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Padrón

- by Don Harris

Padrón, a small village of 700 people at the top of a breathtaking fjord, is one of the most beautiful spots in all Galicia. It is the birthplace of several of Spain's leading writers and poets including Rosalía de Castro, Macías, Rodrígues de Padrón, and the Nobel Prizewinner for Literature, Camilio José Cela.

For the sportsman, Padrón is favored because it lies in a fertile valley beside two rivers at the foot of sheltering mountains, making it an ideal spot to fish for salmon, trout and lamprey.

For the pilgrim Padrón has a particular significance. Legend has it that when the Apostles divided the known world into missionary zones, the Iberian peninsula fell to James (Santiago) and he spent a number of years preaching there before returning to Jerusalem, and martyrdom. His followers are believed to have carried his body down to the coast and put it into a stone boat, which was carried by angels and the wind beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the straits of Gibraltar), to land near Finisterre, at Padrón, on the Atlantic coast of northern Spain. The boat was moored to a great stone post, or padrón which is still preserved in the village. The remains of St. James were transported to Santiago de Compostela where they remain today as an object of veneration for millions of pilgrims.

For the gourmet cook, the village is the current source of the rare pimientos de Padrón brought back from the New World by Columbus. Since the 16th Century, many pilgrims who arrived in Santiago have feasted upon these thin dark green peppers grown in the town. If you are visiting the area in the summer, you can enjoy the light sweet peppers, which are sautéed in olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, and served on a platter. If you do not want to wait until you get to Spain, you can order fresh pimientos de Padrón through our web site.

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COMMENTS

"How great to read about my heritage. It is near Padron that I started primary school. I am looking forward to visiting La Tienda soon."
Carmen P. Evans, Forest, Va.

"Do let me know when you are coming so that I will be sure to meet you. Have you been back to Padrón since you were a child? Don" - Don Harris

"My grandfather, Daniel Merlan, came to the US from Galicia in 1914 along with several brothers, sister and friends. I have enjoyed the Galician cuisine all by life, and continue some of the traditions of my childhood. We have traveled to Barcelona and Motril due to the fact that we visit our Spanish son-in-law's family. Our next visit will be to Galicia. I have also visited your shop in Virginia. Enjoy your products and emails."
Linda Lundgren, Pawtucket, RI USA

"Dear Linda, Nice to hear from you -- I hope you enjoyed our store in Williamsburg. Did we get a chance to meet? I would like to read more about that large contingent of Gallegos who came to America in the early part of the 20th century. They must have been brave and forward looking people. I know quite a few settled in Newark, NJ. Tu amigo, Don" - Don Harris

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