Oviedo, apart from being a wonderful city, it also enjoys a rich gastronomy. In its restaurants and cider bars we can enjoy all the varieties of the asturian gastronomy, with specialities from the coast and the mountain. The different recipes of the municipalities of this region are represented in all daily menus. A melting pot of tastes that reaches its best, thanks to the excellent local cooks.
Oviedo combines the traditional, new and specialized cookery, always using all the natural products of this land, endless in row materials. Snacking, local dishes, cider bars, collection of wines and delicatessens represent the genuine nature of this city.
The Disarmament Day
In the city of Oviedo some local festivities include also gastronomy festivals such as the one of The Ascension or the one of The Disarmament, which are on the head of numerous festivities in which the local gastronomy is the absolute protagonist. Every October 19th is a tradition in Oviedo to celebrate the Disarmament Day. It is an historical event that commemorates the victory of the Elizabethan troops over the General Sanz during the Carlist war. It is thought that as a celebration of this victory, the soldiers were awarded abundant food. After that, they were disarmed while they were having a siesta. For the local people, the term “disarm” today refers to eating a lot or eating a menu which is also called “disarmament menu”. It is usual to have a siesta in this city after a copious meal. This celebration has its origin one century ago and has a specific menu present in all restaurants. Guests (Who book a table in advance) only want to eat the three famous dishes for this date: chickpeas with cod and spinaches, trips and rice pudding.
The Ascension Oviedo
Another local dish is the “governed” (Seasoned) meat. This meat can be seasoned with onion and wine in order to get a golden colour and can also accompanied with fried potatoes and sweet red pepper. This recipe is very old. It used to be sold in the market already cooked. At these times, the cooks prepared it to the view of all pedestrians. This dish is part of one of the famous gastronomic festivities of Oviedo: The Ascension, celebrated between May and June, 40 days after the Resurrection festivity. This is a crowded celebration which pays homage to all those people from the country and to the native products of this region. Apart from being a craftwork and traditional market, a cattle rising and a folk festivity, The Ascension also includes a gastronomic section in which the “governed meat” has its own place. In addition, in this festivity Spring is exalted with its colourful diet characterised by mixed vegetables and a cheese cake covered with cherries.
Country Tuesday in Oviedo
The local people feel passion not only for their local food but for their main country festivity called Martes de Campo (Country Tuesday). It takes place in mid May (The first Tuesday of Pentecost). This a colourful and crowded festivity in which all the local people go to the country with its most famous food for this day: “the bollu preñao” (A piece of bread filled with an asturian sausage previously cooked in the oven) and usually take with it a good wine. The famous field of San Francisco and other green spaces in this city are the meeting points for the local people.
Products with guarantee of origin D.O.P.
Oviedo is the best choice to taste all the products with guarantee of origin of this Principado of Asturias. These products are red meats, artisan cheeses from all its geography: Cabrales, Gamoneu, Afuega Pitu, the smoked cheese of Pría, the cheese of Beyos, the one of Porrúa and an endless list of other asturian cheeses. Other high quality products are the local fish and seafood which are auctioned in the asturian fish markets, as well as other multicolour pieces of native fruit and vegetables.
The king dish in Oviedo, as well as in the rest of Asturias, is still the asturian beans usually accompanied by blood sausages, ham and highly-seasoned pork sausages.
The suitable drink to accompany this dish is cider because it is a tonic, diuretic and digestive drink. It is a custom that comes from old times, when bars usually offered this drink in order to make it best known in parties and festivities. Today many places in this region celebrate parties with this drink along the whole year. In these parties we do not only drink cider but we also eat pies, hard-boiled eggs, sausages cooked in cider, cooked ham, different cheeses and grilled meat.
Cider is all around this region and is also an important ingredient in numerous local dishes. Perhaps the most famous recipe is hake cooked in cider.
Sweets and desserts are also famous in this city, Oviedo. The “carbayones” are delicious cakes made with puff pastry, a base of almonds, eggs and sugar with a short glass of sweet sherry and some drops of lemon. Other famous sweets are those called the “picatostes” and “frixuelos” a sort of pancakes. The “casadielles” are cakes of puff pastry filled with nuts, and rice pudding is covered with a top of crystallized and burnt sugar. Baking reaches its best in those refined chocolates of Peñalba and the “moscovitas” are exquisite cookies with a soft touch of chocolate. All they are delicious.Texto: © Ramón Molleda para desdeasturias.com