Traditional Galician Food posted: 2016-09-14 08:30:00
Fresh seafood is the most Traditional Galician food you'll find on any menu on the Camino de Santiago.
With over 700 miles of coastline producing the best of seafood you are guaranteed to enjoy the freshest traditional Galician food when walking the Camino. Galicia's traditional food is infamous all over Spain or even Europe. Galicia continuously out does itself year on year gaining new Michelin stars in fact, it is the region of Spain with the most Michelin stars ensuring that it is the epicenter of Spanish gastronomy. Bottom line, you’ll not go hungry in Galicia. Our top 5 seafood dishes that are a must try when in the north-west corner of Spain are:
OCTOPUS (PULPO A FEIRA):
Adult octopus including the tentacles this is possibly the most common type of traditional Galician food, in fact for many Galicians they are the best part slow boiled until tender. Before serving tapas style in a small dish or a larger wooden plate for sharing the tentacles are snipped into little medallions with some olive oil poured over and sprinkled with some salt and paprika.
GOOSE-NECK BARNACLES (PERCEBES):
Percebes are barnacles and certainly could win an award for being the weirdest food source in Spain but yet, they are a delicacy in Galicia. They can be costly which is mainly due to the fact that they are dangerous to catch. The fisher many must try to pull them off coastal cliffs or rocks in between each crashing wave making it very dangerous work. Eating percebes or Barnacles can be tricky too, you must pull them apart, split open the shell then suck out the flesh inside, which is truly worth the work. The taste like a little bit of heaven, if heaven was in the sea. Percebes are a must try when in Galicia to really travel, one should embrace the culture and really experience what it is like to be from that region.
Are in general the most affordable option on this ‘to eat’ list. Basic mussels are a mainstay of the local economy along the Rías Baixas or western coast of the region. Usually served up with fresh lemon wedges as Mejillones al Vapor (steamed mussels) or in a paprika-spiced marinade called, Escabeche. These salmon coloured abalones can sometimes be rubbery and definitely taste like “ocean” and their salty goodness is addictive which means you’ll have no problem eating an entire platter to yourself, yum!
Scallops are the symbol of the Camino itself. The lines in the fanned out shell all coming to one point represent the many routes of pilgrimage to the same location, Santiago de Compostela. They are also a symbol of Galician food as you’ll find them in most restaurants along Galician parts of the Camino. They are served steamed, in one half of their shell, either plain or with a mixture of onions, peppers, and breadcrumbs called vieiras gratinadas. A must try when visiting the north-west corner of Spain.
SHRIMP (CAMARÓN / GAMBA):
These crustaceans just may be the most widely recognized internationally of the huge array of seafood that is common to the average Galician. These small, striped shrimp are caught in the local rías or inlets of the Atlantic Ocean so are abundant in the north-west coast of Spain. They seem to taste extra delicious in Galicia, maybe it’s due to the freshness or how they are served drenched in chopped garlic but somehow, even though they can be messy and a lot of work to de-shell they are always worth the effort.
All of the fancy talk aside; the essential ingredient in traditional Galician food is freshness all along the coast there are fisherman working away and bringing the catch of the day directly to restaurant chef who are placing it on to your plate, there for you can rest assured that whatever seafood you are eating that day will be the freshest.
Read our list of top 5 wines along the Camino also to help you decide what to drink with your delicious Galicain food.
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