The Cantabrian Antxoa

The antxoa is one of the blue fish par excellence. An extremely grateful product that allows you to work it in every way imaginable. Fried, papillote, battered or marinated, smoked and in vinaigrette, there are those who steam or grill them… In the end, you decide how far you want to get in the kitchen!

The anchovy or anchovy, of the family of the “Engraulidae”, reaches its moment of maximum splendor in the months of March to June. It’s easy to find them in fishmongers and market stalls and we get crazy”Put me half a mile! that tonight the fried ceno.” Rich in fatty acids and omega-3s help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, they are also rich in vitamins B,D and E. What more can you ask for?

We find references to the use of anchovies throughout history and cultures. The Phoenicians began with the salting of this fish and the Greeks expanded this food throughout Europe. In Eastern cultures such as China or Vietnamese they make fish sauces, in Japan traditional dishes and in the westernmost countries we use them as ingredients of some pizza and even olive filling. Anchovy is global in all its aspects.

And here in the north, we usually eat them fried, in vinaigrette or brine, with a piece of bread and a nice glass of txacolí. Come on, get another ration! And let us not forget one of the best pintxos that humanity has been able to create; The Gilda.

In particular we are very fans of the antxoas that Bea prepares in the Basaras tavern in the Old Town of Bilbao, tasty and delicate with a puntita of Riojan joy and well bound in oil are the final colophon at the end of the day.
anchovy albarada tavern basaras baster bilbao

Basaras Tavern

We finish the post with a simple and easy-to-make recipe for you to come upstairs.

15 grams salt
1 water deciliter
1/2 litre apple cider vinegar
fresh anchovies (ours are from the Ribera market)
2 garlic
whole cayenne pepper.

To perform the classic marinade: Put the water and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and once the water is warm mix with apple cider vinegar.

Clean the anchovies (remove guts, head and spine) pass them a splash of cold water and spread them into a well-ordered fountain with the skin down. Completely cover the antxoas with the marinade and let them macerate in the refrigerator for about an hour. After the time has elapsed, drain the liquid from the antxoas well and turn them over.

Put a frying pan on the heat with plenty of olive oil, pull a couple of chopped garlic cloves and a cayenne pepper. Let the oil cool and add the parsley, then bathe the anchovies with the refried and ready to serve! Mmm….

Vermouth “is back”
2 March, 2016Sa comment

Fashions come and go, and with the Vermouth the same thing has happened. Leaving, I don’t remember him leaving… but it is true that we now have a “boom” in the market and we can enjoy much more variety: bitters, sweets, citrus… As many flavors and nuances as different combinations of macerated herbs are used in their manufacture. It’s not like before, we only knew one, a famous Italian vermouth. And there is so much vermouth fever that we can find a wide variety of gadgets related to this world. From kits to create your own homemade vermouth, shirts inspired by the vermouths of BCN’s mythical Poble Sec neighborhood or books where they explain in more detail the theory and history of this drink with a touch of humor.


According to tradition, vermouth is a tonic and aperitive drink that is prepared with:



herbs, spices, flowers, roots, as varied bark


distilled alcohol

It also tells history that the modern vermouth was invented in a liqueur in Turin in 1786. We say the modern thing because there used to be similar drinks, and it was done by a 22-year-old named Antonio Benedetto Carpano. The last name may ring a bell, as there is a vermouth with this same name.


At Baster we bet on this distilled drink, we have a varied and quality vermouth menu designed to offer you ….


Rofes: Possibly one of Reus’s first vermouths. Herbaceous and with a touch of mistela.

Nordesia: Galician made from grapes and plants from the area such as salicornia, which is a maritime plant, or lied to it. It has the color of a must, since no caramel is used in its elaboration.

Atxa: It is a vermouth of Amurrio and our representative in Baster. Although best known for their patxaran, at Atxa they produce a soft and light vermouth, although perhaps with a more persistent bitterness than in other brands

Mariol: It is made in Batea (Tarragona) according to Grandpa’s recipe. The color, the brand says, is due to the green walnuts that are part of this
vermouth with a flavor reminiscent of Reus vermouths.

Arlini: From Murcia, they have made a commemorative label for Bilbao very retro. He’s the sweetest of the ones we have in Baster.

Yzaguirre: Although the name may seem to be from our land, it is the oldest vermouth of Reus, however, the provenance of its founder is Basque-French. It’s the best-selling vermouth in Baster and we serve it from tap. It has a fairly marked touches of cinnamon.


Yzaguirre: Fresh and sweet but not for sugar but for the least amount of bitter substances. We easily distinguish vanilla and like your red brother, cinnamon

Nordesia: In this case as in red, they give a lot of importance to the wine and the grape, it is made with 100% Albariño grape that gives it floral and fruity aromas. It is a very light vermouth and easy to take.

And we also have prepared vermouth that we do with:


– 6/10 red vermouth Izaguirre

– 2/10 …………………

– 1/10 …………………..

– 1/10 Orange Juice

– 2 …………………….

I’m sorry, we didn’t remember the recipe…. If you want to try it, come to Baster and let yourself be advised by our team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *