Asturian food and drink

More on cuisine
Further pages will appear here

Asturias certainly has its own collection of unique and speciality cuisine including seafood, stews, cheeses and drinks. Below we offer some examples of the culinary treats the region has in store for its visitors. Different dishes originate from different municipalities of the region.

Food dishes from starters to desserts

Main dishes

Fabada

This is a traditional stew with the primary ingredients of large white beans which have usually been dried and are soaked overnight. These are then stewed with shoulder of pork, chorizo, blood sausage and saffron to produce the finished meal. Fabada is not to every ones taste.

Caldereta

This is the Asturian variation (in name at least) for a fish stew. In keeping with similar fish stews in Galicia and other northern Spanish regions it can be prepared with any number and variety of different fish and crustaceans. Onions, peppers and cayenne pepper are also usually added to bring the flavour out.

Cachopo

This dish has two thin cuts of meat (usually pork) which are coated with bread crumbs and fried. Between the slices of meat are placed ham, cheese and asparagus.

Borrachinos

These are made by combining dried bread crumbs with egg, milk and sugar and then frying the mixture.

Chosco

This is a local speciality which many English speakers may be less than enthusiastic about trying. Chosco is the tongue and loin of a pig which is first marinated and then smoked in the intestine of a pig.

Cheese

For information about cheeses that are made in, and famous for their origin from, Asturias refer to this Asturian cheese page for further details.

Desserts

Arroz con leche

Literally rice with milk, or rice pudding made with locally farmed milk and burnt sugar.

Casadielles

This dessert is a cake made with the flavourings of walnut and aniseed (the later of which is popular in many Spanish desserts).

The traditional drink

Sidra

Sidra is a unique to Asturias variation on the theme of cider. The province is full of orchards and many specialise in apple growing for use in this unusual and “still” (non carbonated) version of cider. It is a real Asturian speciality and one which every visitor to this region should try to experience.

The apples used in the making of Sidra are small and green and have little appeal as "eaters". They are fermented quickly to produce the low alcoholic sidra and then bottled in (traditionally) green bottles amiss of any labels or branding.

The interesting aspect of sidra is not in its production, but in the manner in which it is served and drunk. Specialist bars known as “sidrerias” sell sidra, usually by the bottle from as little as 2 or 3 euros per litre and they then dispense the non fizzy drink into the waiting customer’s glass - and it is the manner in which they do this that makes drinking sidra unique.

The bottles, which are loosely corked and often secured with string, are held at shoulder height or beyond and a stream of sidra is then poured into the waiting glass which is angled as close to the horizontal as possible. The better the bar and the barman, the greater the distance between the bottle and the glass, but beware, spilling significant quantities of this drink is expected and accepted, even if much of it finds it way onto a customers shoes.

Once poured the sidra is infused with bubbles and should be downed with immediate effect and, preferably, without breaking for breath. Sidra is never left to stand. Because the Sidra is of a very low alcoholic content (typically less than 4 percent), drinkers a rarely left the worst for wear.

Other regions of Spain, and particularly the Basque Country, also drink this non fizzy version of fermented apple juice, but it is generally regarded as orginating in Asturias where you will find a museum dedicated to it in the town of Nava near Oviedo.

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