Spanish Food and Cooking is steeped in richness and diversity. The gastronomy varies by region dramatically and the green Coast is a must for gourmet travellers. The Atlantic region, in the north of Spain, stands out with its specialties consisting of sauces and fish dishes. Asturias, concretely, offers diversity in a cuisine that blends “sea and mountain”, with top-quality ingredients, including beef, fish and cheeses.
Traditionally, Asturians are farmers, shepherds, and fishermen. There are plenty of Michelin starred restaurants, like Casa Marcial in Arriondas or Auga in Gijón, among others, but there are also endless quaint local restaurants along the coast, serving phenomenal, fresh seafood. A mix of tradition, history, innovation and excellent raw materials have defined gastronomy as one of the keynotes of the Asturias’s tourist offer.
1 – Fabada: This hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day. Fabada is the typical asturian bean stew and its main ingredients are white butter beans (fabes), spicy sausage (chorizo), black pudding (morcilla) and a chunk of salty pork belly. Certainly, fabada is a hot and heavy dish, but still delicious.
2 – Cachopo: This carnivore’s dream is basically made with some slices of ham and cheese placed between two thin beef fillets, all coated in bread crumbs and fried up into a gooey, meaty plateful. The cachopo is eaten battered and hot, reason why the cheese of the interior usually appears molten and its garnish is usually fried potatoes and piquillo peppers. It is usually huge, so better to share 😉
3 – Chipirones: Chipirones are baby squid or cuttlefish and they have become one of the star dishes of the asturian gastronomy. This delicious dish, typical of Asturias, can be enjoyed in many sidrerías of the region, “a la plancha” or “afogaos”.
4 – Cheeses: From mild to robust, blue, soft, hard pressed, pressed cooked… Asturias loves cheeses. Cabrales is perhaps the most famous asturian cheese, which is generally delicious and strong tasting. ‘Afuega’l Pitu’ is one of the oldest Spanish cheeses and it is produced from cow’s full fat milk. Gamoneu cheese is one of the local favorites. It’s a handcrafted cheese made in the valleys of the region of Onis from cow’s milk, goat and sheep following the ancient pastoral traditions of the Picos de Europa. Other cheeses that you have to try are: La Peral, Los Beyos, Casín or Vidiago.
5 – Arroz con leche: This refreshing dish of cold rice pudding, sprinkled with cinnamon or served with a crust of caramelized sugar on top, is one of the most popular desserts in Asturias.
6 – Beverage: Asturias is famous for its cider tradition. In fact, you should know that nowadays, asturians alone consume over 79,500 litres of cider each year. Unlikely the french or the British, the asturian cider is a very dry drink, still, and cloudy with sediment. The act of pouring cider in Asturias is a true art form. This drink is usually poor into a glass from a great height to allow the cider to breathe.
Asturias has also a wine production area located near Cangas del Narcea. Red Cangas wines are typically medium-bodied with notes of wild berry and spice, while the whites are typically fresh with green fruits and citrusy notes.