A free day in Vigo took us to a seafood restaurant right next to the port… So close that it would actually be feasible for the creatures of the sea to jump up on to your plate…in other words as fresh as can be!

Never having tried oysters before, we decided that there’s no time like the here and now, particularly as it is a typical thing to do here. However we only ordered one each so as not to throw ourselves in at the deep end… Just a dip this time! We got all excited (and a bit squeamish) when they arrived, and picked them up ready to take the plunge, when we realised that we didn’t actually know how we were supposed to eat them. Gala’s words were “do we chew?”, to my informed guess and eloquent response of “no, we slurp!” So one, two, three… And it wasn’t so bad after all. It tasted pretty much like the sea but with the specific slimy texture that I think everybody can imagine, oyster virgins and all!

To accompany this activity we had delicious melt-in-the-mouth Pulpo Gallego (Galician style Octopus, cooked in paprika), to tentacles, suckers and all; and a very complimentary white wine Rías Baixas that uses the local Albarino grape.

Glistening Pulpo Gallego

This classy lunch out turned in to a lunch time piss up, as the waiters decided we could have extra large glasses of the wine and finish the bottle, apparently just because we spoke Spanish… To add a kick to the menu, we finished with a large shot of cazuelo, a local mixture of strong spirits, sugar and coffee grains, producing a cauldron full of a liquid I will describe as sweet fire water… Again, you can probably guess…

The result was two tipsy English girls wandering the streets of a town that rarely sees tourists at midday… it must have been quite a picture. To add to the hilarity of the situation, where we were wandering to was in fact a children’s birthday party that we had kindly been invited to! Needless to say we accidentally caught the bus in the wrong direction, meaning the birthday entourage had to pick us up on route, thus the party girl turned up late… Oops!

A simple recipe for Pulpo Gallego:

Ingredients: 1large octopus. Paprika. 1Teaspoon of Peppercorns. 1 Bay Leaf. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Rock salt.

Instructions:Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the octopus, peppercorns, bay leaf and a teaspoon of salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until the octopus is tender. After ten minutes, cut up the octopus into slices and sprinkle over the paprika and rock salt. Finish off with a generous drizzle of olive oil to glisten!

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