Sidra and more at El Escorial, Spain

9:39 PM

When we arrived to Madrid, our friends wanted us to have our first typical Spanish meal. They took us to a town in the outskirts of Madrid called Escorial known for its Monasterio or The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo El Escorial - now a museum and school with beautiful gardens- and El Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), a national cemetery where dictator General Franco is buried.

El Escorial
But for us, Escorial will always be remembered as the city where La Sidreita La Santina is located.

La Santina is a big but homey and rustic restaurant on a hill top where typical dishes from Asturias are served. The drink to have is the cider (cidra or sidra). Sidra is a liqor made of locally grown apples in Asturias that is fermented for several months until reaching a 4-6% of alcohol level. After is done, it is bottled in dark-green bottles. The way that is served in this restaurant is an spectacle by itself... although we later learned that good and true sidra restaurants served them in the same ‘dramatic’ way.
Serving Sidra
At the restaurant we had almejas sauteed in olive oil, garlic and herbs like parsley, among others. Delicious! Jose is allergic to all shellfish so I had to ate them all and I certainly did.

We also had our first typical fabada asturiana (been and sausage casserole). This is a heavy stew that is made with beans (fabas) all and we mean all parts of the pork: morcilla (blood sausage or black pudding), pork belly, smoked hock... well, you get it... It is dense, rich and so flavorful. It is great for cold days and it is a tradition in Spanish cuisine.

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