CEDEIRA (A CORUÑA)
FESTA DO PERCEBE – GOOSENECK BARNACLE FAIR
JULY 29 & 30
Cedeira is one of the prettiest fishing villages in Galicia, and the surrounding area is one of breathtaking natural beauty, boasting the highest cliffs in continental Europe at 2,000ft. The town population swells in the summer months due to its long-standing popularity as a summer resort for people from Ferrol and Madrid. One of its principal gastronomic attractions is the percebe or gooseneck barnacle, along with Roncudo on the Costa de Morte, this town consistently produces the goods with the prize crustacea even being exported to the USA. Famed for being one of the most expensive of seafoods, and probably the ugliest, worryingly resembling gangrenous witches’ toes, they are the star dish of many a wedding banquet.The reason for the expensive price tag is that the percebelleiros or gooseneck barnacle gatherers literally risk their lives hacking them off the rocks, always with a keen eye on the next deadly wave to come crashing in over their heads, potentially smashing them against the cliff face. Not a year goes by without the news of some poor percebelleiro losing his or her life along this truly treacherous stretch of coast. One of Cedeira’s other specialities in Pastelón or Empanada, famous throughout Galicia and the rest of Spain. It is a delicious, thick crusted rectangular pie filled with fish, seafood or meat and a must try if you’re in the area. The fair is held in a large marquee close to where Cedeira’s fishing boats unload their daily catch. The Albariño or Ribeiro wine and Estrella Galicia beer flow freely and the festivities continue well into the night with local gaiteiros (pipers) dancers and pandereteiras (singers with tambourines) joining in the fun.