Thursday, 1 April 2010

Did I mention that Galicia is the centre of the universe?

The fame of Galicia’s greens is about to spread.

The BBC celebrity chef Rick Stein has been visiting La Coruña. They wanted to do some filming at the fishing port there but the recent storms have been getting in the way. This has not stopped him eating pulpo every day though and declaring that even the worst octopus served in Galicia is better than what he could find in the UK.

He visited the fish market and agreed with Jam
ie Oliver who has described it as «uno de los mejores mercados de marisco del mundo». He lamented the lack of such good fish markets in England; I think we can all echo that sentiment!

Rick Stein went on to say that he is a cook who likes plain, simple food and he doesn’t believe in adding lots of sauces to fish dishes. Well, he could be gallego: good ingredients and no need
for fancy sauces!

The main purpose of his visit, it seems, was to experience the mariscos of Galicia but inevitably he had to try other stuff. They were not going to let him get away without trying cocido. After all, it is a speciality; restaurants go out of their way to let you know they are serving it on certain days of the week. So he tried it and he commented on the quality of the potatoes, the ham, the chorizo and
so on but what most impressed him was the flavour of the grelos!!!!

He enjoyed Galician greens so much and made such a fuss about it that someone gave him some seeds to take home with him. He is going to try to grow grelos in England!!! I expect we are going to hear more about them!

He plans to go on and try empanada and tortilla in Santiago but it looks as though he has found what Rick Stein likes best in Galicia already.

Meanwhile in another pa
rt of Spain, a Basque with gallego roots is about to make his childhood dream a reality. His name is Josu Feijoo. With a name like that I suppose he had to be gallego. He wrote a letter to the Three Kings when he was a small boy, asking for an Athletic de Bilbao football shirt and to be an astronaut when he grew up. And at 39 he’s about to become an astronaut. The football shirt was a lot easier and the Kings got that for him that Christmas.

He’s already known as a climber despite the fact that when he was diagno
sed with diabetes at age 23 the doctors said he shouldn’t do that kind of intensive exercise. Clearly he is a man who likes to push the boundaries a little. He’s climbed Mount Everest, Mount McKinley and Kilimanjaro, among others. Now he’s going to be the first diabetic astronaut and the third Spaniard in space.

I wonder if they serve cocido in space ships!


  1. I was under the impression that grelos were the leaves cut from turnips.

  2. Mike, Yes, 'turnip tops'. The seeds must be for the turnip, 'o nabo'?

    Stein made a program years ago about visiting the O Grove marisco festival. So, he's no stranger to Galicia.

  3. Anthea, You might want to check your computer clock . . . It's 7.11 on April 2 here in freezing Britain but my last comment was timed at 23.10 yesterday!

    Talking of tops, I may have managed to track down the elusive tip. Awaiting delivery. Please tell your better half.

    Un abrazo.

  4. I also understand that grelos are turnip tops but they are sold as a separate vegetable item and much appreciated here in Galicia. Maybe there's something special about "o nabo" that makes it different from a British turnip.

    I will pass on the tip.

    As regards the time. it's not the computer clock but something to do with this blog system I have not yet figured out how to change it. It's just told me that today's blog was posted at 12 something butit's actually 19.41. Strange things are obviously afoot.