Txoko and Batzoki – so popular, so Basque (I)

13 01 2010

Right, here we have two words that define a very important part of a Basque traditional way of life…

A “txoko” (meaning “corner”) is a gastronomic society,(food is our religion here, remember?) mainly for men. Basque men (not all, but many) love to cook, and they also love to be in company of other men (the consequence of a society traditionally dominated by women). So they like to meet in “txokoak”, that is, a place where they meet for cooking, play cards and sing and talk and…It goes like this: a group of friends buy the premises (usually at street level), found a society, then register a name for it, and then they pay a monthly fee to keep it running. In a txoko you will find an industrial kitchen, a tv, several tables, a fridge, a coffee machine, cards and games, drinks…There´s a list where the members write down the day they want to have the txoko for a dinner or a meal with their friends (guests are welcome, if invited by a member). That day, the member cooks for all and beverages drank are noted down for a later payment. There´s an official accounting but the golden rule is respect and trust. The second golden rule is “no talk on politics or religion”, that is, friendship above all.

A meal in a txoko starts hours before, as the cook wants to make the best meal ever. Money is not important, as neither is time.

Women used to be banned from this meetings. Now, while they still are a “refuge” for members, women enter in txokos as everybody else. But it´s men who cook…




One response

5 02 2010


But Txoko’s legend is a myth, it is plenty of grandmams…
What a whopper!

Un abrazo

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