Food, glorious food

I have a problem with taking photographs of food. It's nothing moral, nothing even technical, it is more a case of despite my best intentions to catalogue our foray into Galician cooking I am usually half way through the dish before I remember that I was supposed to photograph it.

The exception to prove the rule is a fantastic dish we discovered in a little hotel restaurant in Ribadeo on an earlier trip, and once which keeps tempting us back to further guess the ingredients that go to make Merluza y Gambas con Fideua. Here are the before, and half way through pictures, of a fabulous hake and prawn with pasta dish cooked with a strong fish stock and usually served with the fantastic ubiquitous crusty Galician bread.

Before the first fork full

Now I admit that sat there in its little terracotta pot it doesn't look too appetising but if I had a smellovision blog you'd be salivating in anticipation. That bowl is around 10" in diameter and full to the brim. I only made the mistake of having a starter before this dish once.

After twenty minutes joyous work

And all this for under 10€. Bargain.

Spanish breakfasts tend to be a lighter affair that the traditional Full English. Comprising bread, toast, cake, jam, best butter, juice and great coffee, this is what the wonderful Hotel Rolle  served us on our stay in early November.

Now that's what I call a coffee

Most people associate Spanish cuisine with either tapas, or paella, and both have regional specialities. We've not seen a great deal of paella in the north west although I dare say that if we sought it out then we would find excellent local renditions. Tapas, on the other hand, has been oft sampled on our travels and below are some of our favourites.

Everyone loves gambas

Large prawns, lightly grilled and simply served on a stainless steel platter sprinkled with rock salt, pepper and a slice of lemon. Finger licking good!

Croquetas, these were with ham

Croquetas come in many varieties and shapes and sizes. Our favourite is the seafood variety, although these are with ham (con jamon) and were sampled on the terrace of a sidreria (cider bar - more on this in a later blog) in Oviedo.

Pate de Centolla

Once again half-eaten, this is Pate de Centolla which is usually made in house from the king crab, not the most beautiful of Gods creatures, but it makes a sensational pate. 

Fried baby squid

Chipirones are a dish of fried whole baby squid that you can find across Spain but they are particularly good in Galicia and Asturias. These were the last two of a big plate full and were cooked in olive oil with a generous helping of rock salt and garlic. Absolutely divine.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that we do very little other than eat when we visit Galicia, but as they paraphrase 'when in Galicia...'. 

Finally, what better way to finish off a meal than a nice coffee and my personal favourite tipple Havana Club Rum (Ron in Spanish), this half-glass was just 3€.

The perfect meal conclusion

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