Galicia in northern "green Spain". A million miles from the stereotypical
Spain of flamenco and sangria.(here you find bagpipes
and aguardiente) Visit Santiago de la
and eat wonderful seafood tapas including percebes (goose barnacles) won
from the sea at great risk to the fishermen on the "costa da morte (costa
de la meurte)", the coast of death.
If you are
feeling extravagent, stay at the parador.
rias (fjords) are farmed to produce its masses of seafood. Maize and grelos
are grown in small fields and stone "horreos" (grain stores) are
to be seen everywhere, distinctively different from the typically wooden
ones of Asturias. Often adorned with the Christian cross on one end and
a pagan symbol on the other (there is a saying that goes something like
"I don't believe in witches but they do exist". Believed in seriously or
not, they are exorcised at the Queimada
is well placed on the coast to sample the local seafood and is a centre
for the Rias Baixas area and Albariño wine. There are a number of
restaurants serving simple but varied fresh seafood on the main street
but we recommend "Ribadomar" on one of the side streets, (look for direction
signs or C/Valle Incián) for a little more innovation. Empanadas
and pulpo gallego can be found everywhere and we enjoyed eating both at
festa, at which most people dress in medieval style, sometimes even the
a pretty seaside town with many restaurants, especially in the old town
and an excellent parador.
many Gallego words vary from Castillian and that "x" should be pronounced
"sh", so Rias Baixas, "Rias Ba-has" in Castilian becomes "Rias Bay-shas",
double "rr's" are pronounced with a pronounced rolled "r").
- olive oil pastry pies with a filling of sweet peppers and tuna or meat.
- broth of haricot beans, grelos, paprika, potato and pork.
Grelos - slow cooked boiled ham, potatoes, chorizos and grelos.
de Padron - fried small green peppers, some hot !
Pulpo a la
Gallego - octopus stalls can be seen on many street corners.
- grapa punch made from aguardiente (orujo)
Santiago - almond tart decorated with the cross of St.James.
creamy cows milk cheese, in the shape of , well, a tetilla !
Jamon - scallops on the shell with ham
white wine from the Rias Baixas denomination.
Sacra is a recent DO, its vineyards often on steep slopes above the gorge
of the Sil, so steep that sometimes fixed steel ladders are set in place
to access the vines. Named "Sacra" as many of the vineyards were or are
owned by monasteries.
is the typical green vegetable of Galicia, looking rather like a Brussels
sprout without the sprouts, the upper leaves being eaten. The usual english
translation is "turnip tops".
short crust pastry made with either a little dry sherry or anis.
Saute a chopped
onion in olive oil until soft.
Add the drained,
sliced red (bell) peppers from a jar or roast two peppers in the oven,
then peel and de-seed.
Add a few
strands of saffron.
Add the drained
contents of a tin of tuna or simmer 400 grams of fresh tuna in water until
Line a flan
dish with pastry, add the fillings and cover with another layer of pastry
with a hole at the centre for steam to escape. Glaze with egg and bake
in a medium oven until golden brown.
european" dish using Galician ingredients
gratin with leeks.
and clean the scallops, removing the stomach (black) and the outer "frills".
Sever the scallop from the lower curved half shell but leave in place.
leek per 4 scallops until soft. Drain and chop finely.
the leek evenly round the scallop and moisten with a trickle of Albariño
thinly sliced tetilla.
brown and eat with the remaining Albariño.
being sealed in by the cheese, retains its full flavour, complemented,
of course, by the soft Galician wine.You can use a little mashed potato
to anchor the scallops to the plate (we keep some "Smash" handy for the
French call the scallop "coquille St Jaques" and the Spanish "concha de
peregrino" referring to the identification of the scallop with the pilgrimage
to Santiago (St.James). Pilgrims wear a scallop shell round thier necks
and the shell motif can be seen on many buildings. The pilgimage has now
become very popular with a constant stream arriving at Santiago.
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