Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sideria Pouring

All over the region of Spain we were in (Austurias, Cantabaria) they drink Sidra, a hard apple cider. The pouring of the drink is the thing.

The first restaurant we visited in Austurias was really a nothing special, a practical hole in the wall type of place. But we were hungry. The food turned out great, even though we didn't really have a clue what we were ordering. All the dishes were tapas, which is kind of like ordering food Chinese style. I love to eat this way. One tapas was largish mushrooms fried in a tempura like batter, topped off with a sweat cream with black small fish roe laying in the cream. It was delicious. Another tapas was tomatoes, stuffed with cheese and drizzled with a honey sauce. Also very good.

Our waiter was a funny guy. In between serving our dishes he hung around the bar eating Pringles chips from the can. His other trick was pouring the spanish cider, Sidra. Basically he assumes the stance of a matador, head up, legs straight, chest out. He takes the Sidra bottle in one hand and raises his arm straight in the air as high as he can reach. The other hand holds the drinking glass, and he holds the glass slightly tilted and as low as he can. Then he looks away toward the wall and begins to pour from the bottle held high above his head, and attempts to hit the glass held down by his knees. Of course, it's practically impossible to do this without splattering Cider all out the glass, and pouring a fair amount directly onto the ground. The whole time the Cider is spraying all around the waiter doesn't move hardly an inch, just a little with his bottom hand to better catch the Cider. Second thing: you don't pour your own glass of Cider, the waiter is constantly hovering about and will fill your glass before it is empty always by the matador method. There are Sideria or "cider bars" everywhere in Austurias. To handle the cider pouring business in the busier bars they have little "machines" on the tables that will pour your cider for you. So.... when in northern Spain, don't pour your own cider - either your matador-waiter will do it, or the machine will.

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