The potato is a staple food in the region, first arriving in Spain from the Americas in the 16th century, and then grown first and foremost on the coasts of the Ría de Noia. In Galician cuisine, neither the cook or the recipe really matters; what is being served is the central part of the cuisine.
In Galicia, a wide variety of sea produce can be found in traditional dishes, due to the province's long shoreline and traditional fishing economy. Agriculture products such as potatoes, maize and wheat are also staples in the Galician diet, along with dairy and meat products from animals such as cows, sheep and pigs; Galicia's grasses and shrubs are green year-round and are excellent for grazing.
Due to the history of a weak economy, little industry and overall a less-than-prominent position in Spanish politics and culture, the development of a Galician "haute cuisine" has been slowed until recently, with chefs such as Toñi Vicente gaining national attention only since the 1980s.