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La Feria de Abril arrives to Seville!
April 04, 2005

Welcome back to Spain-recipes' newsletter.

This month has been a really busy one... After easter - we've celebrated it with our family, as traditionally - we've been preparing some exciting features for, as you'll see in the next paragraphs.

First of all, we're presenting you an interesting article on La feria de Abril, April's traditional festival celebrated in Sevilla: an explosion of light, music, dancing and wine that keeps the capital of Andalusia busy for over a week.

And to balance our newsletter, we've prepared also an interesting article on cider bars. Cider bars are typical in the north of Spain, where the Celts first established... Thus, many customs are very similar to the ones you can find in some parts of Northern Europe, like Scotland or Ireland...

As we say in Spain: 'En la variedad está el gusto'! (in the variety you can find your flavor)


Jordi Vallés

PS: Before I forget! If you're curious to learn how we developed this site, just check out here!

Just keep enjoying your Spanish Experience with us at


La feria de Abril

In little more than one and a half centuries, Seville's April Fair, originally a cattle market, has become one of the most fascinating spectacles on offer in Spain.

The Fair began in 1847 as a country festival, the livestock fair, when Narciso Bonaplata and the Count of Ibarra obtained licenses signed by Queen Isabelle II. Its duration was lengthened from three to six days and, along with the fair itself, singing and dancing were added, while the transactions themselves disappeared. Originally located in the Prado de San Sebastián, after some years it was moved to the premises of Los Remedios..

The Fiesta begins on the third Tuesday before Easter Sunday at 12 at night when the gateway to the fiesta is burned. The entrance to the fairground, 'el Real', consists of a monumental gate through which carriages and horsemen pass, parading their dressed-up steeds and ponies, accompanied by women in flamenco or gypsy dresses. At night they drink 'manzanilla' and dance 'sevillanas' in the 'casetas' (fair booths). Most of these 'casetas' are private, although there are also some open to the public. The fiesta is also accompanied by bullfights in the Maestranza bullring.

Dates: 4/12/2005 - 4/17/2005


Cider bars: a tradition of the north

If you want to discover a deeply rooted tradition of the north of Spain, don't miss a visit to a cider bar. These are typical establishments for tasting cider, a natural drink made from apples, and trying the delights of the local cuisine.

Having a good cider with family or friends and chatting over a few glasses and a bottle of this natural drink is a traditional custom that can be found in numerous places in Asturias, The Basque Country and Navarre. Without doubt, dropping in at a cider bar is an experience not to be missed.

The cider pouring ritual

Serving cider is an art. To get the best from all its flavours and nuances, cider has to fall heavily into the glass from a certain height, actually hitting the edge of the container. Escanciar is the word Spaniards use for this type of pouring, and it is highly entertaining to watch. If you have never tried it, all you have to do is put your skills to the test. And don't worry, someone is sure to show you how you do it and encourage you to learn the art of cider pouring.
You can also drink straight from the large barrels of cider. The whole thing is a ritual as drawing the cider straight from the cask is the best way of appreciating the colour, aroma and flavour of this natural liquid.

Farmhouses with a traditional flavour

Many cider bars operate from traditional buildings in the north of Spain, such as farmhouses and old cider presses, made from wood and stone. In Asturias, the most famous cider-drinking area, be sure to accompany your drink with some of the local produce, such as cabrales cheese.

These establishments are usually furnished with long tables, barrels, buckets, and traditional tools and utensils. More and more visitors to Spain are discovering the cider bars, where as well as having a good meal they can also purchase bottles or boxes of this delicious drink.

So dropping in at a cider bar is a great way of learning something about Spain's traditional cuisine and discovering a refreshing and ancient drink of the north: cider. Fancy trying it?



New recipes at

In the past days, we've included a new recipe on our Paella Recipes section:

  • Squid paella: In this paella, the delightful, true flavor of the squid shines through, and is subtly enhanced by the combination of rosemary, cumin, oregano, hot pepper flakes and sherry.

In our Desserts Section, we keep adding new recipes. This month's addition is:

  • Crema Catalana: Because of its crisp, caramelized topping, this creamy Catalan dessert is often compared to the French crème brûlée. Sweet Catalan cream, however, is not as heavy or rich as its French cousin, and thus makes a more pleasant ending to a heavy paella dinner.

And don't forget to check out our new cookbook: Favourite Mediterranean Recipes!


Kind regards,

Jordi Vallés

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