A few decades ago chickens used to be raised in a cage-free environment and, for this reason, their meat had a unique flavour. Even though this traditional breeding experienced a decline over time, in some areas this tradition is still alive. This is the case of the municipality of Vila de Cruces, in the province of Pontevedra, where free range chicken is the protagonist of its gastronomic festival, declared Festival of Tourist Interest in Galicia, which will be twenty four years old in 2017.
Breeders of the free range chickens of Vila de Cruces have made the effort so that this delicacy, suitable for dozens of recipes, can be present in the the most renowned Spanish restaurants. Thus, apart from being tasted in the most renowned Spanish restaurants, the chicken bred in Vila de Cruces reaches many cities and towns far from our national borders.
This particular dish is usually on the menu of local restaurants all year long. But, when spring comes, Vila de Cruces sets the main day of the free range chicken, which, this year, will take place on Sunday 28 May. Throughout the day activities come one after another. Among them, the exhibition, the tasting and the extolment of the dishes prepared with this traditional poultry, which has a lean meat with an intense colour and an exceptional flavour, stand out.
Concerts are also part of the schedule. Musical performances are played all day long, and one of the highlights of this year's line-up is the Festival of Galician Bands. This music festival, which is the same age as the food festival, brings together some of the most popular bands in Galicia. The classic car rally or the opening speech are other events attended by thousands of visitors that come to this municipality of the province of Pontevedra.
Additionally, the popular tavern chants will take place during the weekend following the festival, which will fill the local pubs and restaurants with traditional music.
Besides its cuisine, Vila de Cruces offers natural and landscape spaces such as the recreational area of A Carixa, in the parish of Merza, or the islands of Gres, and museums as unique as the Neira Vilas Museum or the Mining Museum, in the parish of Fontao.