The Carril Clam Festival is a magnificent culinary celebration that honors this delectable mollusk grown in the Arousa Estuary, specifically at the mouth of the Ulla river. This celebration usually takes place in August in a unique site, the Alameda de Carril (a tree-lined avenue of Carril), located next to the fish market and excellent views of the Cortegada Island, which is part of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Maritime-Terrestrial Park. The fest is a valuable opportunity to taste this exquisite clam in a wide variety of ways, although its most well-known gastronomic presentation is in Marinara style (a la marinera).
They created this event to promote the quality of this bivalve and the shellfishing activity in the Carril culture farms. Simultaneously, the festival seeks to highlight the efforts of women and men engaged in this profession and boost gastronomic tourism. Therefore, the organization developed complementary proposals, such as the yearbook called Carril Shellfish Growers, which includes an edition and publication, as well as promotional videos of the Carril clam, its festival, and the activities performed by the shellfish growers.
An initiative by The Carril Shellfish Growers Organization began this gastronomic celebration, born in 1992, celebrated annually since then, promoted by two organizations representative of the region seafood sector: The Carril Shellfish Growers Organization (OPP89) and The Fishermen’s Brotherhood Saint James Apostle of Carril. The festival takes place on the Sunday following the famous Vilagarcía de Arousa Water Festival, held on August 16.
The Festival of the Carril Clam (Festa da Ameixa de Carril) became a Festival of Tourist Interest of Galicia in 2014. This recognition is because of the festival’s renowned prestige throughout the national territory, placing it as one of the most significant and consolidated gastronomic and tourist events in the Autonomous Community.
The schedule for the festival weekend includes a wide range of events, and the Clam Dishes Contest deserves special mention among them, which often occurs on Saturday, allowing attendees to taste the dishes presented in this contest in the amateur and professional categories, where players can win respective prizes.
However, the most renowned tasting happens on Sunday, which officially begins with an opening speech for the festivities in the morning and lasts until well into the night. On this same day, they commemorate the chapter of The Order of the Carril Clam, constituted in 2004 and re-founded in 2018, with new statutes. In this act, they declare the Knight and Lady (Cabaleiro and Dona) of the Order and hold the awards ceremony, granting winners The Gold Clam (Ameixa de Ouro), The Silver Clam (Ameixa de Prata), The Youngest Shellfish Grower (Parquista Xoven), and The Honorary Shellfish Grower (Parquista de Honra) awards.
The Order of the Carril Clam (Orde da Ameixa de Carril)
The Order of the Carril Clam was established in 2004, becoming the promotional flagship of the image and trademark of Carril Clam of the Carril Shellfish Growers. Today, this order is part of several Spanish federations and the prestigious European Council of Enogastronomic Brotherhoods (CEUCO).
The function of The Ladies and Knights of the Order of the Carril Clam (Donas e Cabaleiros da Orde da Ameixa) is to act as ambassadors of this Carril product on every occasion. Prominent political and gastronomic figures are part of this order.
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