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Food lessons for life....

2020 Camino Guides

Jeeves

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed the Frances route this summer. I found the whole thing amazing for different reasons but it has also helped me make some dietary changes. What food lessons, if any, did you learn!?
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Walking my first Camino cured me FOREVER from adding any milk product to my coffee... No coffee con leche for me... :eek: NOPE! I switched to cafe SOLO.

Let's just say that my 'motility' was vastly increased using milk. For me, and being on Camino, NOT A GOOD THING!;)

Nuff said...
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
You actually can survive for a couple of weeks with chicken and fries. And white bread. Go figure...👍
I know! For the vegans and vegetarians out there, I always wonder why they can't just eat regular food served on the camino for a few weeks. However, if they have allergies to certain foods or Celiac disease I do understand their predicament.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
I know! For the vegans and vegetarians out there, I always wonder why they can't just eat regular food served on the camino for a few weeks. However, if they have allergies to certain foods or Celiac disease I do understand their predicament.
I would go hungry rather than eat food that revolted me for whatever reason. I'm an omnivore, but there are a handful of things that I simply could not stomach. The same applies to many vegans and vegetarians. Think of the food you hate most in the world, and now put yourself in the position of those people you are telling to "just eat regular food". Imagine that you are obliged to eat the thing you detest every day "for a few weeks". And if someone chooses not to eat animal products for purely ethical reasons your suggestion is just as bad and just as blinkered.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I would go hungry rather than eat food that revolted me for whatever reason. I'm an omnivore, but there are a handful of things that I simply could not stomach. The same applies to many vegans and vegetarians. Think of the food you hate most in the world, and now put yourself in the position of those people you are telling to "just eat regular food". Imagine that you are obliged to eat the thing you detest every day "for a few weeks". And if someone chooses not to eat animal products for purely ethical reasons your suggestion is just as bad and just as blinkered.
So sorry...did not mean to offend!
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I was brought up when rationing was still going on .... everyone was slim, very slim .. and no food was refused, no meals missed ..... you grow up hungry you eat anything that you are given and are grateful, and that tends to carry on into later life .... (my Homer gif above was merely humour, when hungry I would eat anything, even vegetables!) - so, I think modern first world particular diet choosers have never been hungry, really hungry .... walk on Camino .... stick to your diet and "oh, I couldn't eat that" mentality ... I give it two days ... two days, maybe three ...
 
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OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
Food lessons - I’m not sure, but maybe I learned that a lot of people seem stuck where food is concerned.

Hearing people talk about not getting enough vegetables made me wonder what they meant and what they were looking for. Occasionally, I’d ask, and occasionally, I’d mention some of the things I found everywhere - ensalada mixta, bottled or canned vegetables on grocery/tienda shelves, puréed vegetable soup for example. I never had a problem finding plenty - fresh, canned, frozen, dried, hiding in soups, tapas, pinchos, looking more closely at menus - looking beyond the Pilgrim Menu and the Menu del Día, and asking what something was if I didn’t know - either the wait-person or people at the table next to me - and my Spanish isn’t very good, but I tried - and found new, wonderful foods and made new friends! Buen Camino y buen provecho!

Ahh, an edit -- my fav mid-day or evening meal is pollo asada con arroz, si es posible (roast chicken with rice, if possible) y ensalada mixta. The latter is usually considered in the tapa catagory, I think, so is widely available.

I’m curious, @Jeeves, what dietary changes did you make?
 
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Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
Unlike Dave (utmost respect Dave, so don't take this as a criticism), I didn't grow up with rationing. But, I did spend several years having to budget between food, tuition, rent, and other expenses (I had the opposite of the Freshman 20 in college - I lost 20 pounds, off an already lean frame). So, I guess I have a little experience there. Having said that, I still make food choices that do not include an "eat what's placed in front of you" as I did then (no liver and onions, thank you very much).

I'm also glad Moorwalker responded to Camino Chrissy or I might have said something (exceedingly) snarky. Some of us are vegan for health reasons (e.g., in my case, I elected to do so to combat cancer, which was supposed to have killed me, oh, about five years ago). So, asking one to forego a life decision, well... to quote Sid the Sloth from that wonderful movie Ice Age, "I choose life."

But, to address Jeeves post, what food lessons did I learn? That being vegan on the Camino is not easy, unless you're willing to use a multitude of resources - this forum, various vegan apps, asking questions (preferably in Spanish), and sometimes having to carry one's own food many, many, many kilometers. But, being vegan on the Camino is doable, and it's becoming easier. You don't have to settle for the meat and carbs menu de peregrino, but you can ask for for accommodations and get them (as long as you're polite about it - don't be a d..k).

Also, carry nuts (peanuts, cashews, etc.). You never know when you'll need a protein pick-me-up.

Finally, enjoy the fruit from trees overhanging the Camino, especially if planted for Peregrinos. I enjoyed many cherries and other fruits I found along the way (but never trespass for said fruit - it's not for you unless offered).
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018), Mozarabe and more (2019)
Wayside rations of stale bread, overripe cheese, squashed fruit and melted chocolate taste like manna from Heaven when you are really hungry. I recall from the schooldays of my distant youth the daily recitation that preceded an unwelcome mess of potage: for what we are about to receive may the Lord make us truly grateful. Now I understand the meaning of grace.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I thoroughly enjoyed the Frances route this summer. I found the whole thing amazing for different reasons but it has also helped me make some dietary changes. What food lessons, if any, did you learn!?
Don't keep us in suspense! What food lessons did you learn?

I learned to always carry an emergency supply of nuts. I learned how much I value, at home, my meals full of fresh lightly-cooked veggies!
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
Turn your bocadillo upside down when you eat it. That dry hard crust has scraped the roof of my mouth a couple of times. Who's to say which side is up?🤔

Chocolate and an apple for late afternoon pick me up on the trail. 👣 :D:cool:
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes, I always turn my bocadillas upside down. It's easy to see...the bottom is completely flat of course!
Chocolate and nuts are my "go to" afternoon snacks...yum!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I know! For the vegans and vegetarians out there, I always wonder why they can't just eat regular food served on the camino for a few weeks. However, if they have allergies to certain foods or Celiac disease I do understand their predicament.
What an odd thing to say. What do you consider "regular food"?

Some of us have chosen to be vegetarian or vegan for numerous reasons, none of which are necessary your business (but I of course would be pleased to answer if politely asked).

I respect others' choices to eat whatever they wish and don't force or expect them to follow my path; in turn, I hope to be treated with the same respect.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
What an odd thing to say. What do you consider "regular food"?

Some of us have chosen to be vegetarian or vegan for numerous reasons, none of which are necessary your business (but I of course would be pleased to answer if politely asked).

I respect others' choices to eat whatever they wish and don't force or expect them to follow my path; in turn, I hope to be treated with the same respect.
My original answer was steeped in ignorance for which I have already apologized. For me, regular food is a variety from all food groups. I have read here on the forum the difficulty the vegans and vegetarians can sometimes have in finding the right things to eat on the camino. I guess I wrongfully assumed it would not harm the body to eat meat for several weeks. I did make mention that I understood it for those with health issues such as allergies or celiac disease. Someone else mentioned the healthier eating when cancer is involved...that certainly had me thinking I was off base.
I mean to offend no one...accept my apology, and that I now have a better understanding.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
One thing I learned a while back, while traveling, in regards to food, culture etc. I fall back on the old cliche of "When in Rome".

I go with the flow no matter my particular preference. That is one of the benefits of travel.

When I am home, I tend to be more comfortable with my regular diet. That said, I have gleened many new food and drink items from around the world into the "Regular" diet.

Untreya,
Joe
 

Sharonn

La peregrina lenta
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
Camino Portugues 2017
Camino Frances 2019
I learnt so much:
  • I need to eat every 3 to 4 hours
  • My favourite Spanish foods are Jamon iberico, PULPO, Padron peppers, juicy red Spanish tomatoes, dark purple/black plums, almond chocolate bars and Santiago tart.
  • The first place I'll go to in Leon is the yoghurt icecream shop where you choose your toppings.
  • I should rather order an Americano con poco leche otherwise I may get very milky coffee.
  • Breakfast without coffee isn't breakfast at all at 7am on the road in the middle of nowhere.
  • The Spanish could do with some Jam-making lessons.
  • There seems to be no end to the variety of tapas and pintos.
  • A steak in Spain and a steak in South Africa are 2 very different things.
 

Jay Es

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 the del Norte, home via the Portuguse to Vigo, Planning a Via de la Plata for October 2018.
Eat, drink and be guilt free.

My ideal day on the Camino

7 am Before running off in the morning find a bar, drink coffee... avoid the nip of brandy from under the counter if offered.
10am Eat tortilla between two slices of magnificent bread like the locals do for elevenses. Carb Up.
1 pm Make use of the Menu Perigrino or del Dia. A humungous salad, main and dessert..and liter of wine and you definitely don't care if there's a bed to rush off for after lunch.
3pm Sit in shade under tree if possible, snooze until lunch is digested.
6pm. Tapas in the local with a cerveza.
8.30pm Early doors.. for a dinner down the local. before 10pm if possible.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
What an odd thing to say. What do you consider "regular food"?
Some of us have chosen to be vegetarian or vegan for numerous reasons, none of which are necessary your business (but I of course would be pleased to answer if politely asked).

I respect others' choices to eat whatever they wish and don't force or expect them to follow my path; in turn, I hope to be treated with the same respect.
Absolutely!! Well said! Let us all respect choices in both directions, equality of choice and all that..
(Please note was on our national tv, received no complaints, is rather clever comedy)

 
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Helen O'Shaughnessy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via dela plata, via Francigena
My original answer was steeped in ignorance for which I have already apologized. For me, regular food is a variety from all food groups. I have read here on the forum the difficulty the vegans and vegetarians can sometimes have in finding the right things to eat on the camino. I guess I wrongfully assumed it would not harm the body to eat meat for several weeks. I did make mention that I understood it for those with health issues such as allergies or celiac disease. Someone else mentioned the healthier eating when cancer is involved...that certainly had me thinking I was off base.
I mean to offend no one...accept my apology, and that I now have a better understanding.
Some people (incredibly!) choose not to eat meat or dairy for ethical reasons, which you don’t seem to consider a worthwhile reason for not eating ‘regular’ food. Without going into the awful facts of how the meat that society consumes is actually produced, I’ve had no problem sourcing fresh salad or vegetables on any Camino and think that a diet of white bread, chicken and fries or whatever, devoid of imagination or adventure and ‘irregular ‘ for quite many of the Peregrinos that I shared a table with over the years.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Some people (incredibly!) choose not to eat meat or dairy for ethical reasons, which you don’t seem to consider a worthwhile reason for not eating ‘regular’ food. Without going into the awful facts of how the meat that society consumes is actually produced, I’ve had no problem sourcing fresh salad or vegetables on any Camino and think that a diet of white bread, chicken and fries or whatever, devoid of imagination or adventure and ‘irregular ‘ for quite many of the Peregrinos that I shared a table with over the years.
@Camino Chrissy has already apologized.
My original answer was steeped in ignorance for which I have already apologized.
I mean to offend no one...accept my apology, and that I now have a better understanding
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Some people (incredibly!) choose not to eat meat or dairy for ethical reasons, which you don’t seem to consider a worthwhile reason for not eating ‘regular’ food. Without going into the awful facts of how the meat that society consumes is actually produced, I’ve had no problem sourcing fresh salad or vegetables on any Camino and think that a diet of white bread, chicken and fries or whatever, devoid of imagination or adventure and ‘irregular ‘ for quite many of the Peregrinos that I shared a table with over the years.
True, all true, but the majority of people in the 1st world are carnies or multivores (rather than being omnivores) and have a different point of view and choose to eat meat and fish for health and for historical reasons, believing it to be our natural healthy historical diet - 'regular food'.
There is a fallacy that a meat eater does not care about animal welfare but this is not necessarily true. At home I only source my meat and fish from ethically produced sources .. I too care about the welfare of all creatures, and the high sales of such products prove that I am not alone in this .. but, all creatures die (including us) and there are no 'old animal care homes' either in the wild on land or in the sea - everything is either killed and eaten or dies and is eaten - it is a natural cycle, an intrinsic facet of the oneness of our planetary eco system and I, for one, am happy to be a healthy part of that.

What was posted above, about dropping any dietary restrictions and just eating what was available on Camino (health and allergies aside) seems to me to be a valid argument when food limitations and hunger are involved and I don't think CaminoChrissy should have had to apologise, it was merely a point of view ... shipwrecked on an island I think all would eat anything they could find - now, the Camino is not like that, but in some villages choice is limited, and if one is hungry? Why not just eat what is offered?
I never complain when I have to eat veggie or vegan food when staying with certain friends, and always cater to what I see as their peculiar diets when they visit - they never do the same for me!

now, to get back to Camino food lessons - I learnt to be very wary of Spanish bread rolls as one side of them is so hard and sharp it easily cuts my old gums!! :D
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Eat, drink and be guilt free.

My ideal day on the Camino

7 am Before running off in the morning find a bar, drink coffee... avoid the nip of brandy from under the counter if offered.
10am Eat tortilla between two slices of magnificent bread like the locals do for elevenses. Carb Up.
1 pm Make use of the Menu Perigrino or del Dia. A humungous salad, main and dessert..and liter of wine and you definitely don't care if there's a bed to rush off for after lunch.
3pm Sit in shade under tree if possible, snooze until lunch is digested.
6pm. Tapas in the local with a cerveza.
8.30pm Early doors.. for a dinner down the local. before 10pm if possible.
Hey, I've never been offered a nip of brandy from under the counter with my coffee! I feel cheated! 😂
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Hey, I've never been offered a nip of brandy from under the counter with my coffee! I feel cheated! 😂
In Galicia (mainly in the rural), the custom is to offer at bars some drops of orujo (we say caña) when asking for a black coffee.
But I think they woundn't offer them to unknown women.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
In Galicia (mainly in the rural), the custom is to offer at bars some drops of orujo (we say caña) when asking for a black coffee.
But I think they woundn't offer them to unknown women.
No wonder I don't get offered any nip...my "go to" is always "cafe con leche"! 😅
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
I was brought up when rationing was still going on .... everyone was slim, very slim .. and no food was refused, no meals missed ..... you grow up hungry you eat anything that you are given and are grateful, and that tends to carry on into later life .... (my Homer gif above was merely humour, when hungry I would eat anything, even vegetables!) - so, I think modern first world particular diet choosers have never been hungry, really hungry .... walk on Camino .... stick to your diet and "oh, I couldn't eat that" mentality ... I give it two days ... two days, maybe three ...
Actually there were special provisions in UK rationing during WW2 for vegetarians.
 

GinaMarie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010, 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed the Frances route this summer. I found the whole thing amazing for different reasons but it has also helped me make some dietary changes. What food lessons, if any, did you learn!?
My food lessons?
  • a warm tortilla & black coffee is the most wonderful breakfast in the world after walking a cold couple of hours in the morning
  • a cerveza & a surprise tapa is the most wonderful snack in the world after a long hot day of walking
  • the best meal I have ever eaten (bar none) is with a tableful of fellow pilgrims I'd just met, sharing a celebratory meal in Lavacolla, the night before arriving in SDC. I don't know what exactly we ate & it didn't matter.
  • it is not difficult for a sort-of vegetarian (will eat seafood but no red meat or chicken) to eat well on the Camino.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Eat, drink and be guilt free.

My ideal day on the Camino

7 am Before running off in the morning find a bar, drink coffee... avoid the nip of brandy from under the counter if offered.
10am Eat tortilla between two slices of magnificent bread like the locals do for elevenses. Carb Up.
1 pm Make use of the Menu Perigrino or del Dia. A humungous salad, main and dessert..and liter of wine and you definitely don't care if there's a bed to rush off for after lunch.
3pm Sit in shade under tree if possible, snooze until lunch is digested.
6pm. Tapas in the local with a cerveza.
8.30pm Early doors.. for a dinner down the local. before 10pm if possible.
When do you walk???? ;-)
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés from SJPdP (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
Kumano Kodo (2019)
True, all true, but the majority of people in the 1st world are carnies or multivores (rather than being omnivores) and have a different point of view and choose to eat meat and fish for health and for historical reasons, believing it to be our natural healthy historical diet - 'regular food'.
There is a fallacy that a meat eater does not care about animal welfare but this is not necessarily true. At home I only source my meat and fish from ethically produced sources .. I too care about the welfare of all creatures, and the high sales of such products prove that I am not alone in this .. but, all creatures die (including us) and there are no 'old animal care homes' either in the wild on land or in the sea - everything is either killed and eaten or dies and is eaten - it is a natural cycle, an intrinsic facet of the oneness of our planetary eco system and I, for one, am happy to be a healthy part of that.

What was posted above, about dropping any dietary restrictions and just eating what was available on Camino (health and allergies aside) seems to me to be a valid argument when food limitations and hunger are involved and I don't think CaminoChrissy should have had to apologise, it was merely a point of view ... shipwrecked on an island I think all would eat anything they could find - now, the Camino is not like that, but in some villages choice is limited, and if one is hungry? Why not just eat what is offered?
I never complain when I have to eat veggie or vegan food when staying with certain friends, and always cater to what I see as their peculiar diets when they visit - they never do the same for me!

now, to get back to Camino food lessons - I learnt to be very wary of Spanish bread rolls as one side of them is so hard and sharp it easily cuts my old gums!! :D
"Historical reasons" is not a very strong justification for causing unnecessary harm. We humans have done lots of things in the past that we would no longer consider morally acceptable today.

Sure, there's a cycle of life, and animals in the wild get eaten by other animals. But we are not wild animals, and we don't have to eat anyone to survive.

In Spain and the rest of the developed world, we are fortunate enough to live in an age where we have a wide variety of both plant-based and animal-based foods available to us (yes, even on the Camino). If we choose to eat animals now, it's for reasons of habit, convenience and/or taste, not out of necessity.

Many people (myself included) who have made the choice not to eat animals no longer view their dead bodies as food. Finding something else to eat may take a bit more effort in situations like the Camino, but that's an effort we're willing to make to avoid killing an innocent sentient being.

And it's really not that hard. For what it's worth, I've walked three Caminos and traveled in more than 30 countries as a vegan, including in Mongolia, Russia and other so-called vegan wastelands, and I've never had to go hungry.

Expecting a vegan to serve you dead animals or their secretions when you visit them shows a real lack of understanding of ethical veganism. It's not about our own personal purity, it's about boycotting harmful industries (namely the meat, egg and dairy industries).

Whether we eat the dead body or bodily secretions ourselves or serve it to someone else, the harm we have caused is the same. And as much as you may want to believe that it's possible to buy dead bodies from "ethically produced sources", there's no ethical way to kill someone who doesn't want to die.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
"Historical reasons" is not a very strong justification for causing unnecessary harm. We humans have done lots of things in the past that we would no longer consider morally acceptable today.

Sure, there's a cycle of life, and animals in the wild get eaten by other animals. But we are not wild animals, and we don't have to eat anyone to survive.

In Spain and the rest of the developed world, we are fortunate enough to live in an age where we have a wide variety of both plant-based and animal-based foods available to us (yes, even on the Camino). If we choose to eat animals now, it's for reasons of habit, convenience and/or taste, not out of necessity.

Many people (myself included) who have made the choice not to eat animals no longer view their dead bodies as food. Finding something else to eat may take a bit more effort in situations like the Camino, but that's an effort we're willing to make to avoid killing an innocent sentient being.

And it's really not that hard. For what it's worth, I've walked three Caminos and traveled in more than 30 countries as a vegan, including in Mongolia, Russia and other so-called vegan wastelands, and I've never had to go hungry.

Expecting a vegan to serve you dead animals or their secretions when you visit them shows a real lack of understanding of ethical veganism. It's not about our own personal purity, it's about boycotting harmful industries (namely the meat, egg and dairy industries).

Whether we eat the dead body or bodily secretions ourselves or serve it to someone else, the harm we have caused is the same. And as much as you may want to believe that it's possible to buy dead bodies from "ethically produced sources", there's no ethical way to kill someone who doesn't want to die.

Wendy, we have very different viewpoints but I laud your ethics. I would be happy to amicably discuss them over a neutral meal and Rioja somewhere on Camino. Who knows, it is possible that in one or two hundred years, if we still exist, meat eating will be looked back upon with the same revulsion as with bear baiting, who knows these things.

But here is a thought, how to 'cope' on Camino with dietary requirements comes up quite often on the forum ... you are a seasoned vegan traveller and have found you can thrive in all sorts of places; you must have a deep repository of hands-on experience - why not open a post with information and tips for others who are either veggie or vegan but have yet to go on Camino and are worried?

What to look out for, what to avoid (food with hidden meat products for instance), budgeting, what to carry as back up ... you must have a wealth of knowledge about this - it could be really helpful - don't you think?

Just a thought.
 

rometimed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(SJPdP: 2015, June2020!) (Eng Way: 2015)
In 2015 we learned: Not a huge amount of variety on the Camino!

In Ponferrada we found a Chinese restaruant we went to twice in one afternoon XD
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
In shape a courgette. In colour an aubergine. In flavour? Nothing.
😄😄 In my original post I was recalling the black pudding from my home island in the West Indies, and again, from back in the day when I used to eat meat and meat products.
 

Tony Lenton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2018)
Camino Frances ( from Ponferrada 2019)
I
Eat, drink and be guilt free.

My ideal day on the Camino

7 am Before running off in the morning find a bar, drink coffee... avoid the nip of brandy from under the counter if offered.
10am Eat tortilla between two slices of magnificent bread like the locals do for elevenses. Carb Up.
1 pm Make use of the Menu Perigrino or del Dia. A humungous salad, main and dessert..and liter of wine and you definitely don't care if there's a bed to rush off for after lunch.
3pm Sit in shade under tree if possible, snooze until lunch is digested.
6pm. Tapas in the local with a cerveza.
8.30pm Early doors.. for a dinner down the local. before 10pm if possible.
I hope I meet you on the Camino. You seem to have it sorted.
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés from SJPdP (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
Kumano Kodo (2019)
Wendy, we have very different viewpoints but I laud your ethics. I would be happy to amicably discuss them over a neutral meal and Rioja somewhere on Camino. Who knows, it is possible that in one or two hundred years, if we still exist, meat eating will be looked back upon with the same revulsion as with bear baiting, who knows these things.

But here is a thought, how to 'cope' on Camino with dietary requirements comes up quite often on the forum ... you are a seasoned vegan traveller and have found you can thrive in all sorts of places; you must have a deep repository of hands-on experience - why not open a post with information and tips for others who are either veggie or vegan but have yet to go on Camino and are worried?

What to look out for, what to avoid (food with hidden meat products for instance), budgeting, what to carry as back up ... you must have a wealth of knowledge about this - it could be really helpful - don't you think?

Just a thought.
Sure David, I'd be happy to. I'm traveling at the moment but will post something here when I get home in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, those looking for tips on eating vegan/vegetarian on the Camino can check out my blog post linked in my signature, and the responses I've left to various related queries on this forum.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Sure David, I'd be happy to. I'm traveling at the moment but will post something here when I get home in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, those looking for tips on eating vegan/vegetarian on the Camino can check out my blog post linked in my signature, and the responses I've left to various related queries on this forum.
Your blog is brilliant!! - for those veggies or vegans who have missed it (carnies need not apply, except, if you want a better variety than the standard way of looking at the pilgrim menu it is well worth a read)

I think it needs to be highlighted rather than just your small signature line, so, here it is -

 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés from SJPdP (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
Kumano Kodo (2019)
Your blog is brilliant!! - for those veggies or vegans who have missed it (carnies need not apply, except, if you want a better variety than the standard way of looking at the pilgrim menu it is well worth a read)

I think it needs to be highlighted rather than just your small signature line, so, here it is -

Thanks so much! 😊
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
As an add on to Wendy's blog post, I wish to point out that I wrote a cookbook for Vegans on the Camino (tested, and it works, and the food is tasty and good for all). It's available on Amazon and Kobo if you want a paper copy - if all you want/need is a digital copy, let me know - I provide it to all on this forum for free.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
"Historical reasons" is not a very strong justification for causing unnecessary harm. We humans have done lots of things in the past that we would no longer consider morally acceptable today.

Sure, there's a cycle of life, and animals in the wild get eaten by other animals. But we are not wild animals, and we don't have to eat anyone to survive.

In Spain and the rest of the developed world, we are fortunate enough to live in an age where we have a wide variety of both plant-based and animal-based foods available to us (yes, even on the Camino). If we choose to eat animals now, it's for reasons of habit, convenience and/or taste, not out of necessity.

Many people (myself included) who have made the choice not to eat animals no longer view their dead bodies as food. Finding something else to eat may take a bit more effort in situations like the Camino, but that's an effort we're willing to make to avoid killing an innocent sentient being.

And it's really not that hard. For what it's worth, I've walked three Caminos and traveled in more than 30 countries as a vegan, including in Mongolia, Russia and other so-called vegan wastelands, and I've never had to go hungry.

Expecting a vegan to serve you dead animals or their secretions when you visit them shows a real lack of understanding of ethical veganism. It's not about our own personal purity, it's about boycotting harmful industries (namely the meat, egg and dairy industries).

Whether we eat the dead body or bodily secretions ourselves or serve it to someone else, the harm we have caused is the same. And as much as you may want to believe that it's possible to buy dead bodies from "ethically produced sources", there's no ethical way to kill someone who doesn't want to die.
Amen!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Sure David, I'd be happy to. I'm traveling at the moment but will post something here when I get home in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, those looking for tips on eating vegan/vegetarian on the Camino can check out my blog post linked in my signature, and the responses I've left to various related queries on this forum.
In addition if you're on Facebook, we have a page called Vegetarians and Vegans on the Camino where pilgrims share names of albergues and restaurants with wonderful meal options.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Well there you go, we meat and fish eating omnivores (or multivores), who have no problems getting all the essential nutrients we need without even having to think about it are catered for just by eating on Camino -

- and now we have access to specialist sites and info for those on limited veggie and vegan diets who need to take special care that they can ingest as many varied nutrients as possible to try and fulfill those same essential bodily needs that we take for granted.

Sorted - democracy at work, forum at its best.
 

Togabogie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Yeah. I always kept it to two, but after that horrible meseta after Leon I had 3 and that was a mistake. Two is the limit for lunch for me
I actually now normally leave any beer or wine until ive reached my alberque got organised and changed, cleaned etc put on the plimsoles!! How boooring lol
But as i said i learnt my lesson
 

Dinah Shaw

Volcano Climber
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
M
I actually now normally leave any beer or wine until ive reached my alberque got organised and changed, cleaned etc put on the plimsoles!! How boooring lol
But as i said i learnt my lesson
[/QU
My doctor told me that beer is a much better hydrator than water, so I'll keep drinking 2 beers at lunch, The best is 1906
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I learned that an ensalada mixta without tuna is naked.
Despite mixta is a generic name for more ingredients than basic, I think that without tuna is not considered ensalada mixta.
Now, ensalada mixta is also called ensalada mediterranea.
 

Don Camillo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 04-16
Norte/Primitivo 09-16
VdlP/ Sanabres 02/3-17
Levante 09/17,
Ruta de la Lana 09/18
I know! For the vegans and vegetarians out there, I always wonder why they can't just eat regular food served on the camino for a few weeks. However, if they have allergies to certain foods or Celiac disease I do understand their predicament.
"Regular Food" ?. I have been a vegetarian since my late teens. Now well into late 50's so , for me, it's my diet that's "regular" not anyone else's. Bread, cheese, fruit if no cooking facilities. Pasta, veg and tomato frit if there is a hob.
For many being "veggie" is primarily an ethics thing so they would be unwilling to touch anything "tainted" with meat, fish etc. So it is simply not a matter of just eating "regular food" it is a moral commitment - a little like walking a camino perhaps.
Strange world I know but each to their own.
Don "I don't eat meat and that includes fish" Camillo.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
"Regular Food" ?. I have been a vegetarian since my late teens. Now well into late 50's so , for me, it's my diet that's "regular" not anyone else's. Bread, cheese, fruit if no cooking facilities. Pasta, veg and tomato frit if there is a hob.
For many being "veggie" is primarily an ethics thing so they would be unwilling to touch anything "tainted" with meat, fish etc. So it is simply not a matter of just eating "regular food" it is a moral commitment - a little like walking a camino perhaps.
Strange world I know but each to their own.
Don "I don't eat meat and that includes fish" Camillo.
I now "get it" Don and understand better. I've learned a few things on this thread and this has been one of them.
 

512

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
For me it was: always say yes.
In a bar in one day we weren't sure what to order and the owner offered to make us something Asturiano tipico. Sure, why not?
That was our introduction to fabada.
Also, if you don't know what something is on a menu, order it. I mean, if it's on a menu it's food, como no? And what's life without a little adventure?
I learned a new word (that wasn't on Google translate) that way - bocartes.
And, yum.
 

thejoker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
many
I have learned over the years to really appreciate and explore the food on the Camino. I love the meat on the Camino. Black Pudding is my absolute favourite, but I also had Cecina de Caballo (really yummy!) and I love trying lots of different animals that we can't normally enjoy.
In Vietnam, I enjoyed freshly prepared dog, which was surprisingly delicious and in PNG I ate cat meat, which again was tasty.
On the Camino though, aside from Black Pudding, I absolutely love the baby lamb dish in the Casa del Camping restaurant in Castrojeriz. It's a bit pricey, but wow it is amazing. The knife goes through the meat like butter, it is just so tender.
All those types of fish in Galicia that you can't normally get...wow.
I always stop by another favourite, Astorga's Casa Maragato 2, for a huge yummy meal of cocido.
I also look forward to that first trout, usually in the Posada in Roncesvalles. Simple, but delicious.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I
I have learned over the years to really appreciate and explore the food on the Camino. I love the meat on the Camino. Black Pudding is my absolute favourite, but I also had Cecina de Caballo (really yummy!) and I love trying lots of different animals that we can't normally enjoy.
In Vietnam, I enjoyed freshly prepared dog, which was surprisingly delicious and in PNG I ate cat meat, which again was tasty.
On the Camino though, aside from Black Pudding, I absolutely love the baby lamb dish in the Casa del Camping restaurant in Castrojeriz. It's a bit pricey, but wow it is amazing. The knife goes through the meat like butter, it is just so tender.
All those types of fish in Galicia that you can't normally get...wow.
I always stop by another favourite, Astorga's Casa Maragato 2, for a huge yummy meal of cocido.
I also look forward to that first trout, usually in the Posada in Roncesvalles. Simple, but delicious.
Your descriptions of meals you've enjoyed sounds extremely yummy and I am salivating. I take exception however, at eating domestic home pets such as dogs and cats no matter how tasty!. No thanks...I'd choose to be a vegetarian on those particular days!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
In 2015 we learned: Not a huge amount of variety on the Camino!

In Ponferrada we found a Chinese restaruant we went to twice in one afternoon XD
I only once tried Spanish Chinese food (in Cervera, at a restaurant with Chineise staff, so I thought it would be fine) and I fear it reminded me of Chinese cuisine prepared for small-town Ontario in the 1960s, but without pizazz. I fear that I will now only eat Chinese food in its best habitat, of suburban malls in Toronto.

I quickly learned the words for the three things I cannot/will not eat (tripe, brain, oysters) and after that just ordered food with interesting-sounding names. In my best John-Wayne castellano, I would get the waiter's recommendation, and enjoy it. Along with others, I struggled with Spanish notions of breakfast, but found the second breakfast of hobbit lore excellent, and a bocadillo de tortilla francese (con chorizo, si es possible) very helpful. To this day, I find Canada and the US crippled for its lack of zumo natural.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Totally agree on the zumo natural! I live in the US and have never had such wonderful fresh squeezed orange juice as in Spain. I tried to get them almost every day. They are amazing!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I
Your descriptions of meals you've enjoyed sounds extremely yummy and I am salivating. I take exception however, at eating domestic home pets such as dogs and cats no matter how tasty!. No thanks...I'd choose to be a vegetarian on those particular days!
Those are domestic home pets here. There, they may be farm animals raised for food. Then, of course, there are rabbits which where I live are both kept as domestic home pets and also raised as farm animals for food and sold as such in local butcher shops.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
To take this back to something closer to the original question of "food lessons I learned from the Camino", here are a few:
- The most important factor in the enjoyment of a meal is not the food but the context: how hungry you are and with whom you are enjoying it.
- It is great to sample the local cuisine. That is (for me) one of the joys of travel. Some things you will really love and some things you will really not. That's not the end of the world, though.
- The body can adapt to different mealtimes.
- When I am on Camino I enjoy coffee (cafe con leche). I still don't drink coffee at home, though.
- One of the greatest lessons of the Camino is that we are all different and that the difference is something to be nurtured and supported. It's part of the "be each other's cheerleaders and less judgemental" lesson that was my biggest takeaway from the Camino. That applies to people's food choices and eating habits, too.
- Cooking a meal together is a great way to come together.
 

Dave C.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2016)
SJ to Santo Domingo (2017)
Santo Domingo to Fromista (2018)
SJPdP to Burgos (2019)
I learnt so much:
  • I need to eat every 3 to 4 hours
  • My favourite Spanish foods are Jamon iberico, PULPO, Padron peppers, juicy red Spanish tomatoes, dark purple/black plums, almond chocolate bars and Santiago tart.
  • The first place I'll go to in Leon is the yoghurt icecream shop where you choose your toppings.
  • I should rather order an Americano con poco leche otherwise I may get very milky coffee.
  • Breakfast without coffee isn't breakfast at all at 7am on the road in the middle of nowhere.
  • The Spanish could do with some Jam-making lessons.
  • There seems to be no end to the variety of tapas and pintos.
  • A steak in Spain and a steak in South Africa are 2 very different things.
I agree, all except the Pulpo. Cannot get past the smell.
😁
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
More Camino food lessons -
1) - When ordering chicken in a Chinese restaurant always order a wing ;).
2) - Totally with David Tallan - "The most important factor in the enjoyment of a meal is not the food but the context: how hungry you are and with whom you are enjoying it."
3) - Stop being so precious.
4) - Other ethical points of view are just as valid as yours, only different, so don't be a fundamentalist
5) - Never take moderation to excess.
6) - When a guest at table never complain or refuse - it is tooooo rude to do that.
7) - When a pilgrim at table - be grateful for everything that you receive - feel utterly blessed.
so
8) - Say Grace .. just to remind yourself (even if it is silent, within you) ... all this bounty, food, new friends, safety, abundance - say Grace, be truly surrenderingly grateful - blessed.
and
9) - Be wary of possible future lack of abundance, carry food with you ;) (you can share it you know).
(based on the Muslim proverb - "Trust God, but tie up your camel").

Buen Camino ❤
 
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Jeeves

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2018
Wow! Thank you all for your responses!

Personally these are some of the things I realised..

1. I still do eat meat but less, and I now enjoy vegetables just as much or more than meat.

2. Everything is connected to a healthy diet, mind, body and quality of life.

3. I have gradually ended up going gluten free. After realising I can walk 400km and not lose any weight, due to the bread. After cutting it out, I noticed it made a positive physical and mental difference and back in normal life it's a nice feeling to lose 10kg without even walking anywhere!

4. I am ONE good food decision away from boosting my self discipline & self efficacy.

5. Oh and I wouldn't recommend paella on the camino to anyone! :)
 
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512

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Re: #5
Restaurante La Compuerta on Calle Cervantes across from the Dia.
We got there as they were opening and the paella wasn't ready. They fed us snacks for 20 minutes, then we got fresh hot paella that was about 50/50 rice/goodies. Best paella on our Camino!
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
If you walk a half-marathon day in and day out, you soon come to appreciate the fuel that food is to our bodies. I recall one day when I was feeling at low energy on the trail until I bit into the sandwich I had picked up at a previous albergue. I felt an almost immediate rush of energy.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Re: #5
Restaurante La Compuerta on Calle Cervantes across from the Dia.
We got there as they were opening and the paella wasn't ready. They fed us snacks for 20 minutes, then we got fresh hot paella that was about 50/50 rice/goodies. Best paella on our Camino!
This would be in Comillas on the Camino del Norte, right? I suspect the OP was referring to the Camino Frances in #5. There are Caminos passing through Valencia, too, and rumours are one can get acceptable paella there as well.
 

512

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
This would be in Comillas on the Camino del Norte, right? I suspect the OP was referring to the Camino Frances in #5. There are Caminos passing through Valencia, too, and rumours are one can get acceptable paella there as well.
Oh, you're right, I did omit that one 'small detail'. My bad.
 

Marie_pri

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 Camino Frances
I know! For the vegans and vegetarians out there, I always wonder why they can't just eat regular food served on the camino for a few weeks. However, if they have allergies to certain foods or Celiac disease I do understand their predicament.
I take offence to this comment, as a vegan I managed and did not judge others for their beliefs. May be a lesson in that.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
If you read up thread to find Camino Chrissy's comment, perhaps you also noticed that she apologized for it more than once.
Yes, she's about worn-out her hair-shirt by now.
 

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