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A universal Asturian man

Tino “el Roxu” remembers his experiences in Expo’92.

LA SIDRA.- This year it is the 25th anniversary of the Universal Exhibition in Seville, named as “The Age of Discoveries”.

At that time, Asturias got represented by a green pavilion, with bears going up and down its side columns and an ample photographic exhibition.

And, somewhat inevitably, there had to be a cider bar with Florentino Mañana (Tino “el Roxu”), the most outstanding cider pourer of all times, in charge of it.

His pourings turned out to be an attraction for visitors, standing on the bar with eight cider glasses at the same time: five on his hand and arm, one on each foot and another one on a cane held in his mouth.

From 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. the cider bar was full, with Pedro Morán (Casa Gerardo) and Ramón González (El Máquina) in charge of the kitchen, management and supply of the venue, which had a luxurious restaurant on the ground floor.

For six months, they sold between ten and twelve “fabada” (Asturian bean stew) hotpots, 300 rice pudding servings and up to 126 cider cases every day, to serve the three million people who visited the building.

In spite of the high prices, both of cider and dishes, the competitors were more expensive and they did not offer the pouring show by “el Roxu”.

Many celebrities attended the Asturian representation, from a young Prince of Asturias, 24 that year and today King of Spain, to singer Massiel, newspresenter Carrascal or cyclist Pedro Delgado.

After such long working sessions, Tino climbed to the building roof to enjoy the light and sound show in the lake, America square, the bioclimatic sphere, the Palenque, the space shuttle replicas, the Cartuja and the Discovery of America caravels.

Today, at the age of 68, Tino “el Roxu” enjoys his retirement, with his daily bowling game and drinking cider for lunch and dinner.

Ana María Viciosa
http://www.lasidra.as
Born in Xixón, Asturies, in 1973, she studied English Filology at the Universities of Oviedo and Bradford (UK). She's worked as an English teacher, guide, interpreter and translator. She's very keen on cider and good cuisine.