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Asturian Cider
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Asturian-American Migration Forum Index -> Drinks, Cider - Bebidas, sidra
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:22 pm    Post subject: Asturian Cider Reply with quote

Asturias has little in the way of wine-making tradition. Its generous rainfall and temperate climate make it less than ideal for growing grapes. Instead, it has a long tradition of making hard cider. I remember well following a truck heavily laden with October apples (near Villaviciosa) for over an hour as it slowly wended its way along a two lane highway toward a sidreria . The journey was enlivened by frequent spills of apples, which crunched nicely under the wheels of our rented Opel, and reminded me of a lifetime of autumns.

Asturias prides itself on its cider, made from many individual blends of sweet, acidic and sour apples. It is lightly alcoholic, and tastes best when served in the traditional manner. One hand pours the cider from high overhead into a glass held well below waist level by the other hand: quite a trick. Naturally, there is some spillage, but it is quickly absorbed by a layer of sawdust (actually more like small wood flakes) that covers the floor. The cider is consumed immediately after being poured, with friends sharing the same glass and the last bit of cider being discarded onto the floor before another glass is poured. Superfically, this seems like a mere tradition (and perhaps a bit of a macho tradition, since I saw only men pour cider in that manner), but the resultant aeration really improves the taste of the cider immensely.

I am not aware of any source of authentic Asturian hard cider in the US, although La Tienda sells a decent non-alcoholic version. I have found that a very dry New England hard cider makes a good substitute. Stay away from the ciders sold commercially in 12 ounce bottles. They are all far too sweet. Look for farm made cider sold where it is made. Russell Orchards in Ipswich, Massachusetts, makes a very good dry hard cider. As far as I know, they sell it only at the farm itself. If you find yourself on Boston's North Shore, it is well worth the short drive to the farm. See http://www.russellorchardsma.com/ for more infromation.
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moni



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

quieres decir que hay alguien que hace sidra en usa? es dificil porque el gran truco de la sidra esta en la manzana, en españa han intentado hacer sidra en el pais vasco y en galicia, otras provincias, pero sabe fatal, la manzana se sidra solo vale de asturias o de lugo(galicia), mi padre hace sidra, tambien es muy dificil echarla en el vaso, se llama escanciar, yo no soy capaz a aprender, al final lo mas facil es beberla, creo que en usa si se vense una sidra achampanada que se fabrica en vilaviciosa, su nombre es el gaitero, pero esa no es la sidra natural, la normal podriamos decir, la sidra achampanada se bebe sobretodo en navidad y en celebraciones especiales
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Fonzu



Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Posts: 44
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:51 pm    Post subject: About la sidra Reply with quote

Great review about la sidra Bob.

When after drink it you lunch a little on the floor, the porpouse is to let it come out from the same place where the previous person has put his/her libs, that way it cleans that part, and even if it is not 100% garantee uncontaminated is better than nothing.

To those who said that the sider out of Asturias "doesn't taste good, is not the same......" I have to tell them that I had A LOT of Cider here, in the USA, and it was as good as the one I had in Asturias. Keep it fresh, not cold, avoid refrigerator and if it was good remains good, I wish I would have one know to drink it a la salud vuestra.

Alfonso
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Xose



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 338
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asturian sidra is the thing I miss most about living in Spain, bar none. Unfortunately, it's impossible to get it here in the States, as far as I can tell. I think the main obstacle is the fact that it's not pasteurized, but that's just a guess.
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Suronda
Co-Founder


Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 97
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 5:39 pm    Post subject: La Tienda Tiene Cidra - El Gaitero Reply with quote

Bienvenido Xose,

I thought that I'd seen some Asturian sidra availble and I checked at La Tienda, Williamsburg, Virginia (Asturian foods, books, paella supplies, fans, botas, ceramics, glass, tiles, perfumes, gifts, etc.) They indeed have cider there. You can check them out by using the following link.



La Tienda will give the Asturian-American Migration Forum a percentage on any orders made through the above link at no extra cost to you. You can support the forum and enjoy your sidra too! Anything you buy after using this link to get to La Tienda help support AsturianUS.org.

I haven't purchased from La Tienda yet, but they have so many good things available. When I visit family in Virginia soon, I plan on stopping in.

I've also seen Asturian sidra at some liquor stores in New York City. I'm not sure of the brand, but I'll check it out next time I'm there.
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Xose



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 338
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suronda,

Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately, what they have on their site is "bubbly" cider. That's all I've been able to find here....grrrrrr. What I'm looking for is sidra natural, which is not carbonated. I'll look in NYC when I'm there next, though!

Xose
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Carlos
Moderator


Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 528
Location: Xixón

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hy, the custom to throw the last rest of drink by the edge of the glass does not have anything of machismo, and it is not certain either that the cider is only drunk by men, far from it. Throwing the rest by the edge where the lips were put is solely by hygiene (it assumes that the edge of the glass comes near solely to the lips, but without these in fact arrive "to lick" the crystal)

All this what reflects in fact is that to take cider is a social rite, since formerly cider could be drunk an only person, but also, like nowadays, a more or less numerous group of people. To drink everybody with the same glass means a communal ritual, a form to share. The oldest glasses became of turned wood (still it is left some "cunqueiro" of the Asturian West that makes them), but with the industrialization of Asturies they began to make bottles to intention to be able to also throw the cider (more formerly it was dropped the spurt from the barrel) and glasses of crystal, that went perfecting until obtaining to the very thin walls that they have nowadays. One is not therefore current glasses, because the more thin it is the wall, the more easy turns out to obtain to all the aroma and flavor of the good cider when the escanciado. At first, these glasses were very expensive (today not as much, but even so they are more expensive that normal glasses), reason why a single glass facilitated that more care was had. Later little by little they were lowering his price, reason why the owners of sidrerías did not put so much inconvenient in having more glasses. At the same time, in "romerías", the waiters who took care of the public in the provisional bars installed in the meadow of the celebration, to take care of more express the clients began to put more of a glass each group of people, and this custom became general soon in sidrerías. On the other hand, sidrería, "romería" or celebration of meadow, or "Celtic Night" are not necessary more to approach nobody to see that it drinks all the one that it wants, men, women, boys and girls, old or young. Surely he was something totally accidental that Bob only saw in that occasion men taking cider.

Excuse my "Altavista English"
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Xose



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 338
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gracias, Carlos. Ud. puede escribir en castellano aquí, si quiere. Hay algunas personas que puede traduccir sus entras.

Xosé
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evina
Translator


Joined: 25 Jun 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Llanes (Asturies)

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 11:39 pm    Post subject: Puring Cider Reply with quote

Well, i really don't know what to say.
I'm really surprised about that comment, you know, that you only saw men escanciando sidra, Bob. Me and my twin sister are good escanciadoras, and i've been to some pouring contests. BTW, did you know these existed? And from what i've seen (and also from what many people say) women are really good at it. Although the distance between our hands is shorter than a man's when pouring, women usually keep a more straight position, so it looks better for foreigners. Matter of fact, of all of the friends i have who work in sidrerías, girls are the ones who get photographed more often. I don't know if it's because it looks more photographable or because girls are gorgeous in Asturias Very Happy!
----------------------------------------------------
Bueno, la verdad es que no sé qué decir.
Estoy muy sorprendida con el comentario de que solo viste hombres escanciando sidra, Bob. Mi hermana gemela y yo somos buenas escanciadoras, y he estado en algunos concursos de escanciadores. Por cierto, sabías que existían? Y por lo que he visto (y también por lo que mucha gente dice) las mujeres somos muy buenas en ello. Aunque la distancia entre las manos es menor que la de un hombre cuando escanciamos, las mujeres normalmente mantienen una postura más erguida, así que es más atractivo para los extranjeros. De echo, de todos los amigos que tengo que trabajan en sidrerías, las chicas son a las que les hacen fotos más a menudo. No sé si es porque es más fotografiable o porque las chicas somos guapísimas en Asturias Very Happy!
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Evina, for the information. I'm happy to learn that both women and men participate in what I think is a delightful custom. Because I was in Asturias only 10 days, what I personally saw was certainly not representative of asturianos and asturianas in general. The sidrerias that I visited with my brother and my father had only male staff members.

I did not know about the contests, but would like to see one next time I am in Asturias. If I tried pouring that way the floor would certainly be the major beneficiary of the cider.

Bob Martinez
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Elsina



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 3
Location: Llanes (Asturies)

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, guys!

Evina's sister here!

Bob, I have to say I was very surprised too about that "only men" thing you said. I was pretty upset too, because I'm kinda proud to be able to pour la sidra so well Cool , hehe!

Now, I have bad news about those "small wood flakes" you mentioned covered the sidrería's floor... We are not allowed to use them anymore, I think they were forbidden for some sanitarian reason, but I don't know exactly why!! Crying or Very sad. Therefore, las sidrerías don't have anymore that lovely wooden smell that distinguished them Crying or Very sad .

And I feel the need to say that in the last two years it was a woman who won the contest for best escanciador asturianu, wich means that the person that pours la sidra best in Asturies is a woman Very Happy , ain't that cool?

I suppose most people in this forum will agree with me when I say that la sidra is the best drink in the whole world, it's good for lunch, for dinner, God! even for breakfast with a good "pinchu de tortiella" (a piece of spanish omelette on top of a slice of bread), very sidrería-like... It's good when you meet some friends in the afternoon, or while you are waiting for a table in a sidreria...

When tourists asked me why we don't use a glass per person I always said that la sidra is a social drink, we say that "la sidra hace amigos" ("cider makes friends"), wich means that while drinking sidra is as if you were bonding with the people drinking with you... It's unexplainable, something so special...

I hated it when people would let it rest after I had poured it for them. When it's let to rest, looses the gas it gains when poured. We say it dies. And I felt like saying: "if you don't know why we drink it in one go, ASK!". It always made me sick...

One of the most beautiful celebrations around la sidra is "la espicha". I don't know the word in english. Originally, espichas were celebrated at the "lagares/llagares" (cider fabrics) when they poured the first sidra of the year, wich is always around summer. In las espichas you always find typical asturian food such as tortiella (spanish omelette), tortiella de chorizu, chorizos a la sidra (I'm sure you all know what that is by now...), huevos cocidos (boiled eggs, wich here in asturies are eaten in those celebrations with paprika and a little bit of salt), empanada (can be both bread or puff-pastry, and with both meat or fish fillings) and lately you can find also seafood such as andaricas (in spain called nécoras, small crabs) or even percebes (barnacles) if you can find good ones. It's a very happy celebration, with laughter all around, and friends, and soon-to-be-friends because of the whole la-sidra-being-a-social-drink thing.

Now, espicha is also the name for a late-afternoon "fiesta de prau" (grassland celebration). Mainly celebrated in summer because the weather is kinder around that time of year (well, usually...) and where you can find basically the same things I said before, the only difference is that in las fiestas de prau la sidra is bottled and in las espichas we pour la sidra directly from the barrel.

Well, there would be so many things I could say about la sidra... And about it's excellence, but none of them would even begin to make justice!!

I think I already typed way too much, don't you think? If you have any questions just let me know and I'll answer gladly (or at least I'll try to...)

Lots and lots of besinos!!

P.S.: Think I could post some pictures of sidrerias and escanciadores?
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

¡Bienveníu, Elsina!

The "Dicionariu Basicu de la Llinqua Asturiana" has two meanings for "espicha".
  1. Tapón de madera pequeñu que se-yos pon a les pipes nel furacu per onde sal el líquidu.
  2. Aconceyamientu de xente nun sitiu onde se ruempe una pipa sidra.

I assume that the first is the "bung" (a word I had to look up in English! It means "stopper") in the cask of cider. Is the second a gathering of people in a place where (and when) the cider stopper is first removed? So is a espicha a celebration of the first tasting of the new year's cider in cider factory?

It seems likely that espicha is related to the English word "spigot", which can be translated "espiga", "espita", "bitoque", etc. Other words in English for spigot are "tap", or (more commonly in the US) "faucet".

So is a espicha like a faucet (grifo) or is it more like a cork (corcho)?
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Carlos
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Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 528
Location: Xixón

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:35 pm    Post subject: Espicha Reply with quote

Yes, Art, the last sense of "espicha" is faucet, and this word is related with the English word "spit" (became from Old French, a romanic language as Asturian). First, "espicha" is a kind of wood faucet, later, simply a wood pin. Spour cider from the big barrels is the ancient way for drink cider in the "llagares", when there was not cristal bottles nor glasses (the older glasses were made in turned wood, or were jars). It was the way and the place which gives the name for the celebration.


Traducción:

Sí, Art, el sentido último de espicha es grifo, y ésta palabra está emparentada con la inglesa spit (llegada del francés antiguo, una lengua romance igual que el asturiano). En primer lugar, espicha es una especie de grifo de madera, y después, por extensión, una cuña de madera. Escanciar la sidra desde los toneles es la antigua forma en que se bebía la sidra en los llagares, cuando no había botellas ni vasos de cristal (los vasos más antiguos se hacían torneándolos de un pedazo de madera, o se usaban jarras). Fueron la manera y el lugar quienes dieron nombre a la fiesta.

Saludinos. Cool
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jbcarter



Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 1
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:58 pm    Post subject: Sideria Reply with quote

My husband and I were married in Spain and spent our honeymoon in Asturias. The siderias were a favorite of ours and as a anniversary present I am trying to locate one of the great ceramic sidra spigots we saw throughout the area. Does anyone have any idea where I might purchase one?
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Chris
Translator


Joined: 12 Oct 2003
Posts: 183
Location: Uvieu

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 3:21 pm    Post subject: denominacion d'orixen Reply with quote

This morning while I was walking by Uvieu I found a poster that anounse the new Origin Denomination for the Asturian Cyder.
What do yall think about this?
---------------------------------------------------------
Esta mañana mientres caninaba per Uvieu atopeme con un cartel d'anuncios que presentaba les etiquetes de la nueva denominacion d'orixen
que pensais sobre esto?
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