One of the most famous Galician writers, Álvaro Cunqueiro, said: “The oyster is an essential delicacy to open a seafood platter. It has a spiritual flavour, which is like a deep nostalgia from the sea”. More than 25,000 people agree with this every year at Arcade, where the oyster has the flavour of the waters from the mouth of the Verdugo river.
Thanks to its producers, who were pioneers in marketing and exporting this valued shellfish in the Spanish and European markets, one of the most famous and crowded festivals in the Vigo region has been celebrated since 1987, promoting the consumption of a product that is essential to the economy of this town.
The oyster is eaten all year round, cooked or raw -the most common way- but the best time to taste it is, precisely, in the month of April. Whether due to their supposed aphrodisiac power or because of how well white wine goes with them, the truth is that during this festival more than 100,000 oysters are handed out.
In the tent set up on the Arcade quay, dozens of people are busy cutting open oysters, with special skill, with a short and wide knife, right before serving them to be eaten raw and with lemon. But in the stalls, which open on Saturdays, they also sell portions of oyster empanadas or pickled oysters, and bottles of Soutomaior albariño wine...
Fireworks, children's entertainment activities, parades and musical performances complete a festival that lasts the entire weekend.
Not to be missed
The oyster shuckers attract attention for their knife mastery and the speed with which they can open the oysters.