10 Most Delicious Galician Dishes on the Camino

10 Most Delicious Galician Dishes to Try along the Camino

If you’re planning your Camino de Santiago trip, you’ll likely be visiting Galicia soon. One of the best parts about travelling is trying all the local dishes, especially if you’re a foodie.

We’ve picked the 10 most delicious Galician dishes you absolutely must try on your Camino adventure.

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1. Octopus

The ultimate Galician traditional dish. You will find it referred to as ‘pulpo á feira’ (in Galician), ‘pulpo a la gallega’ (in Spanish) or simply ‘pulpo’. Cooking octopus is an art in Galicia, boiled to a perfect point and served with paprika, salt, and olive oil.

It can’t be too hard or too mushy, it has to be just perfect. Don’t be fooled by the dish’s simplicity: a great ‘pulpeiro’ (someone specialising in cooking octopus) is not that easy to come by!

If you are walking the Camino Frances via Melide, you should stop at A Garnacha for a taste of delicious octopus. Many pilgrims have recommended it to us.

2. Padrón Peppers

The little green peppers from Padrón are quite unique and should be eaten in the right season (summer). Fried and sprinkled with rock salt, they are the food equivalent of Russian roulette. The Galician expression goes: ‘Pementos de Padrón; uns pican e outros non’ (some of them are hot, and some of them are not).

And it is so true: they are mostly perfectly sweet little peppers, but there is always the odd one as hot as a chilli. Many people have different theories to guess which ones will be spicy: is it the ones with the pointy end? would it be the smaller ones? or the larger pepper? The truth is nobody knows but it is all part of the fun.

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3. Empanada

Galicians would eat anything in empanadas. These savoury pastries or pies come in many fillings and shapes, but the most popular ones are filled, of course, with seafood or fish. Cod (bacalao/bacallao), mussels (mejillones/mexillóns) and tuna (bonito) are some of the most popular empanadas. The quality of your empanada will depend on the bakers, the type of pastry, and the quality of the filling… but they are all delicious.

4. Caldo Galego

Beware, vegetarians! Caldo galego (Galician broth) might look like a harmless veggie-friendly dish with its cabbage, green leaves and beans, but it tends to be ‘seasoned’ with pork lard and sometimes with other types of pork meat. Caldo is a hearty, homely Galician dish cooked in every home, especially in wintertime.

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5. Squid: all shapes and sizes!

Crispy squid rings (calamares or luras in Galician) and baby squid (chipirones) are cooked in a light batter and eaten with a sprinkle of lemon juice. Hot or cold, they are one of the most delicious snacks.

6. Queixo de Tetilla

Cheese lovers might not be familiar with Galician cheese, which is mainly softer, mildly cured cow cheeses. It is usually eaten with quince jelly as a dessert.

Galicia’s most characteristic and unique-looking cheese is called ‘queixo de tetilla’ (meaning ‘little breast’) for its pointy shape. On your way to Santiago, along the Camino Frances, you will pass Arzúa, famous for its pointy ‘tetilla’ cheese.

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7. Shellfish

Galicia is considered to be the shellfish and fish capital of Spain: clams, mussels, cockles, lobsters, prawns, crab, or the extravagant gooseneck barnacles, tuna from Burela, hake, monkfish, sardines… the variety of seafood found in fish shops and restaurants in Galicia is impressive, seasonal, and of premium quality. Go for a stroll to the Market in Santiago, and you will understand. If you are visiting the coast, you are in for a treat.

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8. Galician Beef

Also greatly appreciated in the rest of Spain is the ‘Ternera Gallega’ or Galician beef. You can always go for beef if you are not into sea creatures.

9. Tarta de Santiago

The traditional almond cake with Santiago’s cross is a perfect sweet treat to go with a coffee or after a meal. Many other towns in Galicia have similar almond tarts, but each has specific differences. Check out our recipe for Tarta de Santiago.

10. Flan

Creme caramel or flan is quite a popular dessert in Galicia. In Autumn, many restaurants and bars will make flan with chestnuts. If you have a chance, have a taste! it is delicious with a bit of whipped cream.

… and if you need a nightcap to help digestion, try a little ‘chupito’ of herbs liquor or coffee liquor…

A great spot for foodies is the Mercado de Abastos in Santiago de Compostela, the city’s biggest attraction after the cathedral!

If you need to know everything about food along the Camino routes, you can download our new Camino Food eBook before your next trip.

For more information about the Camino de Santiago or to book your Camino trip, contact us.

Comments

  1. By Jorge Obregon

    Thank you for the thoughtful article regarding Galician cusine. If I may ask, do you recall a Galician salad that was primarily black-eyed peas? My grandmother on my mother’s side was first-generation Cuban as her parents migrated to Cuba from A Coruña. Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide to my request.

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