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Sea Bream and Cider Festival to kick-start month of June in Tolosa

Tolosa Turismo

June is one of the most active months in Tolosa, coinciding with the celebration of the patron saint festivities of San Juan. But the festive atmosphere will begin from the first day of the month, with the Sea Bream and Cider Festival.

It is a festival that combines these two genres that are apparently difficult to combine. And we say apparently because, although it isn´t very common, it is possible to pair fish and cider.

300 sea breams and all the ciders of the province

A few weeks after hosting the HARAGI festival and after the opening dinner which will take place in the Txinparta society on Friday 31 May, the Tinglado Marketplace will once again become a great dining room on 1 and 2 June.

Grill chefs from the Xixario and Katxiña grill houses will grill 300 Orio-style sea breams, and serve them along with anchovies, asparagus, tomato and bonito salad, and the strange dessert, Bixigoxom which is shaped like the star product of the festival.

The Tinglado Marketplace will also be the cathedral of cider over these two days. The Cider Txoko area will be installed there, a space where it will be possible to sample tapas along with all the ciders from the province of Tolosaldea– Aburuza, Begiristain, Eguzkitza, Isastegi, Goikoetxea, Sarasola, Zabala and Zalbide–, as well as that of Irigoien-Herrero.

This space will be open to the public from 11:30 to 14:30 and from 19:00 to 21:30 on Saturday, and during the morning on Sunday.

Old cider houses of Tolosa

However, that isn´t everything relating to cider. Over the weekend there will be special guided visits through the old cider houses located in the old quarter of Tolosa. A route to discover the cider making tradition of the town, where there were once 40 cider houses!

Atodo, Begiristain, Otegi, Ibiaga, Aranbururena, Usandizagarena, Txaparro… These are some of the names of these cider houses. Indeed, Txaparro is the only one that remains intact, despite being closed since 1971. Located in a back patio on Calle Letxuga, it is one of the treasures of the town´s recent history. A txoko (space for eating and drinking) with history and stories.

It was customary to meet during the break in the middle of the working day to have lunch and drink cider from its kupelas (barrels). Back then, there was no txotx (cider season), and each drink was chalked up on a barrel. Some people would even play a round of toka (game that involves throwing pebbles at a target) in order to decide who had to pay for the round.

The guided visit will explore all the locations of some of those cider houses and reveal all the almost unknown stories. On Saturday, the visit will be carried out in Spanish and French, while on Sunday it will be in Basque and English. The ticket for the visit, priced at 5 Euros, includes a cider and aged sardine omelette tasting in the Orbela bar, the former location of the Begiristain cider house.

Where to buy tickets

Tickets for all the lunches and dinners can be booked at the Tolosaldea Tour tourism office, by calling 943 697 413 or by writing an email to tour@tolosaldea.eus. On 1 June there will be two sessions, at 14:00 and at 21:00, while on Sunday there will only be one sitting.

Program:

31 May, Friday:

20:30 - Txinparta Society. Dinner paired with different ciders (€27)

1 June, Saturday:

11:30 - Guided visit and tasting: The history of the cider houses of the streets of Tolosa (€5)
11:30 - 14:30 and 19:00 - 21:30 - Tinglado Marketplace: Ciders of Tolosaldea and tapas at the “Cider Txoko”
14:00 - Tinglado Marketplace. Sea Bream Festival Lunch (€55)
19:30 - Tinglado Marketplace. Bertsolaris (Basque poet-singers), tasting livened up with a performance.
21:00 - Tinglado Marketplace. Sea Bream Festival Dinner (€55)

2 June, Sunday

11:30 - Guided visit and tasting: The history of the cider houses of the streets of Tolosa (€5)
11:30-14:30 - Tinglado Marketplace. Ciders of Tolosaldea and tapas at the “Cider Txoko”
14:00 - Tinglado Marketplace. Sea Bream Festival Lunch (€55)

Sea Bream Menu (55 Euros)

  • Salted anchovies
  • Tomato and bonito salad
  • Navarre Asparagus
  • Grilled sea bream
  • “Bixigoxo” Dessert by Gozona
  • Drinks: Heras Cordon (crianza aged wine), Gaintza (txakolí sparkling wine), Insalus (water), Irigoien- Herrero (cider) and all the ciders of Tolosaldea and Zabala (coffee).

Dinner paired with drink with cider (27 Euros)

  • Navarre Asparagus
  • Anchovies
  • Ajoarriero cod (cooked with garlic and oil) with egg cooked at a low temperature
  • Head of loin
  • Dessert created by Gorrotxategi
  • *Each dish will be served with cider or a substitute

Tickets for the lunches, dinners and guided visits: Tolosaldea Tour - 943 69 74 13 - tour@tolosaldea.eus

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