Apples and cider

Cider Culture in Asturias: Tradition, Crafting, and Festive Customs

Asturias, one of Spain's lushest and most picturesque regions, is home to a delicious drink that is more than a mere drink. In Asturias, cider is interwoven with the fabric of its people, culture, and history.

Today, I aim to delve into the significance of this enchanting beverage in Asturias, exploring its traditional production methods and the unique ritual of its service - known as "el Escanciado."

Production Process of Asturian Cider

Production of cider

The cider-making season commences in October with the harvest of apples, initiating a meticulous process deeply ingrained in tradition. From hand-selecting the apples to their crushing and fermentation in traditional "Lagares" (cider presses), each step is pivotal in crafting Asturias' distinctive cider. Carefully controlled fermentation and subsequent ageing yield a beverage encapsulating the singular flavour of the region's apples.

Pouring Cider, "El Escanciado" and "El Culin"

Serving cider


One of the most distinctive features of Asturian cider is how it's served: through "el Escanciado" or pouring. Raising the arm to pour the cider from a considerable height isn't just a technique; it's a ritual that enhances the drink's organoleptic properties, aiming to mimic the pressure of the cider when served directly from the barrel. Then, the glass you've been served, known as "el culin," must be consumed in a few gulps. If you're not accustomed to drinking cider, ask the waiter for a smaller glass next time.

Moreover, camaraderie and celebration intertwine with the act of sharing a bottle of cider, making it a unique social experience.

Cider Culture in Asturias - "Cultura Sidrera"

Cider in Asturias transcends its role as a mere beverage; it serves as a socio-cultural emblem evident in all facets of Asturian life. From "espichas," intimate gatherings hosted within cider houses, to "fiestas de prao," where music and cider transform the countryside into a jubilant arena, and not forgetting the "Sidrerías," bars offering a taste of Asturian culinary delights alongside impeccably poured fresh cider.

Indeed, cider lies at the heart of celebrations, fostering camaraderie and joy among friends and family. Its historical roots stretch back centuries, with references dating to the 1st century BC, a testament to its enduring appeal.

Cider beyond Asturias

Although cider is emblematic of Asturias, its influence extends to other regions as Basque Country, and other countries, each with its own variant. From France to Mexico, through the United Kingdom and Argentina, cider is produced and consumed worldwide. However, the Asturian-style serving method is unique and characteristic of the region.

As you can see Cider in Asturias isn't just a beverage; it's a link to history, tradition, and community. Its meticulous production process and characteristic serving style make it a cultural treasure that transcends borders.

Here are a couple of useful links for you to learn more about Asturias, its cider, how to get it, and some of my recipes that pair perfectly with a bottle of cider.

Lagos de Covadonga

Discover Asturias

Few regional recipes to pair with a glass of cider:

I hope you enjoyed it, and I'll see you soon with more recipes.

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