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Confused about food safety - food in pack

BookGirl305

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Ingles (after Covid)
I see a lot of references to "bring along a yogurt, cheese, chorizo, milk", etc in your pack." Buy the night before for breakfast" and the like, which I can see for a couple of hours but not buying and storing for 24 hours or more.
In the US, all of those items require refrigeration for food safety. Is there different shelf stable packaging in Spain or do we store things differently in the US than the rest of the world?
 
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C clearly

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Most years since 2012
we store things differently in the US than the rest of the world
I would say this is true, to some degree. I store things in my fridge that people elsewhere don't. This is partly because we tend to have large fridges in North America, compared to elsewhere. So, why not?

I consider myself fairly cautious. I don't know what the experts would say, but I am fine with overnight and into the next morning (say 18 hours) for hard boiled eggs in their shell, yogurt, chorizo, and packaged cheeses such as Laughing Cow and Baby Bel. Some of those items are probably good for much longer. For milk and other cheeses, I would be OK with overnight in a coolish place, but I would eat them for breakfast and not carry further.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
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Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
I personally wouldn't store milk or yogurt in my pack overnight, but some meats and cheeses are fine. Quite often I ordered a bocadilla - and it was so huge that I had leftovers for breakfast - with cheese or chorizo on them. I was hoping to do some hard boiled eggs - but with most kitchens closed last summer I couldn't do it. But for me - the food I stored in my pack were more likely to be things that last longer. I carried dried fruits, nuts, "bars", pastries. I also carried some fresh fruit - but this time I think I am going to find a lightweight food container because twice the fruit got smashed/messy.

And yes - food storage practices vary widely- not just around the world - but even in the same geographic areas. I recall my grandma storing things at room temp that my husband would never be willing to store at room temp.
 
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Things like chorizo and hard cheese have been eaten and stored without refrigeration for centuries. Cured sausages and many cheeses were in fact developed to help keep their ingredients from spoiling quickly.

Even in the U.S. certain hard sausages and cheeses are sold, shipped, and stored unrefrigerated (think of those Swiss Colony gift baskets that show up around the holidays) - and there are even shelf-stable packages of yogurt and other dairy products available in any North American supermarket.

You probably wouldn't want to carry around a wheel of triple créme in your backback for three weeks. But a wrapped piece of sausage and/or hard cheese bought the night before will be just fine for breakfast.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022
CP Spring 2024
And yes - food storage practices vary widely- not just around the world - but even in the same geographic areas. I recall my grandma storing things at room temp that my husband would never be willing to store at room temp.

Peanut butter, butter, and eggs are three of the things that have come under serious debate in my extended family regarding whether they should be stored in the fridge or not. I'm totally OK with peanut butter stored at room temperature and have even come around to butter left on the counter (as long as it's stored in something like this) but for whatever reason warm uncooked eggs just weird me out.
 
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I travel in my van in the CA and AZ desert and do not have a refrigerator.
I never refrigerate eggs, hard cheese, yogurt, butter, mayonnaise, etc. when vanning.

On the Camino, I often carry hard cheese and sausage for days.
At night I put my yogurt out on a window ledge if there is one.

When you're buying cheese just be sure it's a hard cheese that will travel well.
I have a short funny story about that.
I was walking in France and Joe and I had purchased cheese a few days before in Toulouse.
When we arrived in Moissac.I was cleaning out my pack and found that cheese and man, was it SMELLY!
So I dumped it in the kitchen trash.
Later, some French pilgrim had lost a digital card and he and two women were searching through the trash for it. They were shocked to find half a round of cheese in the basura.
They cracked up when I held my nose and told them it STUNK!
They said the stinker the better! Whew! That was mighty good cheese.
They tried to give it back but I declined.
No, merci!
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Peanut butter, butter, and eggs are three of the things that have come under serious debate in my extended family regarding whether they should be stored in the fridge or not. I'm totally OK with peanut butter stored at room temperature and have even come around to butter left on the counter (as long as it's stored in something like this) but for whatever reason warm uncooked eggs just weird me out.
Yes, Yes, and Yes!!! Peanut butter, butter, and eggs are at the top of the storage debate. I have always been on the peanut butter and butter at room temp side. My husband - after 26 years of marriage is FINALLY leaving butter out! He seriously only started to do this in the last week or two. Totally shocked me haha. And I am the same with eggs...
 

trecile

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PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
There's a difference in the way that eggs are processed in the US and in Europe.
In the US eggs are washed before shipping and the covering that protects against bacterial contamination is removed.
More info here

I eat 99% if my meals at bars/restaurants, so I rarely carry more than an orange and a chocolate bar.

And I've been keeping my butter in a cupboard in a ramekin all of my life with no problems. The butter doesn't last long enough in my house to go bad.
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Hard boiled eggs can be stored outside of a fridge for a week or even longer, (depending on temperature) - as long they are stored at somewhat 'cool' room temperature (not in the sun and heat of course!). Even fresh eggs could be stored outside of a fridge the first weeks ... as long as they haven't been washed (and again in a cool place, not the hot sun ect.)!

I've read that in some countries store bought eggs are always washed and that's why it has become the norm to always put them in a fridge (washing will damage the egg's natural protective layer). But with fresh eggs, it is not really necessary. Where I live, eggs are sold unrefridgerated. That's common in many parts of Europe to my knowledge. So if you look for them in a supermarket here, don't be surprised to find them outside of a fridge.

Things like yogurt will usually still be okay the next morning unless you're in a horrible heat wave. Some cheeses even get better when stored at room temperature for a while - I have to agree with the frenchmen who rescued the smelly cheese from the trash!

The only things I've learned to always put in the fridge immediately are those that contain raw eggs (everything with fresh mayonnaise). As well as raw meat, fish ect.

Most cooked leftovers will be okay the next day or even the day after unrefridgerated.

Of course no guarantees. You need to use your own common sense and senses (smell, look and taste will usually tell you whether something is still good or not!).
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
The commercial food industry in the USA has a different way of dealing with chickens and eggs that result in the need for refrigeration. In Europe, you will find eggs on the refrigerated shelves of stores, possibly right next to shelf-stable milk and yogurt drinks. A simple guide is that if it’s sold unrefrigerated, you can certainly store it in your backpack the same way - shhhh, the food doesn’t know where it’s being kept! 😎. Once opened, though, there may be additional requirements for refrigeration, but it will say so on the package.

You will see cured meat and various cheeses unrefrigerated on bar tops, in cafe display cases, and on store shelves. Many cultures had to rely on this style of food preservation to ensure they had food on extended stays in the fields with their animals, on seafaring voyages, or simply to survive extended periods between crop cycles. You can rely on methods that have been safely used in Spain and other Camino countries for literally thousands of years.

As for yogurt, we have routinely carried ours (unopened) for several days on more remote paths without issue as long as the temperature wasn’t too hot. Yogurt itself is essentially lightly warmed milk left out to sit for an extended amount of time. Sealed, it stays edible and safe for far more than the two hours we Americans are used to and the US Dairy Institute recommends.
 
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chinacat

Veteran Member
Most cooked leftovers will be okay the next day or even the day after unrefridgerated.

Please don’t keep cooked rice beyond the next day, and certainly not unrefrigerated.
It’ll probably still smell fine but don’t eat it!!

 
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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2022_Mozarabe from Almeria
Hi @BookGirl305
Many of us walk in shoulder seasons where it can get really chilly overnight.
I’ve had no problems with keeping my ‘postres’ yoghurt from the evening meal before (it doesn’t heat up !); to consume either early for breakfast or at my first break. I would also buy and walk with it for a day.
Chorizo and bread 🥖- handy to have if you don’t find any place open to eat. Eg - on the more untraveled routes.
I’d also walk a bit with a boiled egg if it was available and have it for lunch.
I’d think a bit before carrying them in the middle of Spanish summer though.
 
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Former member 49149

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Interesting thread. The albergue in Ponferrada was where we lost our food from the fridge... we still did sometimes use fridges, but we then labelled a plastic bag to try to protect our yogurt drinks...
As for eggs: I did not know that eggs were treated differently in other parts of the world. I live in Ireland. On our caminos, when it suited, we boiled half a dozen eggs and carried them for 3 days, to have with fresh bread for a tasty lunch. No problems. Other useful transportable food items in addition to what have been named above - sardines, mackerel, salmon. Fresh bread can be looked for early in the day. On the Salvador, we literally begged the cafe owners to give us (at a price) two slices of their wonderful bread to carry with us on the day leaving La Robla, about 5km out on the road.
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Please don’t keep cooked rice beyond the next day, and certainly not unrefrigerated.
It’ll probably still smell fine but don’t eat it!!


I have done so countless times without any issues, but thanks for the warning, never heard of that. I also reheat mushrooms which is apparently considered a no-no-never and never had any problems.

As I said if you do things like that you need to use some common sense which I guess is not that common anymore nowadays... and there's warning label on everything... but I think I'll know if my food is rotten. Never had food poisoning, apart from once in Spain after a restaurant meal (not thouroughly cooked fried eggs... already knew it was bad idea to eat them, stupid mistake!).

I guess everyone has their own standards. Mine are apparently quite low so maybe don't take me as an example🤣
 
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Please don’t keep cooked rice beyond the next day, and certainly not unrefrigerated.
It’ll probably still smell fine but don’t eat it!!

Yup, I've read of several cases of cooked rice causing food poisoning when kept out. But I seem to remember it was rice that had been cooled, then kept out.

My Vietnamese daughter in law keeps it going in a "warm" rice cooker for several days and I often worry about that, but like the mayo, eggs, and butter that I don't refrigerate, she has grown up doing it that way and assures me it's safe.
 
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Arniece2022

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April, 2022
As others have said above, it depends on the time of year and where you are purchasing your products. I live in Mexico. I buy my eggs from the tienda down the block, in bags off the shelf. The locals feed their chickens only grain and natural growing feed. Plus they do not clean their eggs. (Sometimes they can look a little yukky LOL!) When I first came here this made me uncomfortable and I used to test them in a bowl of water before using them, but those days are gone for me. I am comfortable now. Milk is another product sold in boxes off the shelf. I buy several boxes at a time and store in my pantry until opened, then in the fridge. It's all about the processing procedures. Having said that, if you buy your products from a store such as Walmart, Costco, etc. even here in Mexico, the eggs have come from the U.S. or Canada and these ones must be refrigerated. Best be guided by the store you are purchasing them from. If you buy off the shelf you are safe. Also, the time of year is important. I am starting in 10 days and the weather network is telling me nights are still in the very low degrees as are the mornings. If you're walking in, say August, then I would think almost anything sitting in excessive heat or under a beating sun would change in composition and some caution might be required.
 
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Lots of interesting replies. I love peanut butter and have never put it in the refrigerator. I always leave one stick of butter at room temp. I was raised that eggs belong in the fridge, but I had a friend who always left raw eggs stored in her cupboard, insisting when cooked they taste better that way. In spite of the current salmonella issue, her family was never sick.
On the Camino, I think sausage and cheese if purchased in sealed packaging instead of at a butcher/deli counter lasts longer, although once opened I use it within a day.
 

Arniece2022

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April, 2022
2 nations divided not by a common language but a refrigeration policy. Who puts peanut better in a fridge! And we do prefer our cheese runny and a bit smelly.
Totally agree caution with cooked rice.
But we are all different.
It's been over 100 degrees here every day for the last couple of weeks, and that is the norm for April and May. My (natural) peanut butter literally pours out of the jar if I don't put it in the fridge.
 

Robi Diaz De Vivar

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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
I see a lot of references to "bring along a yogurt, cheese, chorizo, milk", etc in your pack." Buy the night before for breakfast" and the like, which I can see for a couple of hours but not buying and storing for 24 hours or more.
In the US, all of those items require refrigeration for food safety. Is there different shelf stable packaging in Spain or do we store things differently in the US than the rest of the world?
Hi there. I have the great good fortune to live here in Spain and one of the great joys of it is to live off of the local foods. I see that you reference the Camino Ingles, which is a Camino less travelled, but that does not mean that whereever you stay that you will not be able to access local food. An enormous part of your journey is going to be trying things that you have not encountered before so do it in situ. Open your mind to rural Spain and it will repay the investment many, many times over. We are not scary......honest.
 
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lt56ny

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10/22 Aragones/Frances
Peanut butter, butter, and eggs are three of the things that have come under serious debate in my extended family regarding whether they should be stored in the fridge or not. I'm totally OK with peanut butter stored at room temperature and have even come around to butter left on the counter (as long as it's stored in something like this) but for whatever reason warm uncooked eggs just weird me out.
I remember reading an article regarding refrigerating eggs. I believe that the only country that recommends refrigeration is the United States. It is because of a coating that we put on the eggs. Why the Americans do that I do not know. I live in Mexico and eggs are all left unrefrigerated. Except when I lived in Puerto Vallarta and with the heat and humidity there is very little you can leave out of the refrigerator. Even in the refrigerator shelf life is shorter. Maybe the same in the Big Easy?
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting May 2023 from St Jean Pied de Port
It's been over 100 degrees here every day for the last couple of weeks, and that is the norm for April and May. My (natural) peanut butter literally pours out of the jar if I don't put it in the fridge.
Yes, the ambient temperature is an important factor. I grew up in the UK and wouldn't refrigerate eggs or butter normally, but here in Greece in the summer the butter melts if you don't put it in the fridge.
 

woody66

This is my boy !
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal 2021 Frances 2023
Born in the fifties we never had a fridge;just a larder with stone shelf ( UK)
but we still had warm weather in the summers!(i forget what day it was)
All meats,eggs and dairy produce lived on that shelf.(no use by dates) and i don'recall getting food poisoning.
Goodness knows how we managed that especially with raw chicken and fish and dried out bacon rashers;although there was no supermarkets then and only daily corner shopping!
Butter never goes in the fridge no matter how long it takes to consume; refrigerated butter never spreads on toast so stays out as do eggs.
Jams, peanut butter and marmite never in fridge! (large marmite lasts forever i think the pharaohs used to keep it with their honey two thousand years ago🤣 )
Yoghurt is a bit iffy;but hard boiled eggs shell on in cold water should be Ok i think.
Woody
 
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trecile

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PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I remember reading an article regarding refrigerating eggs. I believe that the only country that recommends refrigeration is the United States. It is because of a coating that we put on the eggs
Nope, it's because of the natural coating that keeps bacteria out that is washed off in the US.
 

lt56ny

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Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Nope, it's because of the natural coating that keeps bacteria out that is washed off in the US.
I knew it had something to do with coating. Will you give me partial credit on my final egg inspection exam??? :)
 

Arniece2022

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April, 2022
but here in Greece in the summer the butter melts if you don't put it in the fridge.
Right?! I take my butter out of the fridge and by the time I get the bread and ingredients out, the butter is soft enough to spread. Taking something out of the freezer for dinner - 30 minutes is plenty of time to thaw it. LOL! But now I'm getting off topic...
 

Arniece2022

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Camino Frances April, 2022
Nope, it's because of the natural coating that keeps bacteria out that is washed off in the US.
I was also told, but can't say for certain it's true - that eggs from chickens which are fed hormones, etc. require refrigeration. Something about the chemicals changing the composition of the eggs.
 
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DyanTX

DyanTX
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
I walked the CF in late Sept to November. I carried chorizo, packaged salami, cheeses for a couple days for lunches as we decided it would save us time and allow us to eat when hungry rather than when a bar appeared. Later in October when the days got cooler, I carried yogurt as well and in early November, we even carried a carton of milk to enjoy with our lunches. The milk in cartons is ultra pasteurized and keeps much longer than US milk that is refrigerated. Easily 2-3 days if weather is cool. Summer heat would limit what could be carried.
 

Dawsie

Mature member
Time of past OR future Camino
Via De Plata (2019); Camino Del Norte (2019)
A bit of amateur food science might help here:

Most bad food is caused by rampant bacteria or fungus growth and the toxins that they exude.
Bacteria grow slowly when the temperature is cold and can't survive when the temperature is high - so the danger is when food spends a long time above 7 C and below 60 C.
The danger with rice is if cooked rice is left to cool slowly, but if it is cooled quickly it would be ok.
Some foods have a natural protective layer - such as European eggs, this natural protective layer is washed off in USA - hence their need to be kept in the fridge.
Bacteria can't grow in some foods - for example honey which has so much natural sugar that bacteria can't grow and it is often used as an antiseptic (good for ulcers).
Other foods are made hostile for bacteria by removing the water - for example salted meat and fish.
Other food preservation methods use fermentation and pickling instead.
Most bacteria can be killed by getting food above 60 C, which is the main reason for cooking it. Once their numbers have been reduced to almost zero, it will take a while for them to multiply again sufficient to survive our defences in saliva and stomach acids and cause problems.
We can usually smell and taste these poisons and will be put off from bad food, but not always.

However, some bacteria or fungus are beneficial - for example the toxins exuded by yeast are alcohol and carbon dioxide without which the world would be a sadder place.
I used to delight youngsters by pointing out that beer is made of yeast-wee and yeast-farts.
 

Marbe2

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2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
i usually stay in private rooms. Sometimes there is a little frig…but not often. Instead, in off summer months I hang a plastic bag from the inside of my windows at night with a few items. It keeps the items cool at night.
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Peanut butter, butter, and eggs are three of the things that have come under serious debate in my extended family regarding whether they should be stored in the fridge or not. I'm totally OK with peanut butter stored at room temperature and have even come around to butter left on the counter (as long as it's stored in something like this) but for whatever reason warm uncooked eggs just weird me out.
Having been brought up in the north of England 80 years ago - we never had a refrigerator. Even now, I don't keep butter or preserves (that's why we called them "preserves") and many other things in my 2 big American fridges.
 
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I just like buying things the day before I need them. Fruit for tomorrow’s breakfast, fine. Yogurt for tomorrow’s breakfast also fine. Bread is definitely better on the fresh. Meats and cheese, well sometimes they last but only if I don’t like them that much anyhow. You can avoid the worry if you just go one day at a time, IMO.

Edit: point is you don’t have to carry food for long. Also, the less food you carry, the less weight you carry.
 
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jeanineonthecamino

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Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
I have done so countless times without any issues, but thanks for the warning, never heard of that. I also reheat mushrooms which is apparently considered a no-no-never and never had any problems.
Just curious... were you reheating rice that had been refrigerated? Or rice that had been left out for more than 24 hours at room temp storage. According to the article, that would be the difference. I have reheated rice MANY times as well.. but most of the time it was refrigerated for storage. Usually if it was left out and reheated - it was the same day it was cooked. Not more than 24 hours later.
 

good_old_shoes

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Just curious... were you reheating rice that had been refrigerated? Or rice that had been left out for more than 24 hours at room temp storage. According to the article, that would be the difference. I have reheated rice MANY times as well.. but most of the time it was refrigerated for storage. Usually if it was left out and reheated - it was the same day it was cooked. Not more than 24 hours later.

Both, depending on whether I felt like putting the leftovers into the fridge or not (when it's not particularly warm I won't put them in the fridge if I know I'll eat them the next day). If it's warm (not often the case) or I plan to eat it even for a third day, it goes into the fridge. Often enough I don't even reheat and just eat it cold...

Maybe we were just lucky 🤷 But that's how my family does it and how I've always done it and never had any issues.

Not saying the article is wrong, just that I never even thought about it as it has never been a problem for me, personally, so far, or for anyone I know. Learning something new every day!
 
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Arniece2022

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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April, 2022
Your house us that hid?
I think you're asking if my house is that hot. You're right, the house is not quite as hot as outside, but still hot enough to soften butter in less than 10 minutes. I prefer to keep the house opened up during the day.
There are fans, and I only use A/C for sleeping. Besides, I spend most of my outside anyway.
 

cbacino

Active Member
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Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
I see a lot of references to "bring along a yogurt, cheese, chorizo, milk", etc in your pack." Buy the night before for breakfast" and the like, which I can see for a couple of hours but not buying and storing for 24 hours or more.
In the US, all of those items require refrigeration for food safety. Is there different shelf stable packaging in Spain or do we store things differently in the US than the rest of the world?
I kept cheese in my backpack on the Appalachian Trail for 4-5 days at a time, no problem. Yogurt can easily go overnight because of the fermentation. If you buy a sausage that not refrigerated, that’s obviously good overnight. Milk in a carton from the shelf (UHT), sure. That’s all I know.
 

helenvw

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés de Sarria(2016)
I would say this is true, to some degree. I store things in my fridge that people elsewhere don't. This is partly because we tend to have large fridges in North America, compared to elsewhere. So, why not?

I consider myself fairly cautious. I don't know what the experts would say, but I am fine with overnight and into the next morning (say 18 hours) for hard boiled eggs in their shell, yogurt, chorizo, and packaged cheeses such as Laughing Cow and Baby Bel. Some of those items are probably good for much longer. For milk and other cheeses, I would be OK with overnight in a coolish place, but I would eat them for breakfast and not carry further.
No need to store milk. Plenty of cafes along the way and small shops. In fact I generally only carry fruit and trail mix along with water when I walk caminos.
 

JabbaPapa

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I see a lot of references to "bring along a yogurt, cheese, chorizo, milk", etc in your pack." Buy the night before for breakfast" and the like, which I can see for a couple of hours but not buying and storing for 24 hours or more.
In the US, all of those items require refrigeration for food safety. Is there different shelf stable packaging in Spain or do we store things differently in the US than the rest of the world?
Traditionally prepared sausages are anyway purposed for easy storage, often not requiring even a cold room, as are some other cured meats. Little 1€ packs of sliced sausage OTOH cannot really be transported for more than a few hours.

Pickled foods ditto, as well as the more traditional foodstuffs in glass jars, like jams & marmalades just for starters.

There are some hard dry cheeses that are fine in a backpack, especially in the cooler seasons of the year. Emmental/Gruyère is borderline, but I've found it keeps for a couple of days or so. A proper hard cheese should OTOH be fine until you've eaten the last chunk of it. And the typical Pyrenean & Spanish semi-hard cheeses keep really well, as part of why they are made in the first place is for people like shepherds who might be out of the house for days on end. Those little packets of cheese slices are fine to carry for a lunch break later in the day.

Some fruits and veg that can be eaten raw are best if they've never been refrigerated, but sadly, that circumstance can sometimes be hard to come across even in old Europe. A carrot producer once gave me a half kilo packet of carrots that lasted me four weeks on my 2005 Camino !!

I would never carry milk on a hike, or yoghurt though the latter is at least conceivable, especially a proper & traditionally made one (also, increasingly hard to find).

Buying in the evening to have at breakfast is perfectly OK, as your backpack is a dark place, and overnight it will also be a cool one.

Otherwise yes, I think you do store things somewhat differently in the US than the rest of the world !!
 
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JabbaPapa

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for whatever reason warm uncooked eggs just weird me out.
Eggs should never be refrigerated (they are alive, even when unfertilised, and refrigeration kills them -- this is true of most fruit and veg, though there are some of them that are not killed by standard refrigeration ; typically the ones that traditionally would have been kept in a cold room anyway, for freshness).

Problem is, most store eggs already have been refrigerated, at least during transport ; even when they are displayed on room temperature supermarket shelves.
 

JZA

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Time of past OR future Camino
2018, 2019, 2022
I see a lot of references to "bring along a yogurt, cheese, chorizo, milk", etc in your pack." Buy the night before for breakfast" and the like, which I can see for a couple of hours but not buying and storing for 24 hours or more.
In the US, all of those items require refrigeration for food safety. Is there different shelf stable packaging in Spain or do we store things differently in the US than the rest of the world?
Hi,
The trick is to only buy for one day at a time then keep it as cool as you can. Wrapped up in spare clothing or whatever. Overnight you can cover everything with a damp cloth and the evaporation keeps everything cool.
For me cheese and chorizo can last a week, although softer cheeses tend to run and get messy. I wouldn't carry yogurt as it can make a lot of itself if it leaks and it is not high on my list of must have food anyway. Milk can be stored in a Nalgene bottle and washed out each day. I use one for wild camping but don't on the Camino. If you buy local bread then that will go stale fairly quickly but is so much better than the industrial made bread with all the preservatives. So i buy bread daily and a bottle of fresh squeezed OJ as a treat.
I lived and worked in the US quite a lot over the years and was amazed at how cautious people were encouraged to be. Its all to do with litigation. A lady brought a cup of coffee from McDonalds and drove off with it in her lap. Surprise; it fell over and she was scalded. Now you can only get warm coffee because a judge said the coffee was "unnecessarily hot" and awarder her a bunch of money. In the UK we would have said she was probably too dumb to have a driving license.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
Born in the fifties we never had a fridge;just a larder with stone shelf ( UK)
but we still had warm weather in the summers!(i forget what day it was)
All meats,eggs and dairy produce lived on that shelf.(no use by dates) and i don'recall getting food poisoning.
Goodness knows how we managed that especially with raw chicken and fish and dried out bacon rashers;although there was no supermarkets then and only daily corner shopping!
Butter never goes in the fridge no matter how long it takes to consume; refrigerated butter never spreads on toast so stays out as do eggs.
Jams, peanut butter and marmite never in fridge! (large marmite lasts forever i think the pharaohs used to keep it with their honey two thousand years ago🤣 )
Yoghurt is a bit iffy;but hard boiled eggs shell on in cold water should be Ok i think.
Woody
We must be brothers/sisters of different mothers.
You're describing my childhood in the San Joaquin Valley of California in the 50's.
We DID have a fridge, but many things listed did not go into it.
Also I learned as a child to buy beef that was on discount because it was aged and more tender and tasty.
And regarding fowl, remember, people hang fowl to age it - you can also age chicken for better taste.

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Why you should age upland game
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
No need to store milk. Plenty of cafes along the way and small shops.
You are making some big assumptions here. Try finding a place for breakfast on any route other than the Camino Frances, or even on the Frances during the off-season! Planning some morning nourishment is wise, as is educating ourselves about food safety..
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022
CP Spring 2024
Eggs should never be refrigerated (they are alive, even when unfertilised, and refrigeration kills them -- this is true of most fruit and veg, though there are some of them that are not killed by standard refrigeration ; typically the ones that traditionally would have been kept in a cold room anyway, for freshness).

Problem is, most store eggs already have been refrigerated, at least during transport ; even when they are displayed on room temperature supermarket shelves.

Another problem is that here in the U.S. eggs from the supermarket are washed of their natural protective coating before they are sold and shipped to the store, as other have pointed out here. This washing makes them more susceptible to salmonella poisoning, hence the USDA recommendation that they be refrigerated in stores and after purchase. This article has some interesting details on the subject.

 
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Time of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022
CP Spring 2024
A lady brought a cup of coffee from McDonalds and drove off with it in her lap. Surprise; it fell over and she was scalded. Now you can only get warm coffee because a judge said the coffee was "unnecessarily hot" and awarder her a bunch of money. In the UK we would have said she was probably too dumb to have a driving license.

Not to stray off topic, but misperception of that McDonald’s case (Liebeck v McDonald’s, 1994) has been a particular bugbear of mine over the years. The 79-year-old plaintiff who was burned by the hot coffee was a passenger in the car, which was parked at the time - she was scalded when she opened the container to add cream and sugar. She suffered third degree burns and only bought the case to court when McDonald's refused to compensate her $20,000 for medical expenses. A jury found McDonald's to be mostly responsible for the accident and while a judge awarded Liebeck compensatory and punitive damages (the latter equivalent to two days' worth of McDonald's coffee sales in the U.S.) the case was subsequently settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. And McDonald's still continues to serve coffee at the same temperature as it did in 1994.

I realize these details are more pertinent to legal history and tort reform than food safety (and yes, we Americans can be a bit overzealous in that regard) but still, facts are facts. Carry on!

 
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Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Last night I had a horrible dream about some Peregrino starving because of my advice to just buy day before and not worry about it.

And I forgot about snacks!

Now, I only dreamt about this because of 1 night on the San Salvador some years ago. Same rules didn’t apply to this obscure Camino. I ended up in a town with no restaurants or stores and no food in my pack. Poor planning on my part for sure. That night my meal was literally buillon cubes from an Alburgue pantry in hot water. The next day was awful. So, I will caveat my previous response that you should pay attention to future food availability in your food planning.

This is the only time I ever starved on like 250+ days/nights on the Camino. Hasn’t happened on major routes ever. Again, my fault.

Now I like to carry snacks that require no preservation at all and are more or less always in my pack… Nuts! (Cashews are my favorite… salted). Candy (there are like entire stores dedicated to candy, they are fun. I’m partial to the gummies.) And fruit. An apple or orange is also pretty much always carried, but they last forever.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
We hit the winning combination of French holiday and weekend/Monday in a remote part of the Piemonte. Literally no food available for three days of walking - do you think we were happy to have some warm yogurt and stinky old cheese in our packs? You bet!!!!
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Last night I had a horrible dream about some Peregrino starving because of my advice to just buy day before and not worry about it.

And I forgot about snacks!

Now, I only dreamt about this because of 1 night on the San Salvador some years ago. Same rules didn’t apply to this obscure Camino. I ended up in a town with no restaurants or stores and no food in my pack. Poor planning on my part for sure. That night my meal was literally buillon cubes from an Alburgue pantry in hot water. The next day was awful. So, I will caveat my previous response that you should pay attention to future food availability in your food planning.

This is the only time I ever starved on like 250+ days/nights on the Camino. Hasn’t happened on major routes ever. Again, my fault.

Now I like to carry snacks that require no preservation at all and are more or less always in my pack… Nuts! (Cashews are my favorite… salted). Candy (there are like entire stores dedicated to candy, they are fun. I’m partial to the gummies.) And fruit. An apple or orange is also pretty much always carried, but they last forever.
Well, I hiked last summer during COVID - right when Spain first reopened to vaccinated tourists. Frances Route. I found myself "starving" (I use that term loosely because obviously actual starvation takes more than a few hours). Why? I don't eat right when I wake up - so I would get up, pack my pack, and start walking. My intention would be to stop 5-10km down the road. And I would pass bar after bar that was closed in the early mornings (if they opened at all). There were a few days that I couldn't find a bar open until I arrived at my destination. And I always managed to miss grocery store opening hours (except in big cities). Because of that - I will ALWAYS start my Camino by stopping at a grocery store first - and make sure I have a couple easy to store snacks that will last me a couple of days, and restock in all of the bigger towns/cities. Anyhow, the further I walked - the less of an issue it was (because things were reopening as more pilgrims arrived). But even my last hiking day - Muxia to Finisterre - there was NOTHING open along the way as I passed through. Thank goodness there was a donativo fruit stand!
 

Arniece2022

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April, 2022
Last night I had a horrible dream about some Peregrino starving because of my advice to just buy day before and not worry about it.

And I forgot about snacks!

Now, I only dreamt about this because of 1 night on the San Salvador some years ago. Same rules didn’t apply to this obscure Camino. I ended up in a town with no restaurants or stores and no food in my pack. Poor planning on my part for sure. That night my meal was literally buillon cubes from an Alburgue pantry in hot water. The next day was awful. So, I will caveat my previous response that you should pay attention to future food availability in your food planning.

This is the only time I ever starved on like 250+ days/nights on the Camino. Hasn’t happened on major routes ever. Again, my fault.

Now I like to carry snacks that require no preservation at all and are more or less always in my pack… Nuts! (Cashews are my favorite… salted). Candy (there are like entire stores dedicated to candy, they are fun. I’m partial to the gummies.) And fruit. An apple or orange is also pretty much always carried, but they last forever.
OMG!!! You like candy stores and gummies?? I love candy stores and gummies!!!!! where have you been all my life?? (jejejejeje)
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
.
You don't get the full flavour of a Manchego cheese until it's been sweating in your backpack for at least couple of days.
If you like to eat al fresco on the Way (who doesn't?) it's quite nice to have a back-up of longer lasting foods to accompany the fresh fruit, giant tomatoes, yoghurt and bread you source the night before (unless you know you can buy bread in the morning, like in that awesome bakery in the backstreets of Burgos on the way out).
Medium/long-life foods, especially useful away from the CF include TUC biscuits, olives in little plastic pouches, flat canned giant beans in tomato sauce, nuts and dried fruits and membrillo (quince) hard paste. Ciabatta bread is a good alternative to the standard pan de barra/baguette - the higher oil content means it stays enjoyably edible for much longer.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I have never carried anything perishable in my pack for more than a couple of hours before I consumed it, and said perishables are in the line of ham and cheese, alone or in a sandwich. Never carried yogurt or milk or hard boiled eggs. Always consumed those before I walked, having stored them overnight inside an albergue fridge. Makes for some good early morning calories and carbs needed for walking. I only purchase those type of foods when I know I have a fridge available at the albergue.
Any other food I've carried was along the lines of nuts, raisins, chocolate, a tin of sardines, biscuits or maybe an energy bar.
I've carried sealed packs of chorizo (Palacios brand) in my pack for a couple of days. It's been cured. Refrigeration not necessary. Nice to munch on when walking.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
I've just bought a home vacuum sealer which means I can buy larger quantities of food (5lbs weight of smoked bacon rashers anybody?) and break it down into smaller servings - I mainly live on my own.
I'm told that "cheese generally lasts between one to two weeks when stored in ordinary bags and containers, but using a vacuum sealer extends that length between four and eight months" (my bold italics)
Now just have to figure out how to carry the vacuum sealer and bags in a rucksack.
 

Arniece2022

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April, 2022
I've just bought a home vacuum sealer which means I can buy larger quantities of food (5lbs weight of smoked bacon rashers anybody?) and break it down into smaller servings - I mainly live on my own.
I'm told that "cheese generally lasts between one to two weeks when stored in ordinary bags and containers, but using a vacuum sealer extends that length between four and eight months" (my bold italics)
Now just have to figure out how to carry the vacuum sealer and bags in a rucksack.
You should contact the manufacturer about making a smaller portable size! I love my vacuum sealer. I store batteries, medications, all sorts of stuff. I even vacuum sealed my covid booster certificate since replacements are not available.
 
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Kathy F.

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2013, CF from Lourdes 2015, CP Porto 2022
I avoid carrying anything in my pack that can melt. Bad experience with cheese in my butt pack, melted out of its wrapper, passport and credencial fortunately in a zip loc baggie, wallet and credit cards not so lucky, you get the gooey picture.

I stop along the way at shops and cafes when hungry. Small cafes and convenience stores were inexpensive and provided ways for me to interact with the local population, which is part of what I went on the Camino for in the first place.

I carried an emergency envelope of dried soup, some gorp, that's about it. I was never so hungry that I needed to know I had week old sausage and cheese in my backpack "just in case . . . "

o_O
 

Eve Alexandra

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Astorga-SDC, April 2022 SJPP-Muxia
I literally just had this discussion today with a pilgrim from Canada. We were both remarking about the differences. I used to have laying hens so I knew about the protective layer for eggs and being perfectly safe if unwashed. And I am fine with the jamon and cheese bocadillos in a pack.

But the yogurt? I once got sick off a bad yogurt that didn’t taste bad, when I was in college. Since then I don’t take chances with yogurt. I am many many years away from that incident but I have not forgotten it. 😆
 

Eddiebee

Eddiebee
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances SJPDP to SDC May & June 2017
IMHO the basic premise that you need to have food with you is a false premise. A few times I carried some fruit and peanuts and once some crackers. I never had a problem finding something to eat. If there was no breakfast available at the albergue, I would find a great place for breakfast after a hour or so of walking. There was one, and only one, day that the first advertised place to eat was 17K from where I slept. After a 2 hour walk I saw an enterprising family grilling sausages and selling drinks. Even that day I was not deprived of food. Now about refrigeration, peanut butter should not be kept in the fridge. That makes it hard to spread.
 

estorildon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
You don't get the full flavour of a Manchego cheese until it's been sweating in your backpack for at least couple of days.
If you like to eat al fresco on the Way (who doesn't?) it's quite nice to have a back-up of longer lasting foods to accompany the fresh fruit, giant tomatoes, yoghurt and bread you source the night before (unless you know you can buy bread in the morning, like in that awesome bakery in the backstreets of Burgos on the way out).
Medium/long-life foods, especially useful away from the CF include TUC biscuits, olives in little plastic pouches, flat canned giant beans in tomato sauce, nuts and dried fruits and membrillo (quince) hard paste. Ciabatta bread is a good alternative to the standard pan de barra/baguette - the higher oil content means it stays enjoyably edible for much longer.
Seriously guys, as I will now freely paraphrase Tom's post in my own words.
If you are afraid of food contamination on the Camino, well good luck.
You might want to avoid that yummy looking tortilla early in the morning with your first cafe con leche before 9 am because the flies have been dancing all over it for the past 24 hours. Trust me, it was baked as early as you think it was.
There are supermarches, small shops, cafes and bodegas that sell a variety of products and many are shrink wrapped that will last several day based on whether they have been cured or not. The UHT milk is safe for your cafe con leche but why would you carry it? Same for yogurt. The packaging label should give you that information even if the shopkeeper doesn't know and at that point I would avoid the purchase. Do you buy fruit and vegies covered by flies at home? No, I doubt it, so why would you do that in Sapin and expect anything more or less. It's just a matter of using your head, SVP!
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
but why would you carry it
Not all Caminos have the pilgrim support found on the Camino Frances. As several folks have pointed out, there are certainly routes were pilgrims may find themselves without any food sources during one or more days of hiking, especially during holidays, weekends, siesta, or post-pandemic.

Like all advice on this site, it’s helpful to weigh one’s own comfort and physical capabilities when it comes to needing to have food in your pack versus which area you will be walking (as well as the time of year).
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
IMHO the basic premise that you need to have food with you is a false premise. A few times I carried some fruit and peanuts and once some crackers. I never had a problem finding something to eat. If there was no breakfast available at the albergue, I would find a great place for breakfast after a hour or so of walking. There was one, and only one, day that the first advertised place to eat was 17K from where I slept. After a 2 hour walk I saw an enterprising family grilling sausages and selling drinks. Even that day I was not deprived of food. Now about refrigeration, peanut butter should not be kept in the fridge. That makes it hard to spread.
Definitely true for the Camino Francés, but not for all routes. I always check what's coming up on the walk for the next day, then maybe grab a package of nuts or something the night before if necessary.
When I walked the Camino del Salvador I got caught out on the first day because I didn't take into account that it was a Sunday, and that the first bar that I got to would be closed. Fortunately, I had bought a pack of Peanut M&Ms which tided me over until the early afternoon.
 

estorildon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Definitely true for the Camino Francés, but not for all routes. I always check what's coming up on the walk for the next day, then maybe grab a package of nuts or something the night before if necessary.
When I walked the Camino del Salvador I got caught out on the first day because I didn't take into account that it was a Sunday, and that the first bar that I got to would be closed. Fortunately, I had bought a pack of Peanut M&Ms which tided me over until the early afternoon.
Yeah, sorry I was being CF centric I definitely had the same issue on the Madrid several years ago and probably could have starved to death because it was off season. My bad for the post!
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Yeah, sorry I was being CF centric I definitely had the same issue on the Madrid several years ago and probably could have starved to death because it was off season. My bad for the post!
No problem. No one is literally going to starve on any Camino route, but they might have a bad day!
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
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We hit the winning combination of French holiday and weekend/Monday in a remote part of the Piemonte. Literally no food available for three days of walking - do you think we were happy to have some warm yogurt and stinky old cheese in our packs? You bet!!!!
When it gets like that in France, I most certainly stop following the waymarked trail and walk by some detour to a resupply point.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Why Europeans don't refrigerate their eggs
Why Does the U.S. Refrigerate Eggs When Much of the World Doesn’t?
Some of what is written in these articles is not quite correct or slightly misleading. There is also incorrect advice in some of the thread posts. Yesterday seen in a food shop in France, the text says: Keep in fridge after purchase.

Oeuf.jpg


Ideal conditions for keeping raw eggs: 10 °C. Avoid quick temperature increases of more than 7 ºC as it can lead to condensation which damages the protective outer layer.

I had written a longish comment which I zapped again because you can find all of it on consumer advice and on consumer law websites for European consumers. Anything that diminishes the protective quality of the various layers of the egg, namely cuticle AND shell AND membranes, should be avoided, and when damage occurs at any moment, even invisible damage, the egg should be consumed without further delay. Quick and large temperature changes from low to high, or from high to low must be avoided; the reasons have to do with chemistry as well as with physics, and the internet has plenty of correct explanations in addition to the wrong ones.

Commonly, unwashed eggs are sold at room temperature in EU countries; the room temperature in supermarkets and grocery stores is lowish anyway. It is wrong to conclude that this means that you must keep raw eggs out of the fridge at home or at the albergue. You can do so but it will diminish the shell life of these eggs. European consumers are advised to put eggs into their fridges as soon as they return home from shopping, as you can see on the photo but also in shops and in the text printed on egg boxes if you care to look. In some EU countries, washed eggs can be marketed and sold just like in the USA but I don't know which EU countries they are.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
European consumers are advised to put eggs into their fridges as soon as they return home from shopping, as you can see on the photo but also in shops and in the text printed on egg boxes if you care to look.
Of course not only in France but also in Spain, see below. If you are like me, you will never have noticed this before but the next time you see a box of 6 eggs in a Spanish supermarket, you will notice it. 😂

huevos.jpg
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
You don't get the full flavour of a Manchego cheese until it's been sweating in your backpack for at least couple of days.
This, i walked with a French peregrina in 2014 and she kept cheese in her backpack, I have ever since because I realised queso gains so much flavour, it just needs wrapping up properly. The same for Chorizo, Serrano and other dried sausages you find on the way. I always make sure now my Serrano is hand carved rather than machine cut, the bigger pieces gain so much more flavour than the thinly sliced pieces when left at Mochilla temps.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Ideal conditions for keeping raw eggs: 10 °C. Avoid quick temperature increases of more than 7 ºC as it can lead to condensation which damages the protective outer layer.
I have no idea why any pilgrim might wish to carry eggs in his pack, unless perhaps hard boiled.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I have no idea why any pilgrim might wish to carry eggs in his pack, unless perhaps hard boiled.
And I have no idea why anyone would carry raw eggs sold in the United States in their mochilla on Camino, yet we are discussing them in this thread. And let me just check who had claimed that eggs should never be refrigerated - oh yes, I see - that's what set me off on a tangent. But I'm pleased about it. I now know more and better. 😂
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
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And I have no idea why anyone would carry raw eggs sold in the United States in their mochilla on Camino, yet we are discussing them in this thread. 😂
I see it as a pleasant discussion tangent.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I'm going to be kind of mean here.
This is an in interesting thread, but quite honestly one that serves no purpose. Serves no purpose because 99.99% of the time while walking the Camino (especially the Frances) there is no need to carry anything perishable that could possibly make one sick if it spoils in the backpack. There are just too many options of consuming food that doesn't carry a risk of spoilage. I would say if one does carry it for an extended length of time where the risk occurs it is because they want to, not because they have to. Especially on the Frances. I never saw any stretch of it where there was not an abundance of food options. The only real section of no infrastructure is that stretch after Carrion de Los Condes and even that is only about 17 kilometres and Carrion has so many places to purchase non-perishable foodstuffs the day before that can be carried for that stretch.
Sure, there is the possibility of being in a town on a Sunday during siesta when nothing is open, but even that is more inconvenience than anything and not something one should risk food poisoning over.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
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99.99% of the time while walking the Camino ... there is no need to carry anything perishable
No, sorry, that's just not true.

As a reminder, this is the Camino :

French-pilgrimage-pilgrim-map.jpg


Yes, if you're a fast hiker walking the Francès, then what you've said is true.

But others on other routes may well have rather different experiences and notions.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Those olive packets . . .

The first words I learned in Spanish were: "No me gusta las aceitunas. Dar a mi esposo!"
Strangely, I disliked olives too for a bit…but slowly their salty, fatty, satisfying goodness converted me.
Gotta pay attention to the pits tho… sometimes they are there, sometimes not. I suggest one must always bite into an olive in Spain with a bit of trepidation… see if there is a pit. If so, eat around them and leave them on that little dish.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
This is an in interesting thread, but quite honestly one that serves no purpose.
No purpose? Well, curiosity to learn and interest in options, are good purposes in themselves. I'd say that the more direct purpose would be to increase the options, particularly for people who might have different dietary needs or preferences.
there is no need to carry anything perishable that could possibly make one sick if it spoils in the backpack.
Nobody has suggested that it is essential to carry perishable food. People will not starve if they don't carry food on the Camino Frances. For other Caminos, of course they won't starve either, but they could be unnecessarily uncomfortable. Or they could rely on wilderness/non-perishable rations as their back-up food.

The question was a fair one - for clarity on what foods would be safe in backpacks, and how other pilgrims choose to deal with this matter. I have certainly learned something from it.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I think checking ahead to make sure where you will stay has options is a good idea. Being aware of holidays and certain days of the week. Then you can be sureyou have something for that day/evening. Sometimes the store is closed when you arrive on a Sunday or a holiday or the bar maybe closed, etc. Always good to have a backup plan whether perishable food or not. We carry a small tin of tuna and some bars on those days in case there is nothing open and there have been days when we were glad to have that.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
To those who say this topic is pointless:

Even on the Frances - it IS possible to find yourself without access to food for longer time periods than desirable when hiking 25km/day. There are the obvious long stretches between Orisson and Roncesvalles and that 17km stretch on the Meseta. But also - you may pass through towns when things aren't open.

Now I admit - most of my days with minimal access to food had to do with 2 reasons: 1) COVID. A lot of places that normally served/sold food were not open AT ALL and 2) I walked earlier in the day than many - starting at 6:30 before breakfasts were served in many places and many bars were not opening until after 9am (also due to COVID). For me - I would plan to eat breakfast in the first town that I passed through... only to find nothing open/available. So I would walk to the next town and then the next. I very often didn't have the option of breakfast, second breakfast, and lunch that Pilgrims often talk about. There were at least 2 occasions where I arrived at my next albergue famished. There were many other days I was better prepared because I had learned to carry food, despite everyone saying you don't need to carry food on the Frances. But even when everything is open - it is still possible that you may find yourself NEEDING to eat prior to arrival at the next town. Especially on a more strenuous stretch where you are burning through more calories.

And when you have dietary restrictions - carrying your dietary needs may be necessary and/or preferred. Even on the days I had plenty of access to "food", I didn't find I had access to the "right food" for my medically prescribed diet. Too much of the food being served was on my "do not eat" list, especially foods on the pilgrims menu. And many non-perishable foods that most people carry I am also not supposed to eat. But many of the perishable foods - things like eggs, cheese, meats, and yogurt ARE on my medically prescribed diet.

I do carry non-perishable foods. But I also need to supplement with some perishable items, perishable foods that support and promote my medical dietary needs. And to do this - to some degree, I need to carry perishable foods.

So yes, this topic is relevant to many individuals.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Ok a kind of related topic to perishable food in your backpack...when you arrive at the albergue and there is stuff in the fridge left by other pilgrims with a big sign on it that it is OK to eat, how many of you will eat this not knowing how long it has been there?

As a hospitalera I do try to monitor this somewhat for food safety, but sometimes there is a big bowl of pilgrim surprise in there and it usually disappears quickly... o_O
 
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jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Ok a kind of related topic to perishable food in your backpack...when you arrive at the albergue and there is stuff in the fridge left by other pilgrims with a big sign on it that it is OK to eat, how many of you will eat this not knowing how long it has been there?

As a hospitalera I do try to monitor this somewhat for food safety, but sometimes there is a big bowl of pilgrim surprise in there and it usually disappears quickly... o_O
LOL... I guess it depends on what it is and whether or not there is an expiration date attached! And what type of food (like is it a package of cheese? Or is it leftovers from a cooked meal?) Also... if I was broke and really hungry I might be more apt to eat something that is slightly more questionable haha

I would think the most polite thing to do is put a date on your note. Maybe on the fridge - hosts can add a note asking pilgrims to include a date when offering their food to other pilgrims?
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
This, i walked with a French peregrina in 2014 and she kept cheese in her backpack, I have ever since because I realised queso gains so much flavour, it just needs wrapping up properly. The same for Chorizo, Serrano and other dried sausages you find on the way. I always make sure now my Serrano is hand carved rather than machine cut, the bigger pieces gain so much more flavour than the thinly sliced pieces when left at Mochilla temps.
You do not keep French cheese in the fridge 😉
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Seldom a note except "free to pilgrims" in a variety of languages. Only occasionally cheese as most people put that in their pack and take it whether it is perishable or not. Maybe some fruit (like part a watermelon that can't be carried along). Sometimes semi-recognizable (like a salad), but usually more like pasta, rice, lentils, soup, or some mixture.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Seldom a note except "free to pilgrims" in a variety of languages. Only occasionally cheese as most people put that in their pack and take it whether it is perishable or not. Maybe some fruit (like part a watermelon that can't be carried along). Sometimes semi-recognizable (like a salad), but usually more like pasta, rice, lentils, soup, or some mixture.
Yeah... I might go for something prepackaged left behind, or maybe even fruit like a slice of watermelon. I am much less likely to go for the "semi-recognizable" foods unless I know who put it in there or when. I would have to be pretty hungry to consider the later...
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
No, sorry, that's just not true.

As a reminder, this is the Camino :

French-pilgrimage-pilgrim-map.jpg


Yes, if you're a fast hiker walking the Francès, then what you've said is true.

But others on other routes may well have rather different experiences and notions.
Serves no purpose because 99.99% of the time while walking the Camino (especially the Frances) there is no need to carry anything perishable that could possibly make one sick if it spoils in the backpack.

Dude, you altered my comment for your quote (you're not a politician or lawyer are you? :D ).
Above is what I originally said. I specifically used the Frances as an example because let's be honest, it is the most popular route and the route most inquired about on this forum. I am well aware there's multiple routes with varying degrees of infrastructure on them.
 
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BookGirl305

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Ingles (after Covid)
wow, this got interesting! OP here. My main reason for asking the question was to find out if a lot of the foods I have been taught in the US are refrigeration required, like milk, yogurt, mayo and the like are either packaged differently in Spain that didn't require refrigeration or if I have been taught different storage methods than the rest of the worlds and those items didn't really require refrigeration.
My main wanting to know was this: I can't imagine much worse than being doubled over on the side of the road with loose bowel/food poisoning because I ate something that should have been stored cold and wasn't. There is simply not that much pilgrim toilet tissue and the next albergue with a shower and a washing machine isn't that close- because that would be one unpleasant mess to hand wash, yes? and what a horrible way to interrupt one's journey!

Flip side, I wouldn't want to only have a candy bar and a prepackaged Slim Jim beef jerky because I can get that at home at a gas station.

My takeaway is that if the market is selling it on a shelf, it's ok to go in my pack for a few hours/a day to have to eat. If the market has it cold, maybe wait until closer to mealtime for that item.
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
You do not keep French cheese in the fridge 😉
My partner was at Lille University for 3 years, when I was visiting her she got me into the local cheese Mimolette, which even if refrigerated still has health concerns https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimolette
But there is a cheese shop on one of the backstreets of Santiago which used to sell it, so next time I'm in town I will pick some up if I'm going onto the coast, those little cheese mites will love my backpack.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
My partner was at Lille University for 3 years, when I was visiting her she got me into the local cheese Mimolette, which even if refrigerated still has health concerns https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimolette
But there is a cheese shop on one of the backstreets of Santiago which used to sell it, so next time I'm in town I will pick some up if I'm going onto the coast, those little cheese mites will love my backpack.
I didn’t know about Mimolette, you learn a lot from this forum 😁🙂
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
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I've never noticed a whole Mimolette cheese in a specialist shop but then I've also never paid attention to whether it is present or not. But I'm surprised about the comments. Mimolette cheese is widely available in supermarkets, not only in France but in neighbouring countries, too. I buy it from time to time. It is just a cheese out of many cheeses to choose from.

About ten years ago, the US Customs agency apparently imposed an import stop which caused some kind of uproar in the French press. Is this the reason why the Mimolette cheese has acquired some kind of everlasting myth?

When it's not too hot, I would not hesitate to carry a package of Mimolette in my backpack ... note that it comes in a handy emballage refermable. :cool:

Mimolette.jpg
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
An interesting bit of information about the colour of the Mimolette cheese: the French Mimolette cheese is an imitation of the Dutch Edam cheese. Mimolette cheese was first produced in the 17th century when France had imposed an import stop on goods of foreign origin. The Mimolette cheese got its orange colour to make it clear that it had not been produced abroad.

Don't you just love the history of Europe throughout the ages. 😂
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I have not seen it presented in packaging even in Lille, we would head off to a cheese shop and the guy would cut if off big blocks/boules, there would be several, all with different ages.I have only seen it once in the UK and that was 3/4 years ago at a deli counter in a Morrisons.
I might be in Oviedo in June and the last time I was there with my partner after walking the San Salvador, she went to an indoor market and there was several cheese counters , we bought various local blues, obviously Cabrales was one off them, I had that in my bag for 3 or 4 days, without it stinking the place out.
 
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