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Food and Drink

Rellrog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances: March 2013
Le Puy: July 2015
Portugues: April 2018
La Plata: March 2020-to be continued
Sorry, haven't seen anything regarding food and drink as related to stomach problems. Any advice about avoiding intestinal problems because of the change in food and drink. I suspect there aren't problems in the bigger cities...but are there problems in the rural areas and small towns? Any other assistance and recommendations on food and drink is also appreciated.
 
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waveprof

Enthusiast
Past OR future Camino
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
Having traveled most of rural spain, I can say with some certainty that I feel that Spanish food safety is better than it is in the U.S. Just follow the typical rules you would when traveling anywhere when it comes to water, food that is sitting out, etc. The only time I've ever gotten sick on food in spain was when I (stupidly) ate a mayonaise based salad at 1400 in Pamplona that had been sitting out since that morning. I had it coming.

As for effects coming from a change in diet, it is hard to say. My wife and I cook most every day, and living in New Orleans our diet is very similar. We cook mostly New Orleans style food (french and spanish influences) as well as Basque, French, Spanish, and Czech dishes. So Spanish food isn't as "foreign" to our digestive systems.

But as for food safety, it should be great.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Never been sick due to the food on the on the Camino-an example? Hornillos albergue in the church is located right across the street from a small family restaurant run by three sisters. It is a small place and to accommodate all the pilgrims they often have two sittings for which you must register. The second sitting can be surprising, popular dishes may have been finished off in that first sitting and I offered the specialty of thed cooking sister-albondigas-meatballs. They must have brought me thirty since they don't save food from day to day and it must all be eaten. No I didn't eat them all but it was marvelous. The pork, lomo, is often frozen as is the fish so no real worry there, go for the lentils and the soups, all are usually very tasty and all have been boiled for more than 20 minutes.
Stick to bottled water if you are worried, many fountains, public faucets and other water sources are often marked potable or non-potable.
S
PS The sisters watining table at that restaurant are very kind and funny as is the cook sister but don't try to take her picture! You might have a rolling pin thrown at you!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I had great food experiences for a dozen walks, but my walking partner got salmonella from sunnyside up eggs just before Santiago, as did an Australian lad who admired the eggs so much that he ordered them too. Bad choice. Within an hour they were both projecting the meal into the bushes and walking dehydrated to the cathedral. The two had eaten no meal in common before that one -- we met the other group only at that restaurant -- and the other four of us who ate at the restaurant, but different food, were fine.

It is a rare occurrence, but eggs usually are undercooked, so avoid them or have them cooked well. Scrambled, revuelta, is one way.
 

fortview

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
Hello Rellrog,
For more information, if you look at the section of this forum, under miscellaneous topics, there is a sub section called " food on the camino de Santiago" . I only found it recently, and there are lots of interesting discussions about food and drink. Keep you busy for hours! :D
Buen comida
 
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Buckeroo

Member
Past OR future Camino
October 2012 SJPdP to Santiago to Finisterre & Muxia
falcon269 said:
I had great food experiences for a dozen walks, but my walking partner got salmonella from sunnyside up eggs just before Santiago,

If that was early last November, I think I had a chat with your walking partner in Santiago regarding this incident; a rather large, jovial American chap who I would occasionally bump into towards the end of my Camino. If so, I think I briefly met you one sunny afternoon too while you were stretched out on your back outside an albergue waiting for him. Sorry if you are not him. If you are, your mate told me the restaurant where he got the eggs was the place by the tunnel where the Camino passes under a highway.

Anyway, as for eggs, I had a tortilla almost every day and they are mainly potato and egg. Of course in that form they are well cooked and I was never crook. Full of carbs and protein and just right for long distance walking. If that was your mate I spoke to, please say hello to him for me. I never caught his name and he just used to call me "the Australian".

Thanks
Grant.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
That was us! The tortilla is great, in part because it is fully cooked. It is those gorgeous fried eggs staring up from the plate that can be a problem. I have eaten them dozens of times without incident, but plan to be cautious in the future.
 

Rellrog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances: March 2013
Le Puy: July 2015
Portugues: April 2018
La Plata: March 2020-to be continued
Thank you all for your comments...I will heed them and enjoy my Camino that begins March 15th. I will also check out the Food on the Camino that you advise...the tortillas sound like a buen idea on the camino. :)
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
the tortillas sound like a buen idea
Look for this in any bar food display:
 

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MeganG22

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP-->SdC
(Oct3-Nov3 2012)
Pamplona-->SdC
(Oct1-Oct29 2014)
Upcoming!
Pamplona-->SdC
May 1-? 2017
Being a vegetarian, it was sometimes a little more difficult for me to find a variety in good food choices. However, I fell in love with "bocadillo de tortilla francesa" which is basically a sandwich with a scrambled egg omelette in the middle. I craved it so much once I discovered it and was so happy to find them so often in the bars and restaurants!
The only stomach issue I had was after eating my one-and-only pilgrim dinner at an albergue outside of Burgos. I don't know if it was because the soup was chicken based and I wasn't used to it or if there was something else going on, but it certainly made me even more picky about my meals after that! Otherwise there were no problems at all, and I would fill my water bottles up either at the sinks in the albergues or the potable water fountains along the Way. You shouldn't have any issues unless you have any sensitivities to anything already... otherwise I'm sure you'll be fine!
 
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mralisn

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)
Enjoy everything about Camino food. Never a problem in 3 walks.

However, I do find the crunchy bread painful on the top of my mouth. :wink:

LOVE THIS PICTURE OF TORTILLA! Drooling...
 

CJ Williams

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Via Turonense (1995)
Camino Francés (1996; 1999; 2001; 2005; 2008; 2011)
Camino Aragonés (2000)
You should have no problem with food and drink in Spain, unless you have a very sensitive stomach. To begin with, the Spanish are not big on spicy food, and nothing they make is anything as spicy as Mexican, Cajun, Thai food etc.

Secondly, while I don't dispute the experience of anyone's stomach, I'll offer the following reassurance with regard to the dangers of salmonella from the eggs and mayo: since 1991 it's been against the law in Spain to serve homemade mayonnaise, creams or sauces made from fresh eggs in the pinchos and tapas on offer in the bars. They have to industrially-produced mayo and sauces, which have all been pasteurized, to make their dishes. Or, if they do make mayonnaise, sauces and creams themselves, the law requires them to use a pasteurized egg product to avoid the risk of salmonella. The most common product of this kind is called Huevina.

They also use Huevina to make the tortillas you see in the bars for the same reason. Revueltos (scrambled eggs), huevos fritos (fried eggs) and tortilla francesa (egg omelettes without the potatatoes) are another matter. Some places use Huevina for the omelettes and scrambles eggs too, though obviously not for the fried eggs. But they're required to cook eggs at temperatures of 75ºC or above. Obviously, if they don't store the eggs properly or cook at temperatures below this, you're can have problems like the kind falcon described above, but it's rare.

In 15 years of living and eating out in Spain, and numerous pilgrimages along the Camino, I haven't got sick once from anything I've eaten anywhere. And while I am blessed with an iron stomach and an amazing constitution, I can assure you that the food in Spain is great. And very healthy! There's so much great veg in Navarra, La Rioja and Galicia, and while Castilla and León tends to be heavy on the pork, there's loads of great legumes too. Unless you require a very special diet, I think you'll love Spanish food.
 

Buckeroo

Member
Past OR future Camino
October 2012 SJPdP to Santiago to Finisterre & Muxia
Navarricano said:
Unless you require a very special diet, I think you'll love Spanish food.
Well put. I love Spanish food and a I ate a lot of it (especially the tortillas) without getting crook even once. One of my most memorable meals was from the Pilgrim's menu; lentil soup, braised rabbit and vegetables, fruit and yoghurt. Throw in a basket of bread and a bottle of wine and I was more than satisfied. I had so much energy the next day, I charged up the 700m to O'Cebreiro and just kept going til I reached Fonfria for a total of 29kms mostly uphill. Good food equals good fuel.
 

ffp13

Addicted pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
Completed Caminos: 2009 SJPP, 2011 Roncessvalle , 2012 Pamploma, 2013 Roncessvalle, 2013 Porto, 2014 Burgos, 2014 Porto

Future: Roncessvalle
The Spanish food along the Camino certainly does provide energy, luckily the oil used for frying is mostly I believe olive oil, I love lentil soup but not the early morning laxative effect especially when walking the meseta:) and the bread even fresh from the baker it is hard, I have found that the difference between a low cost pilgrim menu del dia 8-10EU and a slightly more expensive 10-12EU is huge and most times well worth the 20% more with better variety too.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF '13; CF/Salvador/Ingles '16; Portugues '22
The only issue we had with food was in Santiago itself. My son went through a bout of stomach disorder (and christened the hotel lobby :eek: ) after eating a seafood stew at a restaurant in the "pilgrim's district." I don't remember it's name, but I would recognize it again in a heartbeat, a couple streets over from the pilgrim's office. We went there because all of the other places were full and it was empty (which should have been a neon flashing sign clue to me, but we were still in the first flush of invincibility after completing our pilgrimage).
 
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lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
I think there is no more risk in eating food in Spain than there is in, say, Canada. There is always the risk of poorly stored or prepared food anywhere in the world. I do take falcon's cautionary tale seriously - be careful with eggs. Street food I'm skeptical about anywhere in the world, especially late in the day.

And WASH YOUR HANDS!! Sometimes the contamination comes from you - remember all the stuff you can pick up from lots of people all in the same space together..
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Of course the food in Spain is fine. Just remember ElBulli, the 3 Michelin starred restaurant that was "the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet". People from all over the world booked tables years ahead.

If you are staying in an albergue forget eating in a restaurant at night. No self respecting Spaniard eats the evening meal until after 10 pm, by which stage the albergues are closed for the night.

The pilgrim menu offered is the cheapest food and not what the locals eat. If you want good food seek out a restaurant crowded with locals at lunchtime (2 to 4pm) pay a bit more and get the Menu del Día,not the "Pilgrims
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Whoops! .... Not the so-called "Pilgrims Menu".
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Sorry, haven't seen anything regarding food and drink as related to stomach problems. Any advice about avoiding intestinal problems because of the change in food and drink. I suspect there aren't problems in the bigger cities...but are there problems in the rural areas and small towns? Any other assistance and recommendations on food and drink is also appreciated.

Hi, @Rellrog ,

You are well on your way by now, sorry to read this thread so late. But still might be of some help to check out my compilation of places to eat on CF suggested by forum members.

Ultreia y buen provecho ;)
 

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