Maybe it's his famous caldereta the most emblematic dish, a formula that combines fine rock fish and a wide variety of seafood. It also takes on special gastronomic weight the Cider, with which they cook their most beloved fish: hake, pixin, chopa, king, sea bream ..., without forgetting the grilled sardines, anchovies (anchovies fried), anchovies and small (sardines), members of a wide range from tapas that makes Gijón the quintessential city of winters, llagares and cider houses, omnipresent everywhere.
Photo Kike Llamas.
Within the Asturian cuisine, Gijón occupies a leading role, either for its signature cuisine or for its particular maritime seal in the preparation of the most traditional dishes of the Principality. Undoubtedly, the gastronomy of Gijón finds its first source of inspiration, and its raw materials, in the Cantabrian sea that bathes its coasts, being fish and seafood their culinary stars.
When sitting at the table your restaurants, with a good tablecloth and a professionalized service for decades, we continue to see in the letters that the fruit of fishing and shellfish is the most repeated: fried of pixy, hake or cod, soups of fish and shellfish, pulpu with patatines: a stew in which the pedréu pulp (small rock octopus) reaches a splendid flavor at low heat; squid afogaos ("drowned", because they are cooked with the lid on); and those two exquisite species such as tiñosu (scorpionfish) and golondru (cuckoo or perlon), in a pot; or the undisputed specialty of the ventrisca de bonito, a summer dish that has its origin in the seaside district of Cimadevilla; typical of the summer are also the squid calamari (caught with a hook); and do not forget the monkfish with bugre (lobster), red mullet or grilled and a long etcetera of recipes with a dominant amariscada, enriched almost always with clams and andaricas (nécoras), and without more seasonings than the basics: garlic, onion , olive oil, perjil, paprika, white wine and little else. It also abounds the seafood that is eaten without more preparations than a good cooking: prawns, crayfish, barnacles, razor clams, spider crabs, ñoclas (sea oxen), the popular llampares (limpets) and the oricios (sea urchins), one of the greatest gastronomic pleasures that the sea offers and that in Gijón they have been tasting since the beginning of time.
Everything makes our mouth water and from the cetáreas and fishmongers jumps to the counters, bars and tables of a branch, that of the restoration, that in Gijón have an almost capital relevance. Poach, stew, blanch, confit. A tasty vocabulary that comes from the kitchen and that in this city finds its own dialect, enriching the record of a kitchen like the Asturian, which practically speaks well everyone who knows it. But in addition to the sea, in the Gijón hotel industry the products of the land and the air are also styled, concreting in classic pots, menestras, rice or beans, recipes with roxa meat, as well as Asturian desserts and a pastry in which Charlota shines with its own light, cake prepared with base and background of biscuits, with chocolate, candied cherries and a long inventory of ingredients; or the Gijón Tart, dessert with a generic name that, among other things, mixes almonds and nougat. Without forgetting desserts of so much Asturian reputation as the rice with milk, the apple tarts, the frixuelos, casadielles, the hazelnut cakes ...
In recent decades, the cuisine of Gijón has been enriched by a way of enjoying food in a popular way, a formula that has always been one of the essence of Asturian culture. The espichas join party or celebration, good eating with spikes, hors d'oeuvres in abundance and lots of cider, which in these occasions is usually a barrel or pipe and not bottle. Fritters, sausages, tortillas, sausages and salted meats, boiled eggs, a long etcetera arranged in the long tables of a llagar (the equivalent, it could be said, to a wine cellar), where barrels and large spaces abound. In any case we would not be entirely objective if we identified the llagares and the "simple" food, in many of them there are nowadays all kinds of menus, and in some they even hold wedding banquets. In the vicinity of the Labor University, also near the Botanical Garden, more specifically between the areas known as the Magdalena and the Maizales, there are numerous picnic areas, several cider factories and llagares. In the parishes of Cabueñes, Cefontes or Castiello, where the landscape becomes fully rural, with praos, matos (natural hedges) and quintanas, surrounded by fruit trees, these llagares gijoneses find their greatest density.
The forms of gastronomy of Gijón, in addition to the espichas and the aforementioned of Chigres, cider houses and restaurants to use, also contemplate the avant-garde kitchen, for seasoned gourmets looking for new author textures and flavors. A proposal that is developed here in an almost vertiginous way, being already numerous restaurants of this type recognized with michelin stars or with the regional brand of Mesas de Asturias. We talk about new dishes, with new names and no less novel aftertaste: boiled egg cocktail, chorizo brick with cider gel, glass of nécoras ... a culinary reinterpretation, a distinctive touch to please the most demanding palates that come to Gijón because They know it's worth sitting at the table in the capital of the Costa Verde.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com