could start, for example, by reading this article in the  Yorkshire Post.

Txotx is something that’s generating a lot of interest in the US, and in general to all visitors to cider houses.  It’s interesting to see how a custom that’s barely 50 years old has become a tradition and an authentic identity marker—it’s something that shows that Basque society and culture are very much alive.  Traditions are only created in societies that have enough strength to continue creating their culture.  The Etruscans and the Iberians haven’t created culture in over 2,000 years.
Our readers can find an interview with Matthew Beason on the Euskalkultura website.

FsR Magazine -4/4/2016 – USA

Black Twig Cider House Opens in Durham

Partners Mattie Beason and John Eisensmith celebrate the opening of Black Twig Cider House in Durham, North Carolina. Black Twig is a cider-focused restaurant featuring what they believe is the largest variety of cider in the Southeast and possibly the only restaurant in the U.S. to feature a txotx.

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Fotografía de la pared con el texto Txotx: The News & Observer 

 

 

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