Pairing of gastronomy plans in Santiago
Gastronomy tourism never goes out of fashion, and much less in a place like Santiago de Compostela (Galicia) which likes to boast - and rightly so - about the rich variety and quality of its shellfish, fish and meat dishes. The gastronomy festivals, traditional markets and food markets are ample justification for a pilgrimage to the capital of Galicia.more info
Outings Near Santiago
Santiago’s zone of influence stretches through a score of municipalities, ranging from A Coruña to Pontevedra, all articulated around the river Ulla, while various branches of the Road to Santiago run nearby, too.
Hardly 10 km from the city lies a magical spot – Pico Sacro, a legendary hill as far as Galician culture and the Jacobean tradition are concerned. Located south-east of the city, its unusual outline rises sharply to a height of 533 metres. Santiago and the skyline of its Cathedral towers are visible in the distance from its summit.
Galicia is green, and the city of Santiago is also surrounded by green. Nature lovers can go on outings from the city to such amazing spots as the Fervenzas do Toxa, or to Insua; to unique forests like the Fraga de Catasós, with chestnut trees towering over thirty metres, or to mountain ranges like O Candán, with its ancient landscapes and great open spaces.
In a radius of just fifty kilometres you can discover the monumental wealth of such historic towns as Padrón or Melide, both directly related to the Road to Santiago; pazos (country homes) like the Pazo de Santa Cruz de Ribadulla, noteworthy for its camellias and centuries-old olives trees, and even places of quiet and repose like the Carboeiro Monastery, surrounded by splendid natural scenery.
Needless to say, being Galicia, it is also worth planning outings to try the delicious and abundant cuisine in Santiago’s environs, characterised by the use of fresh produce in season. Be sure to try the Padrón peppers, trout and lamprey, cocido (stew), beef, cheeses, melindres (honey fritters), filloa crêpes, almendrados (macaroons) and rosquillas (a ring-shaped pastry), and to end your trip by toasting with a local spirit.
Come and discover all these gems for yourself! Check out our flights here.
For further information on Santiago: www.santiagoturismo.com
For further information on the environs of Santiago: www.areasantiago.es
Santiago A Passion For Sweets
Holy Week is a festivity accompanied by a long culinary tradition, among other things. Some of its hallmarks include confectionery and desserts, which adopt a host of guises across the geography of Spain. Not to be outdone, Santiago de Compostela, a city of fine food, has its own versions, as evinced in the gems created by different local religious orders, those inherited from the city’s long chocolatiering tradition and imports from the Americas, which have spread all over Europe via the Road to Santiago.
In an effort to keep this tradition alive and provide enjoyment for locals and visitors alike, the second edition of a gastronomic event catering to the sweet-toothed known as Santiago Paixón Doce will be held from 7 to 17 April. For the duration of this festivity, some 29 venues, notably bars, cafés and restaurants, will be offering a special menu laced with traditional Holy Week fare, among which confectionery features prominently. Highlights include torrijas (a kind of French bread), leche frita (literally, “fried milk”), buñuelos (fritters), rosquillas (a ring-shaped pastry), melindres (buns), roscas (a kind of doughnut), “passion chocolates”, cakes and other confectionery typical at this time of year. Check out the list of venues taking part in this tasty experience here.
Eight Delicacies in the Compostelan Holy Week
For those not familiar with Santiago de Compostela’s Holy Week culinary tradition, we have drawn up a selection of the confectionery you simply must taste on your visit to the city. Take note!
1. Concha de Santiago (St James Shell)
This is a veritable tribute to the city of Santiago de Compostela, as it features its paramount symbol, the pilgrim’s scallop shell or viera worked into a delicious chocolate figure. One of the many establishments where you can taste the concha de Santiago is the Chocolat Factory, located in the Praza do Toural.
2. Tarta de Santiago (St James Cake)
With its origins going back to the 16th century, the tarta de Santiago is unquestionably the most popular cake in Santiago de Compostela. Needless to say, you can find it in all the city’s pastry shops and bakeries, from Las Colonias – with its long-standing tradition – to Á Casa Mora, said to be the artificers of the Cross of St James having been incorporated into the cake.
3. Chocolate a la taza
As mentioned earlier, Santiago is a city with a long-standing tradition of chocolatiers. One of the local favourites is “chocolate a la taza”, which is thick hot chocolate for dunking churros (fritters) in. A classic spot for savouring this wonderful delicacy is the Chocolatería Metate (Rúa do Preguntoiro, 12).
4. Monastic Delights
In bygone times, it fell to the religious orders to introduce foreign traditions to Compostela, including the recipes using almonds and egg yolk, which had a marked influence on local confectionery and ended up spawning both the tarta de Santiago and almendrados (macaroons). There are currently two convents in Santiago which still make their own confectionery. One is the Antealtares Monastery, where the Benedictines make almendrados, tarta de Santiago and cookies, all of which are available on a daily basis, and brazo de gitano, a kind of Swiss roll which is made only to order. The other is Belvís Convent, where the Dominicans make bespoke batches of almendrados, mantecados (a kind of shortbread made with lard)and tarta de Santiago, as well as selling freshly baked cookies.
5. Cheese and Chocolate Cakes
We recommend you drop in on the Airas Nunes Café, which specialises in homemade cakes and tortiñas (milk tarts).
6. Assorted “Pecados” (Sins)
The Cantón del Toural is home to the so-called Pecados de Compostela (Sins of Compostela), a unique type of candy wrapped in seven forms to match the seven deadly sins, one for each day of the week. Be a daredevil and try them!
Despite having very similar ingredients to the Easter cake known as the rosca de Pascua,the Xacobea is moister as it contains syrup. Available in numerous pastry shops dotted about the city, notably La Estrella (Suevia).
The rosquilla, also known as a melindre, typically eaten at traditional shrine festivals in Galicia, is also a classic of Holy Week and Easter in Galicia. Sold at a host of venues in Santiago de Compostela.
Text and photos by Turismo de Santiago