How to make fabada or how to discover a Spanish paradise called Asturias

Appetit Voyage
Where is Asturias?

This is a short travel and gastronomic guide to Asturias.

Asturias is beautiful region of Spain located in the North between Galicia and Cantabria. I always call it the Spanish Britain, as it looks so familiar to the French West coast. Actually the same population who settled in Britain (France), settled in Asturias,... back to the Neolithic!
If you do mention it, is because it really is striking to see how many traditions are shared between both regions: cider, pancakes, music, etc...

Appetit Voyage
Tazones village in Asturias
The landscape is a wide range of greens curved by the mountains that spring into the sea. This a landscape of fields and woods, cows and apple trees. All places I discovered during my trip were extremely romantic.

I spent 3 days in Asturias, in a nice little city called Villaviciosa where my friend Elena comes from. We had a beautiful guest house. From this point we visited Oviedo (c/ Gascona), Covadonga, Llanes, Tazones…

While everybody really got impressed by the landscapes and visits we did, I have to say that a major point of our trip was the restaurants and typical food we tried there! OMG! You cannot imagine how good everything was! Most of the places we had been are not in the guides or recommended in any place. 

Appetit Voyage
Asturias Fabada
We went in small places, where people are still actually cooking in the kitchen and not defrosting-microwaving – serving!  We walked into family run, small restaurants and taverns, not really fancy or well decorated, but with amazing local food, starting with the king of the dishes in Asturias: FABADA!

I love the name itself of FABADA that sounds like a magic curse! And it is! Now, be prepared! The gastronomy of Asturias was traditionally feeding men who were working hard in the mountains, sea or mines.
Fabada is full meal itself made with typical huge white beans, ham, bacon, chorizo and blood sausage. The beans are cooked during hours with the different meats when all the flavours will have time to spread.
This dish was our usual starter,… yes! I said STARTER! One of the most amazing thing about the gastronomy in Asturias, is the quantity of food you are served! Usually, after the fabada which usually served in a bowl and let on the centre of the table, after having a couple of service, because, it is so delicious, you cannot help to get a little bit more,… after all that, comes either some amazing meat on the grill or fish.
Appetit Voyage
Surprising Barnacles!
I still remember now the gambas with chickpeas pot we had the first day that was soooo delicious! With such a strong taste of the prawns,… wow! Seafood and fish was always fresh coming from the sea: prawns, mussels, clams, barnacles, razors shells, etc… just grilled and served with some garlic and parsley oil,…
And the meat,… wowwww,… fleshy and fat meat coming from the cows in the fields around. I had one big steak with bone,… and I hardly cried at each bite!
After all this, you cannot finish your meal without a dessert! Arroz con leche, flan, pudding, crepes, etc…

Appetit Voyage
Cabrales a goat blue cheese
Another very typical food from Asturias is the goat cheese called CABRALES, a delicate and strong blue cheese. Locals are used to mix it with cider, the national drink, and make a kind of paste that is less strong than the cheese on its own! The mix is very interesting and enjoyable!

Another important specialty in the region, you cannot miss, is the cider! The process and service is just unique!

These are some of the places we went and I highly recommend if you go there:

Appetit Voyage
Grilled Asturian Meat
El Cañu 
c/ Carmen, 4
33300 Villaviciosa
Phone: +34 984 19 46 51 
This is a very welcoming place where to try all the different tapas of the region like: chorizos a la sidra, cabrales, crabs, blood sausage, grilled meat, etc...

Appetit Voyage
More Fabada!

El Escorial 
Amandi, Villaviciosa
Phone: +34 985 89 19 19
This nice family run restaurant was located next door from our guest house and we had there some amazing homemade food like the fabada and the prawns chickpeas.

Appetit Voyage
Best Steak in the world!
El Campanu (RibadeSella)
C/ Marqueses de Argüelles, 9 
33560 Ribadesella 
Phone: 985 860 358
Campanu means in Asturias the first salmon, the most beautiful one as well, fished in the Asturias region when the season starts. There is a big event in Ribadesella and an auction where all the best restaurants in the area can bid to have this very special fish. I had the chance to see the celebration and it was really a lot of fun!

Appetit Voyage
Tienda Coral Treasures
Autoservicio Coral 
c/ Balbin Busto, 2
Phone:+34 985 89 19 02
This is like an Ali baba cave where you will find all the finest products of Asturias, but also all kind of delicatessen. The most amazing is the kindness of the 2 sisters running this tiny and so resourceful shop. They each product and advise you wisely! I bought there all the ingredients for the Fabada.

Appetit Voyage
Stephi's Fabada
Stephi’s Fabada recipe for 6 persons
1kg of white large beans you will let in water overnight before cooking
200 grs of Chorizo
200 grs of Morcilla (Spanish blood sausage)
2 Garlic cloves
1 onion
3 Laurel leaves
250 grs of bacon
250 grs of ham
saffron, salt and pepper
1/ Peel the onion and garlic. 

2/ Put all the ingredients in a large pan except for the saffron, salt and pepper. Cover with water and cook at medium heat till boiling and then reduce at the maximum and let it cook slowly for at least 3h. 

3/ Add water to keep it totally covered. Halfway, add the saffron, salt and pepper. It should result in a soup with not too much liquid.

4/ Wait 5 minutes before serving when it is ready or have it the day after, it is even better! Enjoy!

Appetit Voyage
Enjoy Fabada with friends!

My trip to Asturias was really a discovery of different face from Spain. I was there in May, and went through snow landscapes to beaches, churches lost in the mountains to popular feasts in small villages. 
This is a place to go, enjoy with kids, family and friends. If you know any good tip to add, great places I had been or have any question about Asturias, please share!

a ppetit voyage is much more than reviews and recipes!

Follow the blog:
Share your ideas on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter @appetitvoyage

A ppetit Voyage agenda is updated regularly, so come and visit our website to check the next workshops, either for cooking or wine tasting!

 Feel free to contact us and ask for a private dinner or party with your friends or colleagues: Birthdays, Bachelors, Baby shower, etc...

A ppetit Voyage is your globe-trotting connoisseur: helping you change your mind about food, wines and cooking!


Popular Posts