The preservation of food was a concern since the earliest times. At Nerga (Cangas) fenician remains where found in an old salt factory, in Bueu appeared remains of salting and old jars of clay in Noville (Mugardos) we studied a full and noble roman salting industry.
The output of Galician ports that carried large quantities of salted fish and dried octopus dried in the air, bound for Cantabrian Portuguese and Andalusian ports are documented in the middle ages.
With the shortage of its markets, the levantian moved along the mainland’s coast and from 1750 they landfall in the Galician coasts the first waves of catalan merchants, that only stay in Galicia to buy sardines and salting it with the methods developed in the Mediterranean.
This first phase ends after the French occupation, and from 1810 the second waves of Catalans form local companies and settle on the coast by integrating into the local galicean society, with the only objective to explode the natural resources of the rias, specially the sardine.
With the confiscation promoted by Juan Álvarez of Mendizábal (1836-1837), many costal terrains that belonged to the chirch, went to the hands of the promoters, that built on them businesses that transformed the fishing.
The specialization of the fish and its later packing in hermetic recipients of tin, process adopted in Britain towards 1840, will be a more efficient way of preserving than sault and will promote the restructuring of these business
In 1879 Juan Goday Gual will implement in the island of Arosa the first modern fabricof fish preserves. The success of the modernization made that towards 1907 there was already in Galicia more that 100 industries of these sort.
For more information:
– Fábrica de la isla de Sálvora, in Ribeira
– Almacén de Tal, in Muros
– Almacén de Goday, in O Grove
– Almacén de Cubelas, in Cervo
– Almacén de Mourisca, in Bueu
– Almacén de la Bestarruza, in Mugardos
Text and images courtesy of Manuel Lara