Friday, 10 January 2014

The Galician Diet

I have been overweight for years. This has been due to a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, working at a desk all day. The recent UK concern with hidden sugar in the diet resonates with me here.
My family have also suffered with weight issues for much the same reasons as I. Since coming to Galicia I have gradually lost weight without trying and my close family members who have stayed here have found the same thing. One reason for the weight loss is an increase in my activity level, working all day on the land and with animals is bound to improve fitness levels but the main reason I think is the traditional Galician diet.

Most people in the country do not have access to take away food or large supermarkets, you have to drive into the cities for those. Traditionally food is home made, from fresh ingredients including home reared pork, chorizo and ham, chicken and rabbit from the back yard and fresh veg from the ubiquitous vegetable patches.

The fast food here is not very fast, it is the Menu del Dia from one of the many roadside eating places in every village offering a wonderfully fresh home cooked three course meal with bread, wine and coffee for around 9 euros per head. Against that, the likes of the city McDonalds can not compete. The Galicians are rightly proud of their food, it is superbly simple and delicious. Food is right at the heart of their culture. Most of their fiestas are food based. Take the Capon Fair we recently went to in Vilalba. All of the Capons are free range, fed on a mix of foods including corn and chestnuts, and killed and prepared at home.

No glucose syrup in sight. The food has real taste to it, no injections of water, no added colourings or preservatives. Even the home made wine needs to be kept in the fridge as it doesn't have any preservatives, and at 1.20 euro per litre is very affordable and you don't get a hang over. The Galician love of food and wine equates to happiness and a love of life.