Galicia is a land of history, tradition and delicacies… let’s discover 4 typical dishes together.
The empanada Gallega is a savory pie made from wheat flour, which can be rectangular or round and is cut into pieces. Its origins date back to the Goths who brought the famous recipe to the peninsula in the 7th century.
The name comes from the verb “empanar”, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. The good news is that you can taste and wrap it in different varieties. The filling usually includes tuna, sardines or chorizo, but can contain fish or pork loin. The meat or fish is commonly in a tomato, garlic and onion sauce inside the bread or pastry casing.
Have you already chosen which one you will taste?
Pulpo á feira
Pulpo á Feira (or pulpo a la Gallega) is a typical Galician dish. But… why this name? The reason lies in the fact that it was cooked during outdoor festivals and fairs by some women who were once called “pulpeiras”.
Currently, however, it is prepared all year around.
Do you know what its tradition requires?
First of all its preparation: the octopus is cooked in large copper pots. Then the octopus is served on a wooden plate, with potatoes, bread, a sprinkling of sweet and/or spicy paprika and…wine!
But it also hides a secret… that of optimal cooking, as it must not be overcooked or too hard. Although it is a simple dish made with few ingredients (octopus, potatoes, extra virgin olive oil, salt and paprika), it also requires experience and practice. So it represents the emblem that simple does not mean easy!
Queimada is a typical Galician drink of Celtic origin. Traditionally, the Queimada ritual aimed at purifying the soul, as well as attracting good spirits while driving away evil ones. In fact, the preparation process is accompanied by the recitation of the famous “conxuro” spell.
There are two times of the year when it is most popular: St. John’s night, also known as the night of the witches, is on June 23, and the other occasion is on Halloween night. But that’s not enough.
Indeed, its preparation is literally a fiery show where the ingredients are mixed. The mixture consists of Aguardiente (obtained from the remains of the grapes after the wine would have been produced), sugar, coffee beans, lemon or orange peel and cinnamon sticks. The clay pot, representing Mother Earth, is filled with the Orujo potion to represent the water element and then the other ingredients are added. Fire also represents the element of light. In this case you can notice blue flames that enchant. As the flames burn, they caramelize the sugars in the skins, the coffee beans and the alcohol, creating a sweet, hot and aromatic drink to share among the participants.
Speaking of fire.. it is natural to think of Padrón peppers. These are small green peppers that are usually grilled or fried in a pan and seasoned with coarse salt. They usually accompany other foods or are presented as a “tapa”.
Do you know their peculiarity? only some are spicy. As they say: “Padrón peppers, some are hot and some are not“. This means you can develop your own theory, such as “smaller ones are spicy” or “greener ones are spicy”. The truth is, you’ll never know before you taste it! Most likely, their spiciness is created by the varying degrees of water and sun they receive, and their culinary expertise is also called Russian roulette.
Are you ready to try your luck??
Did you know these typical dishes? Which ones have you tried yet? Write it in the comments!
And what better way to immerse yourself in the region, than by going through the pads that lead to Galicia, while discover the best of its gastronomy?
And if you haven’t tasted these delights yet, don’t wait any longer! Consult one of our trips that offers the opportunity to discover these authentic flavors of Galicia and contact us for more information!
Travel designer | Sustainable Tourism Specialist
I am a travel lover (often my main source of inspiration), languages and literature. Also books lead to unexplored places!