The standard bearers of the best local cuisine are crustaceans and molluscs, a varied group that goes by the general name of “marisco” (seafood). Crawfish, prawns and king prawns, shrimps, razor shells, oysters, scallop, mussels, clams, cockles, zamburiñas ,santiaguiños , spider crabs, lobsters, ox crabs or swimcrabs are served boiled or grilled, at room temperature or hot, but without any sauces –normally used to disguise bad quality seafood. According to tradition, the best seafood months are those with an “r”, i.e. from September to April.
Special mention should be made of Galician-style octopus, i.e. boiled octopus served with cayenne pepper and olive oil. You should also try it cooked with cachelos (potatoes). Seafood may also be included in soups, rice dishes and paellas; in croquettes, pickling brine or pies. As a “tapa”, portion, party snack or first dish, “empanadas” (Galician pies) are filled with bold combinations of meat, fish or seafood, among which cod and raisins stand out.
The first dish par excellence is “caldo gallego” (Galician stew), which hides the miraculous taste produced by potatoes, beans and turnips tops cooked with “unto”, the smoked pig fat that is omnipresent in winter dishes.