Much has been said about the wonders that the Galician seas and coasts hide. However, we tend to value seafood as the highest quality exponent in terms of maritime products, and nothing is further from the truth. Galician seafood is exceptional, yes, but its fish does not fall short. In fact, there is such a variety of species and capture methods on our coasts that Galicia is one of the largest fishing centers in all of Spain.
Similar to what happens with shellfish, the natural and climatic conditions of Galicia make the fish quite comfortable in Galician waters. Thanks to an exceptional diet provided by the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea, Galician fish is characterized by its size and enhanced flavor, where traditional capture techniques are very important.
Capture, instinct and tradition (of Basque origin)
As the historian Herminia Pernas writes on the website of the City of Burela, fishing for bonito was not very popular among Galician ports at the beginning of the 20th century. It would be around the 1920s when many Basque fishing boats shared their knowledge of the traditional bonito fishing in A Mariña. The Basques used to use sailing and rowing boats, considerably larger than the local ones, which received the local name of marracanas. In these boats, fishing was always carried out following traditional arts such as trolling or live bait.
The trolling It is a type of fishing that does not use nets, but uses the typical hook, which is dragged through the sea seeking to “seduce” the bonito. To do this, the bait used to be adorned with pieces of cloth, leaves or threads that sought to imitate the movement of small fish or crustaceans. These hooks were attached to powerful metal threads called lines, which must resist and endure the movements and weight of a bonito.
In the art of live bait, boats usually have nurseries where they deposit the small fish that serve as a lure for the beautiful ones. As in the case of trolling, fishing is individual: each sailor goes with his rod and with his bait. These types of traditional practices are still alive today, and are highly valued because they are a fairly respectful practice with the environment, since, unlike fishing with nets or meshes, the seabed is not damaged or other fish are caught. by mistake.
However, one of the aspects to take into account when fishing with a hook is that it requires great skill and practice on the part of the fisherman, since it is more difficult to locate the schools of fish and thus achieve a good catch. Not everyone is good enough to fish Burela’s bonito or hake.
What does a hake on the skewer offer us?
When we talk about a hake on the skewer we refer to a hake caught with a hook. And when we talk about a hake from the Galician skewer, we are talking about one of the most valued fish on the market. Why? It is a mixture of various factors: the first, the maritime environment of Galicia, which provides its animals an unbeatable flavor. Second, the Galician hake is a local product, and therefore fresh. Few can compete with a hake that is consumed the same day it is caught. And the third element that creates the winning combination is the hook catch. Being caught one by one, each fish is handpicked and does not take any hit or damage during its catch.. All of this translates into a meat in good condition, firmer and tastier than the others.
In addition, the versatility it offers is something unique. Its meat allows many elaborations and its bones are easy to remove. It’s a ideal food for balanced and healthy diets, since it is a white fish with a very low fat content. In addition, it contains proteins of high biological value, vitamins and minerals essential for humans.
Something similar happens with the bonito fishing in Burela. Thanks to the respect for the traditional catch, the intuition of veteran fishermen and the good work of fish markets and fishmongers, in Galicia we have real treasures in the form of fish.
A peculiar way to Santiago for a unique fish
Taking advantage of the Jacobean year, the Lugo Fisheries Producers Organization and Paradores have created a gastronomic route that seeks to travel through Spain following the different routes of the Camino de Santiago. This is the third edition of the campaign Origin & Destination Galicia, which seeks to promote Burela’s hake and bonito. Each of the products will have its own “route”, where, Through the restaurants of the Paradores house, dishes will be offered where hake and bonito will be the protagonists. This peculiar pilgrimage will visit common places of the The French Way, the Ebro Route, the Catalan Way, the Wool Route, the Madrid Way, the Complutense Way, the Vía de la Plata …
The first to start its journey was the Bonito de Burela, which began its route in Santiago de Compostela, last Wednesday, June 30. During the month of July, the bonito from Burela will visit Lleida (Catalonia), Santo Domingo de la Calzada (La Rioja) and León. The hake from Burela will take over, which will begin its route in Cuenca and will pass through Alcalá de Henares, Toledo, Ávila and Zamora throughout the month of August. But as the origin and destination of this route is Galicia, the hake will end its stage on the Costa da Morte, where the last dishes of this season can be tasted on 3 and 5 September.
A whole journey to value a natural, fresh, healthy and sustainable product. Now there are no excuses to enjoy two of the best fish in the world when it comes to fish. And you, do you dare to do this Way?
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