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The Sidra Museum in Nava

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Sidra has been a big part of our Asturian experience — from learning the art of the Escanciado, to sitting with friends at one of the many sidrerías on Calle Gascona. There’s something grandly social about cider, and we’ve made sure to drink as much as possible.

So it was a given that we’d eventually find our way the Museum of Cider in Nava — smack in the heart of the Comarca de la Sidra. It may not be the best museum I’ve ever seen, but that didn’t preclude it from being a lot of fun.

We were given apples at the entrance desk, which we placed in a crazy Mousetrap like contraption, to see how they’re diced, pressed, fermented and bottled into delicious, alcoholic sidra.
[Coolness Factor: 7 out of 10]

From there, we were introduced to the various machines used throughout the ages for cider production. A bunch of old, wooden devices that look just about how you’d think they’d look.
[Coolness Factor: 4 out of 10]

With high-hopes we entered a room with loud music and flashing lights, and encountered a video about Asturians and their love of cider. A video which was apparently recorded in 1985, if the hairstyles and background music were anything to go by.
Bowm-chikka-bowm-bowm! Old woman buying cider at the grocery!
Bowm-chikka-bowm-bowm! Mullet dude drinking cider at the bar!
Bowm-chikka-bowm-bowm! Business lady with the cider in her fridge!
[Coolness Factor: 1 out of 10]
[Hilarity Factor: 9 out of 10]

Laughing muscles fully exercised, we now came upon the interactive portion of the museum. A magical bagpipe: “Press here” for flute function! Traditional Asturian games, like “Throw Ball at Screen”, and “Throw Ring at Board”. We spent quite a bit of time here, because we had paid €5 apiece to get into the museum, and damned if we weren’t going to get our money’s worth.
[Coolness Factor: 8 out of 10]

At the end of our tour through the Cider Museum, we were rewarded with a sampling of the drink, and a chance to try and pour it ourselves. I think the girl working there was surprised by my Escanciando Skillz. As I was pouring cider flawlessly into my glass, I gave her a little wink and she fainted dead on the spot.
[Personal Coolness Factor: 10 out of 10]

Honestly, if you want an overview of cider production, you’re better off going to the Gaitero Sidrería in nearby Villaviciosa. But I won’t deny we had a good time in Nava; it’s nice to occasionally visit a museum which is more “fun” than “educative”.

Location of Nava on our Day Trips Map

Sidre Museo
Sidra Bike
Escanciandor
Escanciando
EEUU Aleman Gaiteros
Drunk on Sidra

Asturias Touristic Map

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October 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm Comments (0)

Al Fondo Hay Sitio – Music Bar

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On a rainy Saturday night, I went to a bar which a couple friends had recommended. Al Fondo Hay Sitio… There’s Room at the Back. It was a fun evening out. The bar had a great atmosphere with live rock music, a good selection of beers and an abundance of tapas, which the waiter insisted I try. “Picante, ¡SÍ!” Bowls of fruit were on the tables, and a guest book was at the door; funny little touches that give the bar a unique feel.

Tapas Libre Oviedo

Al Fondo Hay Sitio is found at the bottom of Calle Oscura, Oviedo’s most lively party street. I had taken Jürgen’s younger brother with me. He’s two meters tall, about 6’7″, and his height caused a minor sensation at the bar. Within minutes we were talking and trading rounds with a big group, and the bartender even invited us to a beer before we left, at which point I hazily remember declaring “Favorite Bar EVER”.

And the music is great, too. I had been walking by one early evening, and heard Arcade Fire’s new album blasting from the speakers, the same day it had been released. If that’s your style of music, then this is a bar you’ll feel right at home in.

I don’t know if there’s a connection, but Al Fondo Hay Sitio is also the name of a massively popular Peruvian telenovela.

Location on our Oviedo Map
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Al Fondo Hay Sitio
Corn Spain

When in Oviedo: Eat Cachopo

Reiseversicherung
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October 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm Comments (2)

Los Caserinos – Milk & Cheese Straight from the Farm

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While Jürgen’s family was visiting from Germany, we spent a day driving around the Comarca de la Sidra and ended up in a tiny town called Grases, which home to Los Caserinos: a family-owned farm that’s been making cheese and milk for nearly a century.

Goatse

We took a tour of the farm and were introduced to the cows and goats which produce the Caserinos’ milk. The goats were especially cool; well over a hundred snow-white Saanen goats, who were utterly unconcerned by our presence. One of the smaller ones even tried to suck on my finger, which apparently resembles a goat tit. The tiny household sidrería was also interesting, with an apple press and antique tools used to produce the cider which is an ingredient in some of their cheeses.

The most best part of the tour, though, was hearing about the history of the farm. Our guide was the grandson of the original founder, and showed us pictures of his kids. Four generations of life among the cows and goats. His grandfather had been a casero, or caretaker, at the house of a rich family from the area; caserino is the diminutive form, and became the family’s nickname.

If you can’t make it to Grases to see the farm, you can visit Los Caserinos at their stand in the Mercado Fontán, where they have a Milk Machine: just put your bottle in the dispenser, feed the machine a Euro and get a liter of cool, fresh milk straight from the farm. And I’d be remiss not to mention the excellent cheeses they offer. Goat cheese, cow cheese, mixed, blue cheese, mixed with cider. We were able to try them all at the end of our tour, and ended up buying more than a little.

Location of Los Caserinos on our Day Trips Map
Los Caserinos (nicely done) Website
More information about the Mercado Fontán

Los Caserinos
Cabra
Cow Bell Asturias
Milk Cows
Euter Fabrik
Talking Cow
Sidraria Privada
Spanish Wooden Shoes
Branding Asturias
Leche Fresca Oviedo
Fresh Milk Vending Machine
Milk Boy

Books about Asturias

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October 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm Comments (3)

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