Spain always treats me well. It’s like the entire country was designed to meet my needs. Case in point:
I’ve spent the last few days in the region of Asturias on the Northern coast. It’s one of these areas that combines the best of all worlds with the most beautiful Picos De Europa mountains, amazing beaches all along the coast, and access and production of some of the most delicious seafood and cheese on the earth. But it’s the cider that really tugs at my heartstrings.
Cider, or Sidra as it’s known in Spain, is one of the most social drinks you’ll find. In the village of Ribadesella where we’ve spent most of our time, the Sidrerias line the streets pairing these delicious and local apple sidras with fresh seafood and tapas. Asturias is home to the largest producers of sidra so it’s no wonder the locals take this stuff seriously. Of course by seriously, I simply mean they love the stuff. Because once you get in on the secrets of how to drink sidra, you realize there’s nothing super serious about sidra at all.
From a flavor perspective, the sidra in Asturias is extremely crisp with just a touch of sweetness; nothing like the sugar bombs back in the states. However, it is known to oxidize quite quickly so drinking through a bottle or two throughout a sitting is expected. Of course that isn’t too hard when you share in the fun. Tables share communal glasses with gulp sized pours streamed from above the servers heads to aerate and open up the sidra. Leave just a bit to wash out the glass and you can see pretty quickly why sidra, and the social drinking behind it fits right in with this wonderful part of the country.
On a side note, I’m 100% convinced that the next Nobler Chapter needs to be in Spain. I just need to find someone to take over my position as lead Nobler in New York than it’s off for more sidra. Speaking of which…there is still time while I’m here now if there are any volunteers…I’ll gladly rip up my ticket home…