Galicia one of the few places in Europe where you want to visit it in the summer. It is not hot here at all — a fresh wind is always blowing from the ocean.
At the same time, the sun shines brightly and you are always surrounded by a bright landscape of blue sea, green fields and gray rocks. The food here is simple and popular. With stunning ocean seafood, fish and free-grazing meat, there’s no need to complicate things.
She just wants to eat, squeezed the same simple local wine. What the famous food blogger and a big lover of gastronomic travels tells Maria Sorokina
Where to go:
Rias (Galician fjords)
The entire oceanic coast of Galicia is dotted with deep bays, formed in the mouths of large rivers flowing into the ocean, due to the melting of glaciers. These bays are of incredible beauty and it is in them that the main Galician riches are found — Fish and seafood.
To look at them from a height, you can go, for example, to the region Rias baixas.
If you wish, you can also see how mollusks are grown (mussels, oysters and scallops) on special offshore platforms.
Sightseeing boats sail out of town O grove.
Fresh fish and seafood here are much more than in Mediterranean countries.
Special attention should be paid to crabs, lobsters and lobsters, stingrays, and sharks.
In addition, there are sold especially rare clams like percepes (sea ducks) and navaja (marine stalk).
Wonderful fish markets — Mercato Municipal in the city of Pontevedra and Mercato de abasto in Santiago de Compostela.
They work every day from 9 to 14 (the earlier, the more you will see).
The best days are Tuesday and Saturday.
City of Santiago de Compostela
Despite the abundance of historical values, Santiago de Compostela is a wonderful lively town. A large university and many students, and on the streets you constantly see modern pilgrims, having fun walking along the path of Santiago in tourist boots.
Even if you are not a connoisseur of religious architecture, you should go to the main cathedral, go up to the roof, take a walk along it (where there is) and look at the picturesque surroundings.
In the evening at about eight in the cathedral the mass ends, and eight masters rock the world’s largest censer. It is tall with a small man — this is an amazing sight.
And around the cathedral on all four adjacent squares, street musicians, dancers, jugglers and merchants gather around.
A little to the side of the cathedral are two main tapas streets — rúa do Franco and rúa da Raíña.
It is good and easy to walk around them, looking at aquariums and shop windows with crabs and octopuses, but it’s better to go to the bars.
Eat one thing, drink a glass of wine and slowly move on to the next.
Most of the Galician grapes are grown on terraces, built on the steep slopes of the valleys, in which large rivers flow, turning closer to the ocean in those same rias. The construction of such terraces is quite laborious, but the conditions for the vines as a result are very advantageous.
As a result, in Galicia there are a lot of original local wines from local grape varieties. You can see the spectacular terraces in the wine region. Ribeira sacra.
And if you want to get acquainted with the Galician winemaking in detail, take the wine train (tren del vino) or a wine bus (viñobús), which will take you to the main places with stops at the tasting.
In Galicia, especially in the city of Orense, a huge number of natural hot springs with a water temperature of 20 to 65 degrees. The city is full of a variety of spas, from free public (and at the same time quite comfortable) to private, decorated with great love and originality.
This is a wonderful way to relax, and at the same time improve your skin health.
Paradors (historical hotels)
Parador is a hotel inside a historic landmark (monastery, ancient fortress, palace, etc.).
Here their sea, from pretentious five-star to quite affordable.
When you sleep and have breakfast inside such a building, the impression remains quite special, not like the usual excursion.
Celtic parking and view of Portugal
If you like history, you can see partially restored ancient Celtic settlements on Santa Tecla hill.
But the most important thing is to climb to the top of the hill, because it is on the border with Portugal.
From a great height you will see the boundless ocean, the great river Minho and the misty Portuguese mountains right behind it.
What to try:
Octopus in Galicia thing relatively accessible. Almost everyone cooks it at home, and in addition there is a separate genre of restaurants available — pulperia (from the word octopus in Galician). The main thing is to try — polbo á feira -octopus cooked in sea water to a perfect consistency, seasoned with smoked paprika and olive oil.
Most likely you will be offered other dishes — pulpo a brasa (grilled octopus), octopus carpacho, etc.
Agree, such an octopus can be eaten very much.
If you have not tried percebes (persebess / marine ducks) and navaja (navaha / sea cuttings), do it in Galicia. This is a special oceanic seafood, which are rarely found. It is best to go to one of the many specialized fish restaurants and eat the menu of the day.
Camaron (small wild shrimp) also deserve attention. With all its modest appearance, it is the most expensive seafood in Galicia and has three times more taste in it than in the usual shrimps. However, if they offer lobsters, langoustines, scallops and oysters, and even banal mussels and squid — do not refuse.
All this is much tastier here than in Russia.
This may be the most unexpected on a trip, because the Galician hake, which is familiar to us, doesn’t look like a drop. I don’t know it’s only exceptional freshness, or it’s really a little different fish, but hake (merluza) in Galicia is full of tenderness, juiciness and taste.
At the same time it is one of the most affordable fish.
In addition, if you are in town Portonovo, do not pass by the slope (raya) — here it is cooked in almost all restaurants.
If you find yourself in Galicia in the summer, do not miss them.
These are small green peppers. Seasonal, but since June there are more than enough of them here. Everyone cooks them the same way — they are fried entirely in olive oil, and then generously sprinkled with coarse salt.
And yes, they are supernaturally tasty. It is necessary to have everything (with seeds and membranes) except for the tail only. And the salt of the venture is that among them come across sharp.
So this is not only food, but also entertainment.
This is the most popular local cheese, one of four in the region, protected by geographical name. It is made from milk of cows of the rubia gallega breed (Galician blonde). It is a meat breed, but it gives a limited amount of very tasty milk.
The cheese itself is medium aged, very tender and almost flowing inside.
And where does its name come from, ask Galicians, they love to tell this juicy story.
Galicia is very proud of its beef breed of free-grazing cows on year-round pastures. Mature beef steaks are fried, but the most favorite idea of veal is sarne ao caldeiro.
This calf shank, slowly cooked to the state of slipping from the bone.
Meat is very tender and sticky.
It is simply sorted into pieces, sprinkled with paprika and served with boiled potatoes.
Torta di santiago
This dessert is everywhere. It is made from time immemorial to this day. At home, in monasteries, in pastry shops.
The idea he has nowhere easier — ground almonds mixed with sugar, egg and butter and baked. It turns out moist almond cake, in fact, wonderfully delicious.
Traditionally, it is sprinkled with powdered sugar, using a stencil, leaving the cross of Santiago untouched.
Outside of Galicia, they are rarely seen, but it is here that they are very appropriate with local food.
Fresh white Albariño is what the doctor prescribed for oysters and other seafood.
Young and light red Mencia is wonderful with veal, pork and thereby octopus.
Orujo (Oruho) — Galician distillate, which is driven from the grape cake remaining from winemaking. It is similar to grappa, has a strength of 45 degrees and would not differ in any way from its Spanish and Italian counterparts if it was not made from liqueurs.
The most common — coffee and herbs.
But it is worth looking for caramel, and creamy (crema de orujo), which may well compete with Baileys.
Thank you for your help in preparing the material. Department of Tourism of the Spanish Embassy in Moscow and the Community Tourism Administration. Galicia.