Food from Galicia



The value of Final Agricultural Production (FAP), at current prices, amounted in Galicia to 3,170 million euros. This figure contributed to the production of livestock with 1,820 million euros, agricultural products with 1,189 million euros and other productions (forestry, etc.) and services, which contributed nearly 161 million euros, according to estimates. Intermediate consumption consists essentially of animal feed and animal products. The greater weight of the subsector livestock on the agricultural one makes that the evolution of the agrarian income depends to a great extent of how the cattle herds evolve. In 2014 it highlighted the price increase of cow’s milk. Galicia also has smaller production of sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. In 2014, prices of beef, pork, poultry, rabbits and even the equine fell, so the balance for the meat sector was quite bad. Regarding the agricultural sector, the production of wine decreased from 417,604 hectoliters to 367,098 hectoliters. On the other hand, forage crops and cereals were bad (except for rye), while legumes and potatoes were better (1% more in potato), but prices were very low. Also good harvests of vegetables (although prices were not) and fruits were lower than those of 2013, with the exception of apricot and kiwi.

AGRICULTURE: Galicia has a total area of ​​30,000 kilometers, of which 7% is above 1,000 meters in altitude and 25% is between 600 and 1,000 meters. The area of ​​crops is about 417,000 hectares, while pastures and pastures occupy 464,000 hectares. Arable crops occupy some 325,000 hectares, 78% of the cultivated area of ​​Galicia, and woody crops extend by 14%. The area of ​​natural meadows reaches almost 300,000 hectares. Galicia has about 18,000 hectares of potato, of which 20% is irrigated, with more than 15,000 hectares of vegetables and almost 26,000 hectares of vinification. vineyards

LIVESTOCK: Galicia has more than 88,000 farms, with a predominance of livestock farming; herbivores account for almost 40% and within these, 16% milk cattle and 11% beef cattle. The Galician census of cattle, with more than 950,000 heads, accounts for 16% of Spanish. The weight of the regional breed Frisona census is close to 40% of Spanish and reaches almost 42% in the rest of the milking cows; The Galician participation in suckler cows is 11% and 12% in animals for slaughter under 12 months. The Galician hut is still oriented to milk, although it has a significant presence of suckler cows and a part of its calves. The production of cow’s milk in Galicia is close to 40% of the Spanish.
The pork census counts more than 1 million animals. The region also has a significant census of bait chickens and laying hens. 5% of Spanish eggs are produced by Galicia, although it is worth mentioning the weight of the camperos eggs, 43% of the Spanish. The camperos eggs contribute almost a third of the Galician production.

FISHING: The Galician fishing system is the most powerful of the European Union and therefore of Spain. Galicia accounts for half (more than 4600 vessels) of Spanish fishing vessels, including those specialized in inshore and large fishing vessels, representing 48.4% of the Spanish total. Its combined tonnage is 152,560 tonnes (42.7%), while its capacity reaches 389,285 hp (34.8%), its average length is 8.8 meters, the smallest in the whole country and its age Is 32 years old. About 120,000 people live directly or indirectly in Galicia from the exploitation of marine resources. In Galicia there are 82 fishing ports, among which are those of Vigo, Cangas, A Coruña, Marín, Burela and Celeiro. There are 63 brotherhoods of fishermen and other fish markets for fish. The fishing discharges in Galicia represent 54.3% of the Spanish total. The joint turnover of the sector is close to 5,000 million euros, while total fish production is over 170,000 tonnes, with almost 150,000 tonnes of fish, almost 10,000 tonnes of cephalopods, more than 10,000 tonnes of bivalves and 2,000 tonnes Of crustaceans. Within these overall figures there is a growing presence of products from aquaculture facilities. By volume, the most important catches are fish, followed by bivalves, crustaceans and cephalopods. The sardines are the main species caught, followed by the jureles, the whiting and the hake. In Galicia there are 65 canning companies that generate about 11,950 jobs and represent 3% of the GDP of the autonomous community. Aquaculture employs 15,150 people and among its most important products are mussel (€ 74 million), turbot (€ 59 million), trout (€ 12.8 million) and Japanese clam (€ 6.5 million).


In Galicia there are about 2,600 food companies. Sales of fish processing industries (35%), dairy industries (19%), meat industries (16%) and animal feed (10%) stood out. The Galician food sector in relation to the industrial sector of this autonomous community participates with 21.5% of the employment (28,682 people out of a total of 133,120) and 25% of the net product sales with about 7,219 million euros on A total of more than 28,846 million euros. The consumption of raw materials in the sector amounts to 4.796 million euros and the number of companies is 2,298. The highest turnover comes from the subsector of fish processing with about 2.498 million euros, followed by dairy industries with 1.375 million euros. In terms of number of employed persons, the first subsector is fish processing with 9,436 people, followed by bread, pastry and pasta with 7,400. In terms of companies, 1,912 have fewer than 10 employees, 311 have 10 to 49, another 54 companies from 50 to 199, and 21 more than 200 employees.


Galicia has 2.8 million inhabitants concentrated mainly in the province of Coruña and Pontevedra. Its commercial offer includes more than 64,800 retail commercial activities that reach a sales area of ​​more than 6.7 million m2 6,506 and retail stores specialized in food (approximately 40% in Coruña, 35% in Pontevedra, 13% In Lugo and 11% in Orense). The food trade accounts for 32% of licenses and 19% of sales area. For its part, the specialized food trade registers 18,500 establishments with 500,000 m2 (average area for the creation of 27 m2). In the set of the autonomous community there are installed 1,427 supermarkets and 37 hypermarkets, with a total of 904,925 m2, which suppose a commercial density of 329,2 m2 per 1,000 inhabitants.
Of greater importance, in terms of surface, stand out Gadisa, Eroski, Carrefour and Froiz (other relevant groups of Mercadona, Lidl or El Corte Inglés). By formats, small supermarkets (up to 399 m2) account for 17.7% of the area; The medium supermarkets (400-999 m2) reach 39.1% of the sales area; The large supermarkets (more than 1,000 m2) reached an area of ​​30.8%, and, finally, the hypermarkets of the region accounted for about 12.4% of the area in free service. Likewise, the markets and periodical fairs that are organized in the towns of Galicia offer a varied sample of products. This community, with more than 2,600 registered licenses, concentrates more than 10% of the street commerce and in markets that are developed in the whole of Spain.
In terms of wholesale trade, the Mercagalicia offer is concentrated in 63,000 m2 and 14 wholesale companies that sell 57,600 tons of food per year, mostly fresh.
Also noteworthy are 69 larger self-services in the Galician region that reach a total of 105,000 m2. There are 18 establishments of Vegalsa, 13 of Martínez Sánchez (Cash Galicia) and 11 of Gadisa (Cash Ifa).
The commercial structure of Galicia is structured around seven commercial areas: A Coruña, Ferrol (A Coruña), Lugo, Ourense, Pontevedra, Santiago de Compostela (A Coruña) and Vigo (Pontevedra). These commercial areas are subdivided, in turn, into twenty-one commercial subareas.


In average terms, each Galician consumes 130 eggs, 51 kilos of meat, 32 kilos of fish, 89 liters of milk, 30 kilos of cheese and other dairy products, 44 kilos of bread, 18 liters of oil, 8 liters of beer, 46 kilos of fresh vegetables, 98 kilos of fresh fruit, 6 kilos of prepared dishes, 32 liters of bottled water, 11 liters of wine and 37 liters of refreshing and fizzy drinks.Galicia has a slightly lower than average food per capita expenditure national.
By importance, meat, fish, fresh fruits, bread, dairy products, fresh vegetables and milk comprise the largest shares of total expenditure. Compared to the national average, consumers in Galicia have a higher expenditure on chocolates and cocoa, oil, potatoes and bread; While, on the contrary, they spend less on beers, ready meals, juices and mineral water.
In terms of per capita consumption, trends are quite similar to spending and, taking the national average as a reference, in Galicia a greater amount of oil, bread, fish, milk, pastry, biscuits and cereals, fresh fruits and meat; While, on the contrary, consumption is lower in ready-to-eat dishes, fresh vegetables, processed fruits and vegetables, soft drinks and dairy products.


In Galicia, there are around 7.5 million overnight stays in the approximately 1,550 hotels in this autonomous community. Galicia has about 23,500 catering activities and bars, among others, 3,500 restaurants, 15,800 bars and 420 collective canteens. The catering and bars have 19,684 premises, representing a 7.2% over the whole of Spain. A Coruña has 42.3%; Pontevedra, 33.0%; Lugo, 12.2%; And Ourense, 12.5%. The equipment in restaurants, cafeterias, bars and hotels oscillates, at national level, between the fifth and eighth position.


The coast of Galicia is composed of about 1,200 kilometers of length, distributed in its special type of estuaries or inlets. These estuaries are ancient river valleys, which, as a result of tectonic processes, were invaded by the sea and spawn ideal ecosystems for aquaculture because of the quality of its waters. The diversity of the coasts and seabeds, together with the cold, temperate and alternating currents, provide an interesting variety of plactons. Therefore, there is no place in the world where you can find as much seafood and quality as exceptional as in Galicia. Along the rich Galician coast, crustaceans and molluscs are fished, many of them for the canning industry, such as seafood (clams, oysters, cockles, scallops…) and molluscs (octopus, squid, cuttlefish and squid) An endless variety of varieties that we expose in summary form below.
 SEAFOOD: Regarding seafood, if we start with those that can be eaten raw, we highlight the Oyster (the Arcade best known), full of sea flavor and iodine. Also the clams of Carril are excellent and in particular the slug is excellent to make to the sailor or to the iron. The Scallop, whose shell is the symbol of the pilgrims, and of the same family but smaller, the Variegated Scallop-Zamburiña and the Volandeira are other of their delicacies. Excellent in sauce, grilled or in Empanada. The Mussels, of which Galicia is the second producer in the world, is the best quality and its canning presentations reach a higher level. Of the cephalopods we emphasize the squids, whose hatchlings, that appear in summer, the Chipironcitos, which are delicious. The best squids are those of potera that are prepared “encebollados” or “in its ink”. The Octopus is a typical Galician dish. Cooked grilled, in vinaigrette, but above all, “a feira”, seasoned with olive oil, salt and paprika. Also important are Cuttlefish, which when they are small, Choquiños are very tasty and allow multiple preparations that squid. Of the crustaceans we highlight the prawn, light gray and translucent, which becomes opaque and red after cooking and which are exquisite simply cooked with salt or sea water.
Lobsters, Crawfishes, shrimps, and Santiaguiños complete the offer. And finally, of the crustaceans, the queen of the estuary is the Spider Crab . It is distinguished from the French mainly by its flavor, but also by its exterior appearance. The Galician has a wilder aspect, the shell covered with steeper thorns and usually has attached algae that serve to mimic. The female is better than the male, as long as it has not spawned, because its corals and broth are delicious. Also, as the Swimming Crab, this is smaller and the best way to prepare it is cooked, with a little salt and a bay leaf. And to finish the list, we can not fail to mention the Barnacle. There is no seafood that resembles it in shape, taste, or texture. The percebe grows in the rocks of the coasts, sometimes in places hardly accessible and whose extraction entails a great risk. Depending on the orientation of the rocks on which they are settled, the “Sun” are fat, short and massive, the “Aguarones” that are thinner, longer, hollow and less tasty. They are prepared with a slight cooking in sea water and they are consumed without getting to completely cool down.
FISHES: As far as fish are concerned, all kinds of fish are fished in Galicia, starting with Sardines, Bass or Seabass, Sole, Mackerel, Hake, Monkfish, Turbot, Red Sea Bream, San Pedro, Snapper, Gilthead Seabream, Mackerel or Horse Mackerel. There are also fish that spend their life between the sea and the river, such as Eels, which are born in the river as Elvers, Sea Trout or Salmon. And to finalize the list of fish, the Lamprey, especially from the Miño river.

And of the Galician industry that is created around these products, we can not forget about the canning industry and its elaborations; Mussels in escabeche, in pricled sauce, in sauce of scallop, Light and White Tuna in oil, to the natural, Atlantic Bonito in olive oil, Ventresca, which is the belly tune, in olive oil, Sardines in olive oil, squid in its ink, Octopus in galician style, small cuttlefishes in american sauce, Clams in the natural, Cockles in the natural, Caviar of Sea Urchen, Hake Roe in olive oil, Mackerel in olive oil, Needlefishes in olive oil …, to mention some among its complete variety.


Galician beef has a well deserved prestige that is also increasing by the quality of its calves and by the completion of the older beef, which gives tasty red meat, well oiled that if matured opportunely have place among the best in Spain.
Although more characteristic of Castile, in Galicia also there are some good lambs and sucker lambs and with both they make some roasts that maintaining the characteristics of lechales have a flavor of certain intensity. The poultry, chickens and the bare-necked hens, especially those of the Mos race and the capons destined to the fair of Villalba, which is celebrated on the Sunday before Christmas, are undoubtedly the best in Spain.
In Galicia, the pig is also much appreciated, and the slaughter “la Matanza” has always been a ritual and festive occasion , accompanied by a magic touch, perhaps of Celtic origin, which began with the preparation of the Filloas, a type of pancakes, with a part of the pigs´blood , Still hot, kneaded and cooked on stones. With the rest are made very tasty sausages, also of immediate consumption, often festive and shared with the neighbors who have collaborated in the slaughter. The elaboration of the sausages was the fundamental destination of the meat, but there was always a part without stuffing, called zorza, which is the ideal complement for fried eggs. The raxo (loin) has a special value and the roxons – chorizo ​​- will feel its crunchy texture in breads and buns. The lacón and hams are the most noble and appreciated, but also excellent sausages are made, especially in Lugo, androllas, butelos, longanizas and other products that make up the vast catalog of sausages and smoked and salted Galician meat products. The salted head of the pig-here called cacheira-, and other salted products like jowl, ear,hoof and tail are very traditional elaborations, which were obliged to be present in typical Galician stews.


Galicia represents only 6% of the population of Spain, and has approximately the same percentage of its geographical territory. However, it produces a third of all Spanish milk, about 2.3 billion kilos per year, distributed mainly between small and medium-sized farms, which are sometimes grouped under cooperatives to supply distributors, both nationally and internationally, as well as Cheese makers. In addition, this green land, bathed by two rivers and its coasts and irrigated by its abundant rain, also knows how to turn your milk into cheese, where you can find the “del país”-from country cheese, the traditional homemade cheese, which can be found in your rural shops and in the many fairs that take place in the region. This is generally a cheese larger than a table plate, about four centimeters thick and which can be presented in an earthenware vessel or even wrapped in a white rag or a few leaves of dark green cabbage. To the taste is a slightly acid cheese, little cured, creamy, to the cut and so unctuous that sometimes it is necessary to use a spoon. Excellent pairing for white wines of the land such as Ribeiro or Rías Baixas. Galicia is a consumer of cheese, especially in the interior, in Lugo and Orense, where production is also concentrated, although there are sheep and goat cheeses (Allariz has begun to produce an interesting sheep cheese). Of cow, usually of “Rubia Gallega”-Galician Blonde, Alpine Brownsy, Holstein-Friesian. Some of the cheeses from the former are grouped under one of the four Galician appellations of origin or quality labels: Cebreiro, Arzúa-Ulloa, San Simón da Costa and Tetilla. Part of the role of the P.D.O. Is to direct milk production towards more pure, more traditional forms, encouraging the use of free grazing in natural pastures with plants typical of the region, such as wild cabbage and turnip flower or any of the sumptuous grasses that due to Its high rainfall make of this region, especially of the rural areas of the interior, a land of incomparable conditions.


Regarding the products of the vegetable garden, in Galicia a great variety of vegetables are produced, but historically the production is concentrated in a few, among which the Berza is an essential component of the Galician recipes stand out. It is a mandatory cultivation in the whole orchard, however small, because in addition to its root, it is taken advantage of its aerial part, in the form of Grelos and Nabizas. Its slightly bitter taste is a distinctive, very characteristic, of many Galician dishes, although the summit destination is, moderately cooked, to accompany an excellent Lacón-the salted shoulder of the pork . The Galician potato -Pataca-  is excellent, what has made that its prestige is on the rise. The most cultivated variety is the Kennebec, with yellow skin and very white meat, which can be used in all kinds of elaborations like boiled – called cooked this way, Cachelos – which absorb the flavors of the components that accompany it. For example, in the octopus “a fair/Halician style” a piece of potato, which has been well impregnated with the juice of cephalopod, olive oil, paprika and salt, is the essence of the dish. Padrón’s peppers, which are said to bite and others do not, are now perfectly controlled in their pungent property. They occur in the limits of the provinces of A Coruña and Pontevedra and are being commercialized with the denomination Herbón, to differentiate them of Arnoia, of the province of Orense, those of Oimbra, typical of a village called Verín and those of O Couto, that is produced in the surroundings of El Ferrol. All have a protected geographical indication and all are wonderful, although they have interesting organoleptic differences, which manifest in all their splendor when are slightly roasted or fried and presented at the table with fine scames of gross salt. Although in Galicia olive oil is not produced in large quantities, it is highly consumed, it is used in many of its elaborations, and for that reason it is brought from other parts of Spain, principally from Andalusia an Extremadura, to give to Atlantic cuisine a Mediterranean touch, making part of the protagonist lose other edible fats, such as “Unto” a type of animal fat (from pork), which nonetheless remains a tasty note grateful in the preparation of traditional stews and broths. Regarding fruits, although the production of fruit in Galicia is not very large, here can be found almost of all, including oranges produced in home gardens. These are sometimes very acidic but other times they keep a special sweetness. They are also excellent the plums, especially those around the Miño river, which are known as Mirabeles, which are small, round and yellow and are very tasty if they are eaten fresh from the tree, although according to many win if they are cooked with sugar or are put into Aguardiente- a typical Galician liquor, acquiring in the latter case magical powers that make that they are very effective in the treatment of digestive evils. The most widespread fruit is the apple tree, which finds in the valleys and slopes an excellent place of development. There are many classes, which often share territory, allowing you to compare the characteristics of different varieties of apples, different sizes, shapes and colors. They surprise by the diversity of aromas and flavors, but if possible, the experience should be finished with a good pippin, which concentrates all the virtues that can be expected from an apple. Galicia is also a leader in the production of kiwifruit and chestnuts, of excellent quality, bigger, softer and floury than any other, which due to its characteristics is ideal for the production of “Marron Glacée“a superior quality sweet made with chestnuts . Regarding cereals, these are used to make breads, and here, in Galicia, the Pan de Cea-Bread from Cea, and the Pan de Maiz -Bread of corn, are the most characteristic.


Galicia has excellent honey, protected under a P.G.I. And a very varied and careful pastry that has made many desserts famous, starting with its characteristic Filloas-a kind of pancakes. The cakes of Santiago and Mondoñedo have a well deserved fame, the Melindres, especially those of Melide, Orejas -ears, which are fried fried in pan, almonds, especially those of Allariz, chulas, cheese tarts, with honey, are wonderful for the diversity of flavors and textures and the excellent as well as a great diversity of sweet empanadas.


Las excepcionales condiciones de sus costa que alternan los acantilados más altos de Europa con las plácidas aguas de las Rías (estuarios naturales de agua marina) junto con la riqueza de sus nutrientes han conformado un ecosistema único que nutre los mercados gastronómicos más exquisitos con  pescados y mariscos de la mayor calidad; mejillones, percebes, ostras, centollas, langostas, cigalas, pulpo, chocos, sardinas ...


Y si la costa es rica en productos gastronómicos, el interior de Galicia no lo es menos con sus vegetales, pimientos, grelos, castañas, patatas...excelentes para acompañar la carne, donde en Galicia, el porcino y el vacuno son las estrellas y protagonistas indiscutibles del lacón con grelos, del cocido gallego o de la carne a "o caldeiro"

Y si hablamos de sus postres, Galicia cuenta con cuatro denominaciones de quesos y una miel de reconocida calidad , que bien pueden acompañar a su famosa Tarta de Santiago



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