Filloas de Leche Gallego
Filloas de Leche Gallego is one of the many delicious foods made in Galicia, the region in Northwest Spain along the Camino de Santiago. This dish dates back to the Romans and their conquer of Europe. The Romans brought Filloas into Spain and it quickly spread through the Celtic homes. Back then, the water or meat broth used in the recipe below, was once thought to be the blood of pigs!
Filloas are made as part of the Carnival celebrations which take place the days leading up to and on Ash Wednesday. They are also part of the Magosto which is a traditional Autumn festival in Galicia. The Magosto has Celtic roots and marks the end of summer and the start of the cold part of the year. The main element of the celebration is the roasting of chestnuts, but in Galicia, they also make Filloas.
These thin pancakes are very similar to crepes but traditionally were made with lard or pork fat in the pan, rather than butter or oil that most use today. They are filled with a variety of fillings such as pork, fruit or honey. It was also tradition to leave the fire of the house roasting and some of the food around so the spirits of the deceased return to their homes to warm up.
Whenever they are made, they are one of our favourite treats! We have our authentic and easy recipe to share with our hungry pilgrims.
Sarten de Filloas
Historically, the tool used to cook the Filloas was simply a hot stone. Often the stone was wide enough to make two Filloas at the same time. Some families in Galicia still use this technique today. Over time, the Spaniards created a better tool to make the Filloas. They use a cast iron plate that was large enough to have 2, 3 or 4 circles to help create the perfectly round shape. This would be placed directly on the fire. A special wooden tool would be used to move the batter into the circles.
Vanessa fondly remembers her Aunt Manola standing over her Sarten de Filloas with a fork full of lard! You can still find local Galicians using this pan today.
Filloas de Leche Gallego
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1.5 cups white flour
- 3/4 cup water (many Galicians use meat broth)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- a piece of bacon fat
*some families in Galicia add a little sugar for a sweeter Filloa
- Whisk the egg in a bowl.
- Add the milk, water and salt. Whisk all ingredients until blended well.
- Add the flour, little by little, to avoid creating lumps. Then, whisk with fork or with an electric mixer. You want a thin consistency so you might have to play with the amount of milk, water and flour.
- Next, heat up a frying pan, greasing it with the bacon fat on a fork.
- Add a small spoonful of dough to a frying pan. Place the dough in the corner of the pan and make circles to spread it throughout the pan to avoid making it too thick in the middle.
- Once the edges separate from the pan, flip the Filloa to the other side, being careful not to cook either side too much. The colour should be a golden brown.
- As you make the Filloas, stack them on top of each other because this will help maintain the heat. If you want, add a little sugar between each. It will melt like syrup.
- Add any additional toppings as you please. This can be savoury or sweet; however, you like it! Typically in Galicia, the Filloas are filled with pork. Some families cook the pork into the batter while it is on the Sarten de Filloas . You can see this in the photo below!