Authentic Asturian Cuisine

By Laura Witherspoon

It honestly feels like I’ve been in Oviedo, Spain for a lot longer than just two weeks. My first couple of weeks here have been filled with many new things and experiences.

I have tried “La Sidra,” which is alcoholic cider that is a tradition here in Oviedo and other parts of Asturias. It must be poured from above your head in order to aerate it; therefore the waiters are the ones who usually pour it every round. They only serve you a shot’s worth at a time too. You must drink it really fast because it becomes flat after a couple minutes. There’s a street here called “Calle Gascona” which is known as the “Boulevard of Cider” where you can find tons of Las Siderias and tapas. A bottle is typically 2.75 euros, very cheap. My friends and I have even found our favorite sideria called “Vive la Pepa.”

La Sidra bottles at a fiesta, photo copyright Sheila López

The food here is very interesting, but also really good! My first meal that my host mom prepared for me was spaghetti with a fried egg on top. It was good, but not something I’d eat on a regular basis.

The are two types of sandwiches, “el bocodillo” is a sandwich on a french baguette and a “sandwich” is on “American bread” or sliced bread. There are usually no condiments like mayo or mustard, and host moms get pretty creative with what they put in them. I’ve seen fried fish, chorizo, ham, tuna, and chicken.

The breakfast here is also really different, at least in my house. It’s usually coffee and fruit with sweet cookies. I got Madelines the first few days but now I have small croissants. No one has eggs for breakfast. I don’t know what it is, but Spaniards only eat eggs either for lunch or dinner.

Patatas Bravas, photo copyright Leo Gonzales

For example, tonight I had potatoes, a fried egg, and salad for dinner. I’ve never been in love with the idea of breakfast for dinner but it’s definitely growing on me. I absolutely LOVE the french fries here. They’re called “Patatas Bravas” in some restaurants, and come with a spicy buffalo wing type ketchup sauce.

Another different dish here is Spanish tortillas. They’re not what my burritos are wrapped in back home in California, but instead are like omelets or frittatas. They’re made of eggs, onions, potatoes and whatever else you want, but typically just those three ingredients. They’re delicious but usually served only at lunch or dinner. I’ll keep trying new foods and report back how it goes!

Spanish Tortilla, photo copyright Russell James Smith

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