The best foodie experiences in Asturias – Spain’s quirky foodie heaven
TThe 2021 World Cheese Awards shed a global foodie light on the host city of Asturias in northwestern Spain this month, but there are plenty of dining experiences you can’t miss all year round.
Enjoy a traditional Fabada Asturiana in the Picos de Europa mountains
The most famous dish in the region, often known as fair fabada, this traditional stew of creamy beans, pork and morcille (black pudding made from sweet onion from Asturias) is famous throughout Spain; almost as popular as paella. It pairs exceptionally well with local cider (see below).
Where to try it: Any good restaurant in Asturias will proudly have fabada On the menu; it is designed as a party dish to impress the guests. Outside the winter season, enjoy it in a rose garden courtyard in the pretty dusty pink Casa MorÃ¡n, a family-run hotel and restaurant in Benia de Onis, at the foot of the Picos de Europa mountains. With any luck you will be served by 87 year old host SeÃ±ora Rosita MorÃ¡n. Leave room for a rice pudding dessert with a cinnamon shake followed by a sweet and sour cherry or apple iced digestif from Ribadesella-based craft liqueur company Los Serranos Distillery.
Discover Escanciada on “Cider Boulevard”, steeped in Cachopo
Cider lovers should head straight to Calle Gascona in the elegant Asturian capital of Oviedo. Affectionately known as ‘Cider Boulevard’, it is an alley lined with sidrerias (cider houses). Watch as your cider is poured from a great height in the traditional escanciada manner. Sip it as soon as you’re served to enjoy the freshness of all that extra oxygen in the pour (no, really). After tasting a few, soak up cachopo: slices of veal wrapped around cheese and ham, then breaded and fried.
Where to try it: Anywhere on Calle Gascona, but El Ferroviario has the honor of being the Strip’s premier cider house, and it also serves ciders from the four cider regions of Asturias (Siero, Nava, GijÃ³n, and Villaviciosa).
Taste a Pitu de Caleya con Arroz in a rustic bodega or a Michelin-starred restaurant
There are quality dishes available for all budgets in Asturias. The Pitu de Caleya results in a chicken that is free to roam, and upholding ethical poultry sourcing is key to the dark, tender and lean meat of this traditional Asturian dish which is cooked slowly and slowly and served with rich rice in juice.
Where to try it: One of the region’s most respected chefs, Nacho Manzano, has revived this dish of rural cuisine (usually eaten only in villages to celebrate the feasts of patron saints) to new heights, having learned the recipe from his mother. . Once impossible to find on menus in the early 1990s, many popular restaurants in Asturias (as well as throughout Spain) now offer them. Pay homage to Nacho’s foresight by trying it out in his two-Michelin-starred Casa Marcial, in remote La Salgar with views of the Picos de Europa mountains, or in downtown Oviedo, in the restaurant Warm but sophisticated Gloria.
Enjoy the rebirth of the Asturian Celtic pig
This rare breed of pig (also known as the Gochu Asturcelta) was almost extinct in Asturias, but thanks to a local protection campaign in 2002, and careful breeding and breeding, pork pork is back on the menus. âThe pig is free to roam the oak and chestnut forests and the fat is super soft, similar to Iberian,â says chef Nacho Manzano.
Where to try it: For a truly authentic Asturian experience, befriend a local who roasts a whole pig for a family event. Otherwise, any Nacho Manzano restaurant (see above) can have it on the menu. Meat lovers should also look for Casa Lobato in Oviedo for hearty and hearty beef and lamb dishes, such as Asturian veal in Palomino wine, potato millefeuille and mushroom stew.
Consume cave-ripened Cabrales cheese with cider-based vermouth
A visit to a cheese cellar will introduce you to the subtleties of the tangy flavor of strong Asturian blue cheese, known as Cabrales (PDO), which is 95% raw cow’s milk with sheep’s milk and / or goat cheese to complete the mixture. The Principality of Asturias has the largest variety of cheeses produced in Spain, so it is also a good idea to settle in a tapas bar with a plate of local cheeses to continue your studies.
Where to try it: The Fundacion Cabrales in Arenas de Cabrales offers excellent 45-minute English tours through a cave describing the past and present of Cabrales cheese. Cueva del MolÃn (Tel. +34 985845132) is a family dairy which organizes tours of the Cabrales cheese cellars and has already won several World Cheese Awards. La Cabraliega is the perfect tapas bar in Las Arenas to enjoy a platter of local cheeses and a frozen vermouth called Roxmut, made from Asturian apple cider, while breathing in the fresh mountain air.
Trying to fly less?
Brittany Ferries operates services from Portsmouth and Plymouth to Santander, which take 24 to 32 hours. There are regular ASLA buses direct to Oviedo and direct Renfe trains to Llanes.
Okay to fly?
Ryanair offers direct flights to Santander from London Stansted. From there it’s an hour drive / taxi to Llanes or two hours to Ovideo (or you can take public transport above). Alternatively, Iberia offers flights from London Heathrow to Asturias with a stopover in Madrid.
The AC Forum Oviedo hotel in the Asturian capital offers rooms from Â£ 62, B&B.
In Llanes on the coast, Hotel Don Paco offers rooms from Â£ 74, B&B.
Michelin-starred chef Nacho Manzano Narbasu’s new restaurant with rooms offers accommodation in a restored 14th-century palace in Cereceda from Â£ 127.