Sweet confectionaries
Rice pudding

Rumour has it that the Asturians are usually friendly and very lively, prone to conversation, to meeting up, to partying (fiesta), where neither good food nor music is ever lacking, and the culmination of this type of gathering is always sweet in flavour. Asturias is a land of fine master pastry chefs and chocolatiers, of creative chefs that bring innovation to the world of sweets confections. The region also boasts a very rich and popular collection of traditional recipes, which gives an idea of ​​how Asturian culture "uses" sweet confectioneries to improve the quality of life for locals and visitors alike.

Of master pastry chefs and chocolatiers

Asturias has a great tradition of master confectioners and chocolatiers. It is a territory where pastry shops abound, some of which are known beyond the borders of the Principality for their classic, sweet creations. Oviedo, Gijón, Avilés, Langreo, Mieres, Laviana, Candás, Gozón, Grado, Salas, Navia, Llanes, Ribadesella, Tineo and Cangas del Narcea, to cite only a few references, boast their own typical or specific products, or simply well-known creations in experienced bakeries that will delight the most demanding, seasoned palates. Almond pastries (carbayones) and fine chocolate biscuits (muscovitas) in Oviedo, ground almond and puff pastry confections (bartolos) in Laviana, rich hazelnut biscuits (carajitos del professor) in Salas, shortbread biscuits (marañuelas) in Candás and Gozón, syrupy egg yolk custard (tocinillo de cielo) in Grado, walnut- or hazelnut-filled pastries (casadielles) in the Mining Valleys, crêpes (frixuelos) throughout Asturias… all are sweet creations that at one and the same time constitute a territorial trademark and sign of identity, not to mention the master chocolatiers and their boundless creativity, which comes to a peak during Easter Week, a veritable show of window dressing and art in chocolate.

From the popular, traditional recipe book

If Asturian cuisine is rich in tradition, the world of sweet confections (llambionadas) is a clear example of the true dimension and strength of this tradition. Excuses arise throughout the year to "sweeten" life and thus make it easier... In any family get-together or gathering of friends in Asturias, a good dessert is never lacking, with rice pudding possibly being the "king", a desert which in this land takes on dozens of nuances and homemade recipes, although one of its most Asturian signs of identity is the scorched sugar covering it. The pastries called casadielles are very popular, filled with locally-grown walnut or hazelnuts, with the particularity that in places like Grado –which boasts a long-standing pastry-making tradition– there is a version of casadielles made with homemade apple cheese. Special mention must be made of picatostes, borrachinos and formigos, homemade confections made from leftover bread which is roughly shredded or crumbled and mixed with egg, milk or other ingredients –even wine– to make a deliciously healthy classic dessert.  Other typical cakes are: Venera, an almond tart typical to the area of Navia; Gijonesa, a toasted almond nougat cake typical of the city of Gijón; Escaldao, a typical confection from Grado, consisting of crumbs from boroña cornmeal bread mixed with butter, honey, milk and sugar; and Panchón, a distinctive dessert from the area of the Central Mountain Ranges, specifically from the borough of Aller, where a loaf of bread made with spelt and wheat flour and flavoured with cabbage leaves, salt, baking yeast and warm water becomes an exquisite and original sweet to end a meal.

New creations

Pastries and desserts are given special attention both in the world of pastry-making and in that of restaurants and cider taverns. Some bakeries follow current trends, innovating to create new tourism products. Such is the case of Niemeyitas in Avilés, Piraguas (canoes) in Arriondas and the Cubes of Memory in Llanes. Some creations have even been inspired by historical events such as the figure of the Princess of Asturias, which has given rise to Letizias in Ribadesella. Meanwhile, restaurants and cider taverns do not turn their back on sweet confections; quite the contrary. Their menus and gastronomic offerings incorporate both typical and innovative dishes and recipes, combining traditional desserts with others inspired by Asturian cheeses, dried fruits and nuts, berries, apples, etc. or doing "cover versions" of classics like rice pudding, tocinillo and frixuelos, all of which are great complements, as are their creations using chocolate!