Your experiences when visiting Asturias could be endless if you just let all your desires and your tireless imagination run wild. We want to propose 12 essential experiences that you simply cannot miss when visiting Asturias, and which take you through different moments, places and products that represent the best of a region in which culinary experiences are always dressed in hospitality, generosity and bonhomie so typical of the locals.
A good fabada
It is the regional dish, the king of the Gastro throne, only threatened by the ascending cachopo. "Asturian beans are considered the best in the world", well, the best you can find. Why? Because of their thin skin and butteriness, complemented by an excellent smoky Asturian black pudding, a choricín and other pork products. As a final touch and although it seems silly, Asturian water also makes a difference.
Is there anyone who visits Asturias and does not drink a cider culín? We hope the answer is "of course not". Cider runs through our veins, our bodies are made to taste the juice of apples poured. It is a drink that has everything: it's fun, sociable, has a unique ritual, healthy, diuretic, provides vitamins and minerals, and above all, it's really good. Visit a cider mill, it will leave you dumbstruck.
50 cheeses that make up the largest regional cheese board in the worldwide cheese universe. The list begins like this: Cabrales, Gamonéu, Afuega'l pitu, Beyos, Casín… and they are spread across the whole of Asturias. They are made with cow, goat and sheep's milk. Cabrales is the most international of our cheeses and its aroma is unmistakable. Its evolution in the last few years hasn been unstoppable, it is becoming smoother, with more elegant spices and with better consistency. Gamonéu is also experiencing times of glory with the possibility of finding memorable pieces at the market. Ultimately, the secret to many of our cheeses is the pastures of Picos de Europa, unadulterated nature.
Don't forget to take home a gastro souvenir from your trip. They say ‘Mens sana in corpore sano'. If there's a natural product that's fantastic for good health, that helps us to prevent illnesses and sweetens our life, it would be Asturian honey, one of the "Alimentos del Paraíso" guarantee mark. In the forests, bees pollinate and keep the ecosystem alive, including the apple trees. Other gastro souvenirs that we can take home from our trip are preserves, bonito (long-finned tuna) and cabracho (red scorpionfish spread) are compulsory, an electric cider pourer to bring continuity to our cider parties or one of the craft beers that are produced in the region.
Their history dates back to only 25 years ago, but their prestige already puts them in the ‘Top Ten' of the moment. If you are a foodie, you have to try The Eo Oysters because it will take you on a taste journey through the sea in one single mouthful. Asturian catering establishments have already added them to their gourmet sampling menus and for some of them it has already become their prize dish. If you have the chance and you're going to the West, take the opportunity to taste them in the estuary itself, unbeatable. Combine it with Asturian natural sparkling cider and you will levitate.
Look at it now! If it has been a while since you tried a Cangas wine, what are you waiting for? The sharp acidity of the past has given way to balanced, Atlantic wines, very much in line with the current trend of looking for fresh wines that combine well with the dishes of modern cuisine. They have everything needed to triumph, indigenous varieties, steep hillsides, ideal sunlight hours... It is 21st century heroic viticulture.
We have chosen this crêpe as the confectionary emblem of the moment because together with rice pudding, they are perhaps the two most common desserts in Asturian restaurants. It is served dusted with sugar or filled with chocolate, marmalade and very often with rice pudding. But the llambiona (sweet-toothed) list would have to be completed with picatostes (French toast), Gijonesa cake, charlota (nougat cake), carbayones (pastries), marañuelas (biscuits) and an endless number of sweet treats.
It is an unstoppable phenomenon, and Asturias is its epicentre. It's true that its main ingredient is two meat fillets and that in other places, they already eat similar dishes, but we are very sorry for San Jacobo and Cordon Bleu, cachopo is different. It has its nuances and its roots in the Principality that make it unique. The other similar dishes are not made with Asturian beef or Asturian cheese, or with the same parts of the cow as in Asturias and above all, they are not as deliciously good.
The tradition of markets in Asturias dates back to ancient times. Markets were not just a means of subsistence, but also a place to meet people and to obtain the best products from a region like Asturias. This tradition remains strong today, and the market calendar in Asturias is closely related to festive events and also to the everyday lives of the towns and villages. These markets offer the best culinary products available, and a variety of traditional dishes and also arts and crafts, often set in surroundings that reflect the history and characteristics of each place.
Asturias has over 250 gastronomic workshops and events in the year, from cookery exhibitions, homages to typical products and dishes, celebrations of national and regional tourist interest... The fact is that we spend the day looking for where to enjoy the best dishes and products in our region. To keep up to date, there is nothing better than consulting the website agendadeasturias.es and choosing from a varied array of options.
When the sun is shining and the cool sea breeze is gently blowing, one of the most wonderful earthly pleasures you can enjoy in this Natural Paradise is the fabulous Cantabrian shellfish by the seaside, in any of the seaside villages of Asturias. It is as if the fish and shellfish leap out of the sea and onto the table, in perfect harmony with the surrounding human and natural landscape. And of course, the excellence of cider, in any of its varieties, or the wines from the region to irrigate this Asturian bacchanal, which will leave you wanting to experience these delights over and over again.