Cider bars: a tradition of the north
David Fonseca. Imagen cedida por la Fundación Comarca de la Sidra Turismo.
If you want to discover a deeply rooted tradition of the north of Spain, don't miss a visit to a cider bar. These are typical establishments for tasting cider, a natural drink made from apples, and trying the delights of the local cuisine.
Having a good cider with family or friends and chatting over a few glasses and a bottle of this natural drink is a traditional custom that can be found in numerous places in Asturias, The Basque Country and Navarre. Without doubt, dropping in at a cider bar is an experience not to be missed.
The cider pouring ritual
Serving cider is an art. To get the best from all its flavours and nuances, cider has to fall heavily into the glass from a certain height, actually hitting the edge of the container. Escanciar is the word Spaniards use for this type of pouring, and it is highly entertaining to watch. If you have never tried it, all you have to do is put your skills to the test. And don't worry, someone is sure to show you how you do it and encourage you to learn the art of cider pouring.
You can also drink straight from the large barrels of cider. The whole thing is a ritual as drawing the cider straight from the cask is the best way of appreciating the colour, aroma and flavour of this natural liquid.
Farmhouses with a traditional flavour
Many cider bars operate from traditional buildings in the north of Spain, such as farmhouses and old cider presses, made from wood and stone. In Asturias, the most famous cider-drinking area, be sure to accompany your drink with some of the local produce, such as cabrales cheese.
These establishments are usually furnished with long tables, barrels, buckets, and traditional tools and utensils. More and more visitors to Spain are discovering the cider bars, where as well as having a good meal they can also purchase bottles or boxes of this delicious drink.
So dropping in at a cider bar is a great way of learning something about Spain's traditional cuisine and discovering a refreshing and ancient drink of the north: cider. Fancy trying it?