GIJÓN/XIXÓN: AN AUTUMN BRIMMING WITH GOURMET CUISINE
You always have to return to Gijón. Whether in search of those endless strolls along San Lorenzo Beach, the warm sunsets over the marina, the sound of the sea and seagulls below the Praise to the Horizon or that pure, moist air in spots like the Atlantic Botanic Gardens, Deva and La Providencia.
But undoubtedly one of the best excuses to drop by the home town of Jovellanos is its cuisine and, of course, cider. Thanks to its location on the Bay of Biscay, just a short distance from the Picos de Europa, in Gijón you can enjoy the best of the sea and the mountains, with fish, seafood, cheese, meat, hearty bean stews and all the best produce of Asturian gourmet cuisine. Any time of year is good, but the city goes all out in autumn to the delight of even the most demanding gourmet.
From 6th to 16th October, Gijón puts on its best bib and tucker to proudly celebrate that fact that it is the major cider venue worldwide. There is no better way to get to know local idiosyncrasies and savour the finest food and the best cider than a tour of the city’s most emblematic cider taverns. Cider mills from all over Asturias participate in the Cider in Gijón gastro-event. Over 11 days, each cider tavern offers a bottle of cider and a mini-tapa or portion of its own creation at a more than attractive price. A special bus covers the route of all the participating cider taverns so as to make it easier to get around. What’s more, choirs tour the city’s cider taverns throughout the gastro-event, singing traditional cancios de chigre, i.e. popular songs that people used to sing spontaneously in cider taverns in the old days.
And in November, it’s the turn of the mini-tapas or finger food known as pinchos. Gijón de pinchos or Mini-tapas Gijón is the gastro-festival with the highest participation in all of Spain. Last year, the event featured 121 participants, who offered their expertise and creativity for 10 days of gourmet snacking throughout the city. The organization provides a Gastromap so you can custom design a route through the city and participate in the popular vote in choosing the best mini-tapa or pincho. It is to be held between 11th and 20th November this year. A great plan for dining out on a budget, which is rounded off by the fact that it coincides with the Xixón International Film Festival.
This is just to whet your appetite, as Gijón always has something prepared for those who like to enjoy its flavours. For example, its Gijón Gourmet and Sweet-toothed Gijón schemes, which run throughout the year. There is also the Gijón Cider Trail, which is even more of an attraction in the autumn because that is when the apples are harvested and the first “sweet cider” or apple must is made. This sidra dulce serves as an accompaniment in what are known locally as amagüestos, i.e. get togethers to eat roasted chestnuts.
The capital of the Costa Verde or “Green Coast” really has something to offer and has earned its place as the most dynamic city in northern Spain, a city that welcomes its visitors with open arms. Surely there is no better way to charge up your batteries than to head for the Bay of Biscay to breathe the breeze… to live and breathe Gijón.
+ More info www.gijon.info