In July this year, the town of Boise (Idaho, USA) held the “Jaialdi Basque Festival”, an important meeting organised every five years by the Basques who emigrated decades ago and their descendants. Its aim is to preserve and spread the Basque culture in the United States, and within this Festival they also organise the most important cider competition in the world.
Companies from the Basque food industry are invited to the event, to publicise their products. In this year, Bereziartua cider has participated for the first time in the competition for cider at Michigan and has been awarded first prize in the category of natural cider.
The United States has an important cider culture, although it tends to be of the carbonated type and with a lot of sugar, more like the ciders from England and Ireland, and actually more like beer than the cider of the Basque Country and Asturias, or what we call natural cider. The world of cider is experiencing a “revolution” and an evolution, with the development of new products and formats, gluten-free ciders, and exportation; and within these changes, we see that the Basque and Asturian natural cider is a type of cider that is very much liked in other parts of the world – but only when they discover it, of course.
Bereziartua has been exporting both to the United States and also to France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and England for a number of years. To make the cider they use more than 60 varieties of apple and produce about one million litres a year, being a fourth-generation family business. Their product is highly valued because it is very well-balanced: it is fruity, with an intense flavour and is easy to drink. They also have gourmet cider and a cider with the Eusko Label, which is a hallmark of quality with high standards of product traceability, and limits the apple varieties to 16 native types.
In addition to the first prize in the competition in the United States, Bereziartua cider has won the Golden Apple award in the most important European championship, held in Frankfurt, Germany.
Natural cider is obtained from the apple by natural fermentation methods, preserving the healthy properties of the apple (in fact, the fearsome Basque sailors did not suffer the famous disease of scurvy because they drank a lot of cider), containing antioxidants and being a low-alcohol drink which is ideal to accompany any kind of food and the traditional Basque dessert consisting of cured cheese, quince jelly and walnuts.
From All About Food mag.com we want to congratulate Bereziartua cider and all those SMEs in the food industry that continue to maintain local products of high quality and to make them known in other parts of the world. We are sure that once people try the cider, they will also want to start buying it too (although we hope that they won’t “keep it all for themselves”…).