Typical Gastronomy From Galicia You Should Try
The Gastronomy of Galicia is wide and varied in this region of Spain and eating out in Galicia couldn’t be a more rewarding experience. The Galicians, or Gallegos, have a long tradition of offering great and pride their cooking skills, as a result some of the best known dishes in Spain come from this region.
If your a foody with a passion for seafood and excellent wine pairing then the amazing region of Galicia is for you. Galicia harvests or catches fish, shellfish and crustaceans than any other region with much of its produce transported daily to some of the best restaurants throughout Spain and Europe.
Seafood Plata - Mariscada
The sea around the coast of Galicia and its Rivers ( Rias Baixas ) are clean and fertile and home to a wide variety of seafood and forms one of the most famous dishes in Spain. A Mariscada Gallega typically includes a mixture of fresh seafood caught or harvested the evening before and will include crabs, razor clams. oysters, goose barnacles, mussels, clams and lobster. The secret of its undying success is of course the unbeatable quality and freshness.
Galician Octopus - Pulpo A La Gallega
Famous dishes from the region include Pulpo a la Gallega, boiled octopus sprinkled with salt, paprika and olive, easy to prepare and quite delicious.
Fried Green Peppers - Pimientas De Padron
These are small sweet green peppers from the town of Padron in the province of A Coruna in the province of Galicia. Although in most cases it is the green variety which is fried, there are other varieties and Padron peppers can be found in a yellowish green and red. In most cases the peppers are quite mild although around 20% are pretty hot, how they turn out depends on the amount of water and sunlight they receive whilst growing.
The well known dish of Pimientos De Padron is served locally and nationally and is quite simple to prepare as they are cooked for a few minutes in hot olive oil then doused in sea salt, the flavour is intense and the aroma whilst being fried is even better.
Goose Barnacles - Percebes
These strange little creatures are a big delicacy all over Spain, the flavour is intense and tastes like your eating the Atlantic sea, in a nice way of course. Goose Neck Barnacles grow on the rocky outcrops around the wild coast of Galicia and are famously harvested by locals who dangle from from the cliff face to reach them. Fishermen risk their lives as they lower themselves onto the jagged rocks braving rough seas, many have died trying to harvest this unique seafood.
Santiago Cake - Tarta de Santiago
By Manel Zaera - via Wikimedia Commons
No visit to Galicia would be complete without eating a large slice of this delicious pastry. Tarta de Santiago was named after St James and is made of ground almonds, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and shortcrust pastry. The top of the pastry is decorated with the imprint of the cross of St James.
Small Dishes with Big Flavours
Basically Tapas, small tasty dishes, are at the centre of day-to-day life in Galicia. The most popular tapas include Calamares, deep-fried battered squid and local scallops ( Vieras ) which are abundant in the clean fresh waters around Galicia.
For non-meat lovers, there are Pimientos de Padron, fried green chilli peppers. These are extremely popular, mouth-wateringly delicious and very reasonable price wise.
Nice as pie - Empanada a la Gallega
Unexpectedly, filled pies trace their roots back to Galicia, although they are known here as Empanadas. The word comes from the verb meaning to coat with crumbs. These pies can have fillings of meat and fish, the most usual filling is Tuna fish. The sauces are usually made of tomato, oil and a variety of fine herbs and subtle spices. A trip to Galicia just to try a pie from the place it was founded is well worth it. They are absolutely sublime and the people who make them are as nice as pie too.
Queimada - Burning Liquor
Qeimada is a unique hot drink from Galicia made from Aguadiente liquor which his heated with sugar, lemon peel, coffee beans and cinnamon sticks. It is set alight, usually at your table, then stirred continuously whilst the liquor burns off leaving a sweet smelling coffee infuse. Known as the witches brew. preparing a queimada is quite an experience and an after meal drink you must try.
Turning Water Into Wine
It’s as if the Galicians have magical powers when it comes to wine-making. The industry is at the heart of their region and they produce two amazingly famous wines: A white wine from the grape Albariño and a red wine, Ribeira. Theese two highly revered wines pair very well with most Galician dishes.
The flavours of the wine are arguably the best in all of Spain and are a major part of the Gastronomy of Galicia. Local wines are sold in markets, shops and just about in every restaurant in the region. The best part s that the prices of these wines are incredibly low.
To Market, To Market
Food markets are big all over Spain and especially in Galicia. Even the smallest towns will have weekly markets. A typical Galician stall will sell anything from fresh fish of the day to a typical cheese of the region, such as ´Tetilla´, easily recognisable by its small breast-like shape. Galician markets are also a great place to explore the unique treasures of each little Galician town or bigger city.