Our search for Asturias recipes takes us to the green coast of Spain, where the rain falls on a regular basis and the food is traditional, rustic and hearty. In the coastal areas, seafood is very popular but move away from the sea into the dramatic mountainous landscape of the Picos de Europa, and the dishes reflect the abundant produce of this green and fertile land.
Winter recipes are dominated by cabbage, meat, beans and cured sausages, which are often used to make rich and warming stews, the most famous of which is Fabada. This wonderful dish boasts and impressive mix of ingredients including white beans, pork, morcilla (similar to black pudding), chorizo and saffron.
Across the region, apple groves provide the vital ingredient for the traditional local drink known as Sidra (Cider) which is served in bars thorughout the region and served in a very particular way. The server (escanciador) pours the drink from a great height allowing it to oxygenate as it falls into the glass below. It is then drunk immediately before it loses its carbonation.
Asturias is also famous for its dairy produce, with much of the country's milk produced in the region. There are more than 20 varieties of cheese produced here including the strong blue Cabrales, which is the most famous in the region and is protected by a Denominacion de Origen (D.O.) Other notable cheeses from the region include Afuega'l pitu, Los Beyos, Casín, Gamonedo, Peñamellera, Urbiés and La Peral.
Asturias recipes are perhaps the most traditional in all of Spain. Of course, there are modern restaurants in some of the larger cities and contemporary influences have crept in to the cuisine. But on the whole, this region of farmers, fishermen, miners and labourers remains true to its humble working-class roots.
As well as being an interesting area for food lovers, Asturias offers a natural paradise that attracts tourists from all over the world. Visitors to this spectacular region must be prepared to have their breath taken away at every turn.
Region: Asturias, Principality of Asturias, Principado de Asturias (Spanish), Principáu d'Asturies (Asturian)
Other notable cities: Gijón, Avilés