One of the things that draws me to culinary culture is the unique foods and customs that truly define local cuisine. Po boys in New Orleans, blue crab picking in Maryland, mussels and frites in Brussels and chile roasted corn in Oaxaca.
Craft cider has been stealing not only my attention recently, but also Spain’s, primarily the Asturian area. Not only is the cider (Sidra) unique but so is the way it is poured.
Sidra is naturally fermented apple juice that tends to be acidic, musty and complex. Sidra is still, no carbonation and typically ordered in a Spanish bar called “Chigre” or “Sidreria.”
Instead of pouring from a tap or pouring directly into a glass, The Asturian have a unique, impressive way of serving Sidra.
The waiter holds the green glass bottle head high and pours a few centimeters of Sidra into a half pint size glass which is held near the hip. This is referred to as “throwing the Sidra.” The Sidra is immediately tossed back and the next table guest gets the glass and the process starts over.
Why all the theatrics? Well, besides looking pretty cool, pouring in this manner serves a purpose. The reason for pouring from such extreme distance is to develop air bubbles thus temporarily carbonating the cider. This is why drinkers consume the Sidra so quickly. The spritzy stuff lasts for just a second. The dregs are either consumed or poured out and the pour goes around the table.
Have you been to Spain and have you experienced traditional Sidra? Let me know.
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