Traditional Food of Asturias – Part 2
In part one of our culinary journey to discover the foodie delights of the Asturias we found Cadereta, Merluza a la Sidra, and the famous dish of the region Fabada Asturians. All three dishes represent what Asturias is all about. And that is rural, almost home cooking, with the local produce coming from the land and the Cantabric Sea. In this blog we look at some popular desserts and cheese of Asturias but before then we discover a popular meat dish originating from this northern part of Spain.
Oviedo is a beautiful medieval town sitting in the central part of the Asturias, it is also the capital of the region, and from this town comes a dish that is celebrated all over the area. Carne Gobernada is an Asturian beef dish that is cooked in white wine. This dish is a hearty main course, with chunks of beef very slowly cooked together with white wine and onions. The longer and slower the dish is cooked the more tender the meat is. Carne Gobernada is traditionally served with green beans and other vegetables that are in season.
Asturias is famous for its cheeses and the most popular is Cabrales cheese, for those that love strong blue cheeses this cheese ticks all the boxes. Interestingly the cheese is matured in caves and now produced along the guidelines of the Denomination of Origin. Other popular cheese produced in Asturias are Afuega’l Pitu, Penamellera, and Gamonedo.
Sweets and Desserts
Spain is famous for its love of its desserts and sweets, and many contain chocolate which is a reflection of its connections to the Latin American cultures. However, in the north of Spain more simple desserts are preferred such as Arroz con Leche. Who can forget their mum’s homemade rice pudding, and this Asturian version has a little Spanish twist as it contains cinnamon, lemon as well as sugar, butter and rice. The additions of the exotic spices really help to elevate this pudding to another level.
Again, a dish with strong Latin America connections, as these little delicacies are very similar to Mexican empanadillas. The sugary treats are crammed full of chopped walnuts that have been dowsed in a heady mixture of sugar and anise liqueur. The Casadielles are then deep fried and sprinkled all over with caster sugar for even more sweetness.
Tarta de Manzana
Nothing defines local cooking more than homemade apple pie, and again the recipe in Asturias differs from that of most cuisines. The thinly sliced apple segments are baked in a sweet pastry shell then smothered with preserved apricots, in some village households a cup of locally produced cider is added to the pie for a little piquancy. Asturias produces some excellent produce, its fish and seafood are some of the best in Spain and the dishes they create with these local ingredients highlight the produce itself and not a gourmet sauce that accompanies it.