Each summer, Spain erupts into a series of wine-fuelled village fiestas, to honour regional traditions, customs and foods. They are greedy, hot days to gobble down delicacies, get dressed up in some kind of costume, or throw goats from church roofs (really).
In Galicia, at Spain's north-western tip, most of the fiestas focus on the region's delicious foods. They honour the mussel, the clam, Galician beef, the famous little green bell pepper, or whatever else tickles their fancy, although there is one in which people dress up as Vikings and dive their heads into great vats of red wine. But my favourite is the fiesta of the razor clam; la navaja.
It is a bit less crazed than others, the star of the show being the seafood that has been plucked from the sand that morning. Lined up around long tables, we feast on generous plates of succulent razor clams, slabs of empanadas filled with cod and raisins, and plastic cups of Albariño wine. The musicians play their rousing Celtic song with drums and bagpipes as the moody Galician weather pours rain on those waiting outside. The razor clams are long and fat, they taste of the sea and the lemon we squeezed over them. Their sides are browned from being fried, our fingers oily. We chew, laugh, slurp and clap to the music, and then we are finished; we leave as quickly as we came, back into the wind outside as we still taste the sea on our breath.
Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake
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