Street food – a snack in Verin

Everyone loves street food – don’t they? It reeks of authenticity, of regionality and – dare I say – adventure.

The best way to select street food is to look for the crowd. If there’s a crowd waiting, especially if they’re locals, go for it. If you’re lucky, its prepared in front of you, usually with local ingredients.

map of route from Porto to Burgos
Verin, time to take a break between Porto and Burgos

On the road from Porto, we crossed the border back into Spain and thought it may be time for a break and something to eat. We were in Verin, Spain. I am not sure if there is anything remarkable about Verin, except -apart from the miracle of parking – there was.

It was Octopus.

We sat in the “A Corbaceira” cafe, where the clientele was overwhelmingly male. Quantities of vermouth were consumed, along with beers and coffee, whilst a cooking show involving identical twins was on the wall mounted television. But the real show was outside.

A lady had set up a boiler and was braising octopus in red wine. Platters of chopped tentacles, doused in olive oil and sprinkled with paprika were the dish of the day, with patrons of the cafe bringing the platters in to be eaten on site. We were in. We watched as locals bought take away containers for later consumption and purchased a platter for lunch. sharing one of a few tables fronting the window, we watched the lady’s patrons coming and going.

Octopus braised in red wine, sprinkled with olive oil and paprika
Octopus for lunch

A matron bustled up to the table and placed her order. Standing next to her was an elderly octogenarian gent, who we are hoping was known to her. The conversation seemed to be genial, so perhaps they were acquaintances.

People lining up for Octopus braised in red wine.  Verin, Spain
Get in line for lunch

His hand snaked out and took hold of the matron’s generously proportioned derriere, and she, without reacting, continued to speak with the Vendor – discussing her order. Throughout her conversation with the Vendor, whose range of vision did not take in anything below her customer’s waist, the fondling continued. Meanwhile, the elderly gent, unaware that the entire cafe was now observing his moves, continued the vigorous massage. Ribald commentary regarding the benefits of viagra and flagrant encouragement accompanied each of his moves.

Octopus braised in red wine..
Street food from Verin in Spain

The octopus was delicious and I will never be able to eat it again without remembering the wandering hands of an elderly spaniard.

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Is it too late to have a gap year in your late 50s? To take back some time from our day to day working life to travel - unplanned, unescorted, unfettered? To take that leap? It was a defining year - liberating, challenging, humbling, scary. It was many things, but it wasn't a holiday.

5 thoughts on “Street food – a snack in Verin

  1. And I thought it was oysters that got the juices flowing – although I don’t speak from experience because I can’t stand them.
    I’m a trifle disappointed you didn’t get a surreptitious photo but the scene is obviously indelibly etched on your memory so no need.
    What did you think of Porto? (you’ve probably got a post on it somewhere, have you? or is one in the pipeline?)


    1. I realised I hadn’t answered your question about Porto. Yes there is a post, but it was from a long time ago, and the photos need reloading. Porto is lovely, its quite small in area so you can wander easily which I love. I can recommend a great local restaurant there too, Sant Antonio Taberna for a local and delicious meal. Enjoyed the gardens, walking across the bridge, the river front, taking the tram out to the beach for sunset. Very picturesque. Hilly too. Amazing train station. Livrario Lello bookshop. I would visit again.


  2. That’s my ultimate favorite food. Your photo makes me drool. I had no idea they boil it in wine over there! I was enjoying the read and felt like the story was suddenly cut off… did she or did she not know the Senor?


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