Empanada Gallega, Octopus and Albarino

On today’s post, I will discuss 2 Galician dishes that can be matched with one of the greatest Spanish grapes, Albarino. One of the most beautiful aspects of wine drinking is that you can match the wines with the regional foods where the wine come from.

An empanada galicia is a large, pie-shaped  hails from Galicia, Spain. Galicia is  an “autonomous community” within Spain, with its own language – Galician. They first appeared in Medieval Iberia during the time of the Moorish invasions. A cookbook published in Catalan in 1520 mentions empanadas filled with seafood among its recipes of Catalan, Italian, French, and Arabian food. It is believed that empanadas and the very similar calzones are both related from the Arabic meat-filled pies, samosas

Any empanada recipe can be prepared in the shape of a pie, and might be called an “empanada gallega”, but the Spanish version has certain unique characteristics. Empanadas are in, Spain, Portugal, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Philippines,a type of stuffed pastry.The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.

The dough of a Galician empanada is slightly different than typical Latin American-style empanada one, as it is made with olive oil and yeast. The Spanish traditional filling is a delicious mix of onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, tuna, and might include hardboiled eggs, and seasoned with smoky pimenton paprika. The empanada is often baked in a paella pan, thought you can also do it in a pizza pan.

Pulpo a la gallega -Galician style octopus- is a century old recipe,  because octopus has been consumed in this autonomous region for longer than we can count. Octopus was one of the few types of seafood that was transported from the coasts to the interior towns and in fact it was far more appreciated in the interior than near the sea.

When America was discovered many products appeared in the Spanish gastronomy, including a  spice obtained from some crushed red chiles , in Spanish they call it pimentón, in English: paprika.

Not only does paprika give a tempting reddish tinge, but it was also great for preserving food in those time before frozen products and easy land transportation were available.

But it wasn’t until a few years later that pulpo a la gallega became and actual dish. Some 125 years ago, when muleteers went to cattle fairs, they bought large amounts of octopus and then they’d prepare it with olive oil and paprika. Quite simple.

The name in galician for pulpo a la gallega is “pulpo a feira” (fair style octopus) for a very simple reason. During the cattle fairs the farmers would buy or sell cattle, sell their farm products, etc, and buy groceries such as salt, sugar and other products they didn’t have daily access to.

The trip to the town where the fair took place took a long time and most people would stay for lunch or dinner. Those who stayed near the fair venue could eat octopus (as we’ve mentioned before, it was a very typical dish in fairs).

The “pulpeiras” (specialized in octopus) would cook the animal in copper cauldrons and serve it in wooden plates. It is said that the copper pot gives it an incomparable taste that it’s impossible to obtain with any other material.

Wines for these Spanish delicacies:

Voir la photo agrandie du produit. Cette photo s'ouvre dans une visionneuse et peut comporter des obstacles à l'accessibilité.

Pazo de Senorans Albarino 2013. SAQ Code: 00898411. Price: $27.30

On the nose, medium intensity aromas of lemon,green apple, and diverse stone fruits. In addition, diverse  floral notes such as acacia. In the mouth, mineral driven with pear like flavors alike. Fresh, firm and with a racy finale. 90\100

Voir la photo agrandie du produit. Cette photo s'ouvre dans une visionneuse et peut comporter des obstacles à l'accessibilité.

Terras Gauda O Rosal 2014. SAQ Code: 10858351. Price: $24.00

On the nose the wine displays a generous nose of ripe peach with aromatic hints of bay leaf, mint, orange blossom, tangerine  and orange peel. On the palate it displays lots of  character  with a classic body and sensational fruitiness. Succulent and dense, it shines with  an elegant creamy sensation. 92\100

Have a good week!!

2 thoughts on “Empanada Gallega, Octopus and Albarino

  1. Very nice post – plus I adore pulpo alla Gallega: I could eat tons of it!!! Do you happen to have a good recipe for it to suggest?
    I would definitely taste it with either one of the wines that you recommend as they both sound very interesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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