Cider or sidra is a traditional drink in the region of Asturias and for centuries servers have been pouring the cider in a peculiar way: The server holds up the heavy green glass bottle high and the glass down and begins pouring. The technique is called escanciar la sidra and is the traditional pouring method, allowing the bubbly cider to splash into glasses 2 or 3 feet below the bottle. This aerates the cider and improves the taste. Foreign and Spanish tourists like to try their cider-pouring skills when visiting Asturias and usually end up spilling more cider on the ground than what lands in the glass.
The apparatus in the photo that we'll call a "cider dispenser" is fairly new and was introduced to the market in 2006. While visiting Spain last summer, we frequented a Sidreria, (a bar that serves cider) in Burgos and found several of these gadgets in use along the bar. In fact, not only were they using the dispensers, the bar was selling them. We thought that they would make a great gift for some friends back home, or to add to our kitchen accessories. We changed our minds when we discovered the price of about 80 euros. However, even at this price the gadget was a popular Christmas gift in Spain this past January.
Whether you drink Asturian cider from the dispenser or from the bottle, it is light, refreshing and tasty. The new batch of Asturian cider is released annually this time of year (March.)
Sidra Asturiana - Asturian Cider (c) 2007 Lisa Sierra Licensed to About.com
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