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! 🙂
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.
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!
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!