Art in motion – pouring cider in Asturias

One of the first things any visitor to the principality of Asturias in northern Spain will notice is the abundance of so-called sidrerias. These are restaurants or cafés where food is served but it’s the cider that takes centre stage. The second thing visitors will notice is the extraordinary way cider is poured at the table. The act of pouring cider in Asturias is a true art form. To pour cider the traditional Asturian way, hold the bottle high above your head with one hand and the glass in your other hand near your knees – try to get the maximum distance between the two. Then start pouring!

The reason cider is poured this way is to create a foamy layer as well as to release the aromas in the cider. Once the cider is poured, the glass must be emptied in one go to fully appreciate the flavour and the aromas. Bottoms up! 🙂

Tierra Astur

The Asturians take this art form very seriously and are more than happy to teach visitors how it’s done. No worries if you spill the cider; the floors of sidrerias are littered with sawdust which help to mop up the spilled cider. At the famous Tierra Astur sidreria in Oviedo, cider is ‘shot’ into the glass straight from the barrel.

Sidreria Tierra Astur in Oviedo

Cider is 'shot' into the glasses straight from the barrel

And if you visit Tierra Astur, you have to try the favada (Asturian stew with white beans and a variety of sausages, chorizo and black pudding) and/or the mixed grill!

Favada

The mixed grill at Tierra Astur!

The cider-pouring champion of Asturias

It was an honour to witness the cider-pouring champion of Asturias, Felix de la Fuente, at work and serve us cider. Note the solemn look on his face. Cider-pouring is truly an art form in Asturias and it was a delight to watch the champion demonstrate his skill: pure art in motion!

The champion of Asturias at work

Art in motion!

Note: my trip to Asturias was part of a blog trip organised by the Tourism Board of Asturias and Tourism Spain.

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17 Responses to “Art in motion – pouring cider in Asturias”

  1. Jeremy 09/08/2011 2:29 am
    #

    Now that’s a skill! Gonna have to start drinking more cider now!

  2. velvet 27/05/2011 2:58 pm
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    Hi Claudia,
    Yup, you mean ‘teh-tarik’ in Malaysia. One of my fave beverages there. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Keith

  3. Claudia 27/05/2011 12:35 pm
    #

    Great article and pictures. Reminds me of similar technique used for tea in Malaysia. I will definitely put this in a bucket list. Truly enjoy your work.

  4. Katy Stewart 15/05/2011 5:04 pm
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    Great post, this makes me miss my adopted city (Oviedo) so much! I lived there for 5 months, was a regular at Tierra Astur (and the entire calle Gascona!) and grew to love the ‘rustic’ taste of the cider. I love it when people discover the joys of Asturias, because it is a place full of so many happy memories for me.

  5. velvet 03/05/2011 3:48 pm
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    Excellent advice Juan!

    Hugs back,
    Keith 🙂

  6. Juan Otero 03/05/2011 1:13 pm
    #

    I Think the best way to learn is to visit Asturias …..

    An interesting post

    A big huge
    Juan

  7. AirTreks Nico 30/04/2011 1:34 am
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    So cool. I bet those guys are so skilled at this they rarely spill a drop. And yes, now I’m craving some frothy sweet apple cider. Time to go mess up my kitchen.

  8. velvet 28/04/2011 2:31 pm
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    A huge thank you to NatGeo Traveler for featuring this post! Yay! :-)))

  9. Debbie Beardsley 27/04/2011 5:22 pm
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    This sounds like a really fun experience! I love this type of thing.. . unique drink pared with good food in a very fun atmosphere. Thanks for sharing.

  10. velvet 26/04/2011 4:16 pm
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    Haha! That’s a great story Cat! Well, start practising. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Keith

  11. Cat 26/04/2011 3:56 pm
    #

    My mother-in-law (in strictly Spanish terms, of course) told me I must master this trick before officially marrying her son. She’s Asturian, and the most fiercely Asturian woman I know! Gorgeous photos – took me back to my last trip up North!

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