This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Suzanne Henricksen is the heart and soul of The Crafty Cask, a website about beverages that has dedicated a series of entries to the world of cider. The last one introduces her readers to the qualities and features of Basque cider.
She also goes on to explain the history of cider in the Basque Country, and how deep-rooted it is. It would seem that there are people who think only they have any right to claim cider as their own. Well, as Ms. Henricksen points out, cider has been part of the Basque life for many centuries, and has played an important role in the country’s development. It’s even a key reason why Basque sailors were able to travel so far afield, making the North Atlantic their own.
It’s clear that the author of this article loves Basque cider, as well as the ambiance of Basque cider houses. You can tell throughout the article, as she gives thorough coverage to all its features, and, we’re sure, leaving many of her readers with the desire not only to try it, but to enjoy it “live” at a cider house. While of course it’s true that it’s best if they come, there are several places in different parts of the US where one can experience the Basque cider house style, adapted to local tastes, including Portland, New York, North Carolina, Atlanta, and the traditional Txikifest in New York.
It’s an extraordinary article, but we would like to point out two things:
One is that in the Basque Country north of the Pyrenees, what she calls “France”, cider is also made, and Basque cider houses can be found.
The second we’re going to leave to an apple producer from the Northern Basque Country who, in 2012, talked with a journalist from the Yorkshire Post who was writing about cider. Among other things, the article talks of the transferring of the Pantxoa Daguerre apples from the area around Ainhoa, just north of the border between the Northern and Southern Basque Country, to the Oyarbide Cider House in Astigarraga, where they end up in their kupelas. The apple producer made sure to point out to the journalist that when crossing the Pyrenees, it was “Not Spain, it’s Basque”.
We hope she’ll come back soon and write more about our beverages. There’s a very long list of high-quality wines. She hasn’t yet tried txakolí, or the wines of Navarre, including Iruloeguy, nor the fantastic wines of the Rioja Alavesa. This is her home!
The Crafty Cask -24/10/2019 – USA
Basque Cider: Culture, History & Deliciousness In A Glass
Those of you who have been following our ongoing cider series know that I fell hard for this wonderful fermented apple drink back in San Sebastían, Spain in 2001. It’s been a roller-coaster romance of deliciousness since that very first sip of Basque cider. I feel fortunate that my introduction to cider just happened to be at an amazing cider house (Sagardotegi, if you will) brimming with rich tradition and culture. What a first experience!