The traditional "Feria del Quesu" of Cuerres, Ribadesella, held every year on the 9 day of August, eve of San Lorenzo, is one of the most hot and original dates of the county summer. The boundary condition of the village -between the councils of Ribadesella and Llanes- propitiates the perfect enclave for a «gira» like those of yesteryear, an unparalleled snack that year after year brings together much of the tourism in the area.
Unlike the multitude of cheese making appointments in the Principality, Cuerres has its own distinctive essence, it is not about eating for food, but about Savor the unique atmosphere of a picnic that, enjoying cordially in the company of family and friends, has something of ancestral. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Quesu de Cuerres Fair is a whole model of traditional pilgrimage, and perhaps it has to do in this authenticity the fact that the Fair traces its origins centuries ago, being the feast of San Lorenzo a key date for the local merchandise, with a large-scale cattle fair included. You may also have to see the place itself, enclave riosellano (Cuerres) whose name evokes the ancient Celtic spirit, hinting at a possible fortified village from the iron age. Today the tradition is renewed, and Cuerres keeps alive the flame of mercado specializing in an ephemeral and populous rite that always leaves a good taste in the mouth among his faithful followers.
There is cheese, a lot of cheese. Around one ton is the final balance of sales year after year. The artisan stands gathered in the town provide instant consumption of the most impatient stomachs, and only a smaller percentage of what is purchased is reserved to bring the flavor to family and friends who have missed the fair. The town of cuerres becomes for a few hours the cheese capital of Asturias. The traditional fairgrounds and the surroundings of the parish church become picturesque and improvised restaurants.
Gamoneu, Cabrales, Picón, goat cheese from Vidiago, from Pría and an endless number of nuances of dairy production in the region are present in the town square. But besides cheeses are tasted many other products of the earth to satisfy the appetite, as well as native desserts destined to sweeten the digestion. Spicy and sweet chorizo, jerky, fish preserves, liquors, cider, marmalade, sweets, honey, empanadas, pasties, cakes, casadielles, frisuelos, breads of all types and sizes and an endless variety of labels "From home" they are arranged in the late afternoon on improvised tablecloths in the prau of the party. Hundreds of diners jam the jira and prolong the gatherings until the night falls on them.
Later, the crowd approaches the traveling bar and the orchestra, in no hurry, begins its first chords. The Jira continues in the Plaza de la Parroquia de San Mames with a distended and crowded festival of entertainment. In one way or another, everyone ends up getting into the "core", and the extraordinary attendance of the dance revalidates the festive condition of the village. And it is that Cuerres is still the ideal apology for not giving respite to the summer nights, with the unstoppable inertia that the Descent of the Sella brings with it at the beginning of August.
It dawns in the village and there are still many who do not want to leave, the cheese has acted in its own way, perhaps as a "magic potion."Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com