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Savour Mar de Santiago at Pontecesures’ Lamprey Festival

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Photo: Facebook Concello de Pontecesures

Have you ever tried lamprey? It is the most highly valued fish in Pontecesures, where it has been caught for centuries. That is why, every year, it hosts the Lamprey Festival, the perfect event for savouring and discovering Mar de Santiago. This year it will be held on March 25 and 26. Are you going to come?

With 500 million years of history, the lamprey is considered the oldest fish in the world. Although its appearance is rather peculiar, it is valued for its intense taste, which is reminiscent of seafood and oily fish.

A celebration with 25 years of history

The Pontecesures Lamprey Festival is one of Galicia’s most popular food festivals. It has been held for 25 years. On the weekend that it takes place, Pontecesures is packed with hundreds of visitors that come to savour characteristic dishes made with lamprey. This 25th festival will feature a tasting menu consisting of three different recipes: à la Bordelaise, in an “empanada” (pie), and in “escabeche” (pickled sauce).

Lamprey’s gastronomic singularities made it stand out even in the Middle Ages, when it was considered a delicacy for monarchs and nobles. In those times, the Ulla River, which flows through Pontecesures, was one of the places where the best-quality lamprey was caught. 

Therefore, local fishermen specialised in its capture, passing down their knowledge from generation to generation. In fact, at Pontecesures’ river port you will find small fishing boats with “viturones” or “butrones” on board. These are conical-shaped traps that are thrown into the water to catch lamprey. The fish enter the trap and then cannot get out, which means that they are caught intact, thereby retaining both their texture and taste.

Mar de Santiago’s cuisine

And if you want to make the most of your trip to Mar de Santiago, we encourage you to try the great range of cuisine in the municipal districts that make up our geo-destination. Do not miss the chance to eat mussels in Vilanova de Arousa, whose waters feature hundreds of platforms, which produce this bivalve belonging to the “Mexillón de Galicia (Galician Mussel) protected designation of origin.

These delicacies can be paired with eau-de-vie from Valga, or Albariño wines belonging to the “Rías Baixas designation of origin, which are made in this area. And if you would like to discover another singularity, there is the “San Antón de Padua” Festival in Catoira. There you can enjoy local produce accompanied by music bands, orchestras, and a lot of partying!

In short, in Mar de Santiago you can enjoy a geo-destination full of history, tradition, and gastronomy. We will be waiting for in Pontecesures on March 25 and 26. Come and discover our region by means of your palate!

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