Sometimes we have trouble leaving the comfort of the known. And we know life only starts at the edge of the unknown. That’s where life starts.
I’ve been an immigrant all my life. From Asturias to Catalonia. From Catalonia to Madrid. Then I landed in America. I’ve been in the States more than 26 years—more than half of my life. I think everybody should always find the place they come from. I left Asturias when I was five. A lot of people would not have many memories from before they were five, but I do.
Here in Asturias, nothing is plentiful. The people of Asturias—even in the hard times—they know what to do with nothing, and that shows you the hearts of the people in Asturias. It’s not what you want when you want it, it’s when the land wants to give it to you—the river, the mountain, the sea. You have to respect the land first, and then maybe the land will want to give you something back. In Asturias, in many of the restaurants you go to, you’re going to get that feeling. There’s something beyond just the plate you have in front of you. It’s the understanding of the happiness that hardship gives you.
This text is excerpted from José Andrés’ narration in the episode. It has been condensed and edited.
Highlights from Asturias on Explore Parts Unknown:
- José Andrés’ guide to a Perfect Day in Asturias
- An illustrated guide to cider etiquette and an Asturias cider crawl
- Photo essays on conservas and northern Spain’s “Barnacle Queens”
- An interview with Andrés on his friendship with Bourdain
- A guide to local expressions and slang