Touristic Blog of Asturias
Espicha is synonymous with Asturias
14 jul

Although there are many areas where cider is produced and consumed, there is only one in the world which holds 'espichas' (cider festivals) and that is Asturias. There is no doubt that 'espicha' is synonymous with Asturias, and you can see that for yourself if you search for it on Google.


See what I mean? Asturias is the only culture where tasting cider has been turned into a festival, a festival that was given the name of the piece of wood used as a stopper in the barrel. It is also the only culture where cider is poured in the customary fashion, locally called “escanciada” (from the verb escanciar) and this act of pouring is a mixture of science, technique, spectacle and ritual. As a result, this lively festival has a format that has been passed down from generation to generation:

Pouring of the cider

 

This usually takes place in what is called a "lagar" (the place where cider is produced).

The main drink, and the one poured directly from the barrel to the glass, is cider.

The accompaniment is a menu which has no shortage of home-style sausages, cooked ham, Spanish omelette, boiled eggs, cured meats, Asturian cheeses, etc.

The music is always “folk”, and if it is not recorded then you might be lucky enough to have a live “piper" or bagpipe band.

Your job is to stand up and socialise with everyone, swapping partners but not barrels.

It lasts as long as your body can take it. The most important thing is to eat, drink and have some good, honest fun.

 

Espicha time!
 

Espicha time

What is celebrated at an 'espicha'? Primarily the fact of being alive and "kicking", but also a wedding, baptism, business meeting, the trip of your dreams, spring, summer, autumn or winter, or simply celebrating the pleasure of a get together or a date. It also involves, of course, the typical menu, which although consisting of some basic classics such as those already mentioned can be open to the chef's creativity and customer suggestions. In fact, signature dishes are also becoming increasingly common in 'espichas', which leads to very Asturian inspired menus and products. Therefore the best slogan for a celebration is "Espicha time!".

 

Innovation comes to the 'espichas'

As one would expect in the era of technology and innovation, these also apply to the world of 'espichas' and cider. As a result, tastings of the different ciders produced in cider mills or wineries – as some producers like to call them - are becoming more frequent and people can taste the natural, new expression and sparkling varieties of cider, which can be paired with cheese or sweet treats. This has created a new way to visit these facilities and experience the latest generation "espicha".

Cider mill


Have you already been to an 'espicha'? Tell us about it and send your photos to our Facebook profile.

 

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