In addition to its scenery and indisputable historical-artistic attractions, one of the Ribeira Sacra's strong points - and which is applicable to the whole of Galicia - is its wide range of top-quality local products, many of which have been awarded guarantee marks at their origin. We can sample them in the region’s restaurants and rural cottages, presented in the form of delicious local dishes.
As can be expected in an inland area, the Ribeira Sacra’s speciality is high-quality meat. Pig slaughter has always held particular importance in this region and, in the past, the resulting products would feed families all year round. Chorizo, ham, sausages or blood pudding are some of the characteristic products which you can buy and sample across the Ribeira Sacra. Aside from pork, beef, kid meat, lamb and (seasonal) small and large game meat from this area are also particularly excellent.
All of these, accompanied by the large amounts of varied wild mushrooms that can be picked in autumn, are delicacies available to us.
In terms of desserts, we should mention the buttery bica from Castro Caldelas: a renowned, typical dessert from this municipality located close to the Manzaneda and Queixa mountains, which is highly valued in the local area and throughout Galicia. Other high-quality products - such as cherries, chestnuts and honey - are also used to make excellent desserts to round off a good meal.
Wine merits a special mention. Vine-growing in the Ribeira Sacra dates back over 2,000 years (introduced by the Romans) and was a key element of the monastic colonisation of the entire region. Monks grew grapes and perfected wines, beginning to mould the extraordinary scenery that we know today and taking their produce to the cities.
Nowadays in the Ribeira Sacra, wine-making is not only an important economic driving force but also a significant hallmark.
The creation of the Ribeira Sacra Designation of Origin in 1997, alongside a Regulatory Council to rigorously monitor production, was a powerful catalyst for increasing both the quantity and quality of these wines.