You can eat and drink happiness. So it is written, and everybody has experienced it sometime or other. You can eat cities, too. You can eat them with your eyes and your ears and, of course, you can eat them thanks to their gastronomy… through your eyes and mouth. A city is a menu of opportunities for leisure, culture and scenery, but also a menu in the textual sense of the word. Each city has its menus of attractions and has to have its food and drinks menu to be on the tour, getaways, travel agents and vacation plans menus.
That is why Gijón is among those cities that have managed to forge their way within the tough, competitive tourist market; because it has a lengthy, wide-ranging menu, a menu of meat and fish, seafood and local produce. Not to mention its long list of quality restaurateurs and range of establishments that let you enjoy the local cuisine with the same intensity in a small, neighbourhood wine bar or in a top quality restaurant with a star or mention in the Michelin Guide itself.
There is something to savour and something to recommend at each and every one of them. There is both quantity and quality, with 2 restaurants listed in Michelin Guide, 3 which they boast the Mesas de Asturias quality mark, 7 which are affiliated with the Gijón Gourmet scheme, more than 70 establishments pledged to providing quality, in addition to an almost endless list of cider taverns where you can follow the scent and trail of cider, our “national drink” par excellence. You can visit the cider mills where this wonderful brew is made from apples. Visitors can also choose to take part in more than 20 different annual gastro-events. Not to mention the establishments devoted to making cakes, pastries, confectionaries and desserts, another veritable gastronomic “lode” that has been “mined” more and more in recent years.
Hotel and catering associations participate closely with Gijón’s firm commitment to continue to figure on the national tourist menu and continue to attract all those who wish to let themselves be conquered by cities with all five senses. One of the reasons why Gijón is a welcoming city is because it is easy to stroll around, it has spots of great beauty, but also areas replete with bars and restaurants where visitors can feel at home with the aid of good professional service, excellent products, variety and quality.
Ferrán Adrià spoke of Gijón’s cuisine in the following words.
To reduce everything to good food would be to greatly simplify the attractions of this city. Gijón has a great deal to contribute because its menu of attractions as a tourist destination is broad ranging. But there are times of the year, like the one we find ourselves in right now, when gastronomy rises to the heights with one of the jewels of our winter menu: the sea urchin.
“Around the month of March is usually the best time for that tradition in Gijón known as sea urchins, which are consumed here in large quantities, because the local residents are generally genuine fans of this flavoursome, cheap seafood underrated in other climes (…)”
Eduardo Méndez Riestra. Comer en Asturias [Eating in Asturias]. Madrid, 1980