The human group that inhabited 12.000 years ago the Tito Bustillo Cave had an acceptable diet, mainly in hunting, fish and the collection of molluscs and wild fruits, although the increase of the population had a negative impact on the resources of nature. The arrival of the Romans discovered a precarious situation, based on goat meat, milk and acorn flour, according to Strabo. By decision of Rome, chestnuts were massively planted in order to ensure a supplementary food source, which effectively fulfilled its mission until today in the form of "amagüestos" of chestnuts.
The discovery of America and the introduction here of corn, potatoes and beans, began to solve the food problem in a land as peculiar as Asturias.
The evolution of the times has allowed Ribadesella to have today a rich and varied cuisine, in the style of the northern peninsular cuisine, very appreciated in the whole world. In addition, you can eat well in Ribadesella , in a good number of restaurants that combine traditional food and new cuisine with excellent results.
The saint and sign of the local cuisine is the seafood cuisine, supplied with the products of the neighboring Cantabrian. The local fleet supplies it with an excellent raw material, among which we must highlight the "pinchu hake", named for having been caught with a hook and not with a net, preserving its fine texture intact. However, other exquisite fish such as sea bass, sea bream, "xáragu", "pixín", king, sole or red mullet, and without forgetting the delicious angula, all of them common in the town and only dependent on the time of year or the fate of the fishermen. You can consume the oven, in the pan or the griddle, although some of them start to be consumed in a casserole, with a cider brandy sauce.
Also worth noting is the bonito, leader of the summer, which is taken in slices, or stewed in a pot, with peppers and potatoes, as well as in the appetizing typical Ribadesella "roll", made with a delicious crumbled and seasoned according to a simple and traditional formula . Summer is also the season for the exquisite calamari and the popular sardines and "bocartes", which share the spotlight in casual cuisine with products from the pedral, such as the "lampposts", the periwinkles, the barnacles, the octopus or the prodigious "arcinos". », That since the humblest origin are conquering haute cuisine today. The same goes for the caldereta a la riosellana, basically made with rock fish accompanied by lobster or lobster.
We must also talk about the local seafood, the barnacles of the cliffs, the tasty "andaricas" (nécoras) and the good sea crabs or nursery. And we must reserve a place of honor for the angula del Sella, the most delicate fruit of the seafood cuisine.
It can be sautéed with garlic and chilli, although its consumption is introduced as a filling of fish or potatoes, according to formulas successfully tested in the Gastronomic Days of the Sea that are held every spring in this village and serve to make known seafood dishes traditional and renovators.
Without the prominence of fish, meat also has its importance. The juicy beef "roxa" is excellent for chops and for typical lines such as "stewed meat" -stuffed-or roll, stuffed with bacon, egg, peppers or olives. Scallops in cider sauce, brandy or Cabrales cheese are also appreciated. In big game, the boar is bountiful, and in poultry the "pitu de aldea", a variety of chickens of brown meat that is raised with care in the country house. And how not to mention the pork, basic for the pot or the fabada. The local blood sausage, dried and perfumed with onions, brings to the finest "fabes" a touch that distinguishes them among all the stews of the peninsula. The "pantrucu" or "emberzau" also comes out of the pig, which is eaten fresh, sliced and fried.
In the chapter of the cheeses, Ribadesella is supplied by its famous neighbors of Cabrales, Beyos, Gamoneu, Vidiago, or Pría. And in the desserts there are traditional "casadielles" walnuts, arroz con leche "requemau", fried milk or "joyueles" typical of Carnival, as well as apple and pear compotes, homemade jam or apples Roasted and sweetened.
The auction of any food that boasts must be a glass of good liquors and spirits distilled in this town, in the town of Collera. The cider brandy produced by this century-old winery has received recognition for quality from the European Union, to the pride of Ribadesella and the entire Principality of Asturias.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com