In Galicia, summer is filled with parties; the bands, the orchestras, the folk groups and the attractions are not enough. There is always food involved, of course, but there are parties in which the star is the typical product of the area or a dish itself.
Sometimes they last several days, which is an advantage, since many coincide and it is a way that they do not overlap and we can go to all of them. Some have tried to recover old customs and others began almost as a neighborhood meeting, but today they bring together hundreds of people. Normally under a provisional tent, either in the oak groves of the interior, or in the ports on the coast, we can taste quality Galician products at popular prices, and digest while singing and dancing. Let’s review the best-known gastronomic festivals in August, all of them with the seal of tourist interest, of course.
This year the Feira do bonito de Burela (Burela tune fair) (August 5 to 7) reaches its 36th edition. This celebration, beyond the feast, is a vindication of the sustainable weight and the consumption of quality products. The traditional preparations are made: cooked tuna, in empanadas, on the grill and even in marmitako. Over the years, the fair has grown and, in addition to lasting three days, coincides with other events that animate the city, such as the Prodart fair, for artisanal and ecological products, and Amarte, a mural painting contest.
The Festa do mexillón e o berberecho de Vilanova de Arousa (Vilanova de Arousa mussel and cockle festival) (August 4 to 7) has been going on since 1994. It is celebrated in the Umbrío garden. In the tasting area you can taste various recipes with mussels and cockles (steamed, in sauce, in a pie…). We must not forget that these molluscs are the economic engine of the area, raw material for the canneries. By the way, in Carril, in the municipality of Vilagarcía de Arousa, there is also a famous festival that honors another bivalve: the clam. This year it is not celebrated, but normally it is marked on the calendar in the second half of August.
The Festa do percebe de Cedeira (Cedeira barnacle festival) (August 6 and 7) takes place in the fishing port of Cedeira. An opportunity to enjoy these small delicacies without leaving an empty pocket. In addition to barnacle, we can have octopus and empanada.
To continue with the fauna of the sea, we are going to another famous festival that, attention, since this year has the category of international interest, no less. It is the Festa do pulpo do Carballiño (O Carballiño octopus festival) (August 13 and 14). It is celebrated on the second Sunday of August, in the municipal park. This year led to the 60th edition. Is it possible? An octopus party about 100 km from the coast? Yes, the tradition comes from the medieval tributes, in the form of an octopus, that the sharecroppers of Marín delivered to the Oseira monastery. Such was the amount of octopus that arrived, surpassing the monastery, that in O Carballiño, especially in Arcos, they became the best chefs of the cephalopod. This year, the party is dedicated to the xacobeo. The challenge is to prepare about… 50,000 kg of octopus!, for more than… 100,000 guests! In addition, the largest portion of octopus à feira in the world is made, on a giant wooden plate that is impressive to see. The papancia of the octopus is rounded off with churrasco, dances, bagpipes and everything that sounds like a party.
Returning to land, if we want to taste peppers, in August we have at least three appointments: in Herbón, in Arnoia and in Oímbra. The Festa do pemento de Herbón (Herbón pepper festival) (August 6) has been celebrated on the first Saturday of August since 1978. The date is in the oak grove of the convent of San Antonio where it is said that centuries ago a Franciscan monk planted the first pepper of the lineage Mass, procession of decorated tractors, appointment of Ladies and Gentlemen and delivery of the Silver Pepper, Young Pepper Award and Wise Pepper. And of course party night.
The Festa do pemento de Arnoia (Arnoia pepper festival) (August 5 to 7) celebrates its 43rd edition this year, in the oak grove of A Queixeira. More than 4,000 kg of peppers for all tastes: fried, stuffed, in an omelette… and accompanied with O Ribeiro wine, of course.
Almost arriving in Portugal we can go to the Festa do pemento de Oímbra (Oímbra pepper festival) (August 7). This year they celebrate the 25th edition. It is made in A Carballeira where, in addition to white pepper from Oimbra, in various preparations you can have octopus, empanada… There is also a cooking contest with dishes that have pepper as the main ingredient. As a result of the contest, a recipe book is subsequently published.
After so much revelry, at the Muíños Tired Donkey Soup Festival (August 6 and 7), we can regain strength with a high-energy food that was eaten in the past to face the tasks of the field, a mixture of wine, sugar and very colorful bread
Later in the month, we can approach the Festa da empanada de Bandeira (Bandeira Empanada Festival) (August 20), which has been celebrated since 1974. The best part of the festival is the gastronomic contest, with professional and amateur categories.
Another one that involves competitions is the Romaría da tortilla de Laro (Pilgrimage of the Laro Tortilla) (August 6 and 7). It is celebrated in the Carballeira do Castro, where we can eat tortillas cooked with a lot of imagination, with all kinds of fillings.
And here the only thing missing is a good ham. The Festa do xamón da Cañiza (A Cañiza ham festival) (August 13 to 15) is always celebrated on this date, in A Carballeira do Cacharado, in the center of the city. This is the 56th edition, which includes the VII National Contest of Ham Cutters. They say that here the hams come out special because of the microclimate and the height, ideal for curing. Well you have to check it out! what to check! You can taste cured ham, roasted, in an omelette, empanada… Good luck to all!