Today, the "mercau" of Cangas resembles more than one thing two hundred years ago. It is still celebrating Sundays, a day that in Cangas is working, perhaps the most "working" of the week. The enclosure is still the same that Jovellanos portrayed. What used to be "the field of the Church" is now «The square of the Church».
The Sunday market of Cangas de Onís is the most authentic "souk" in the eastern region of Asturias. Jovellanos in his «Diaries» described this market on the way to Covadonga -description that we can read in one of the plaques located in the enclosure-: «To the fair in the field of the church; a lot of competition and a lot of traffic of rough genres; monteras in tall sticks with hooks of the same branches in which they were hung; they will sell from three hundred to three hundred and fifty; all women spend it; coarse cloths; bayettes, cloths, roquetes, painted canvases, scythes and other rustic instruments; pottery, copper cookware; three copper silversmiths from Gijón; many stores on the air; sieves, et cetera; a lot of people and a lot of movement ».
Where are you?
In the same environment of Palauu Pintu, close to the parish, and especially between the arcades, the Cangas market continues to be famous due to an influx of "many people and a lot of movement".
There is also an abundant "gender trafficking", as described by the illustrated Gijon. What happens is that the sales outlets dedicated to supplying pre-industrial homes with a thousand everyday tools have now specialized in the edible side of handicrafts.
What to buy in Cangas de Onís?
Hundreds of products from the garden and pastures of Asturias They meet in Cangas every Sunday. You can buy, at a good price, the artisan cheeses de Cabrales, Gamoneu y Beyos, the most emblematic of perhaps the Picos de Europa. Next to these, others no less important as all the elaborated ones in Llanes (Pría, Vidiago, Porrúa ...) and in the rest of the Asturian councils. We will also find all kinds of sausages and meats from the area. The municipality is a large producer of beef, pork and lamb and it offers sausages as tasty as wild boar or deer sausage. The traditional kitchen Canguesa that is nourished by these same ingredients, is also very rich in the variety and quality of the products of its garden. In the market these products are easy to find: tomatoes, onions, peppers, courgettes, garlic, fruit, lettuce, chard, beans ... The ladies and gentlemen of the villages «go down» to Cangas to sell their excellent harvests, horticultural products of the lifelong. We will also find butters, honey, homemade eggs. In addition to traditional basketry, decoration and wood implements, skins, ceramics ...
In Cangas de Onís, those who go shopping will find an authentic paradise of typical products. Not in vain, the city has the largest offer in quality and price of the entire province in this regard. So Sunday can also be a good day to know the comprehensive offer of Cangas, stroll through its historic streets and top the morning with a good cider, a good wine or a delicious meal.
Cangas de Onís is one of the great hotel and gastronomic squares of the eastern region. In its dishes the garnishes are made with the own garden, the mountain meats, hunting products, fishing in the Sella ... And there is no shortage of desserts such as Peña Santa ice cream, rice pudding or artisan cakes from the zone, very rich in candy store and, consequently, well-stocked with confectioneries.
We talk about a modern city, with a main street where good hotels and cafeterias open. Proximity to Covadonga makes it a center of excellence tourism, and its trade, whose most notorious essence is its traditional market, well deserve a Sunday morning to know it.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com