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Food on the Caminos

This isn't a question at all, but an attempt to get up enough interest to set up a separate forum thread on 'food on the caminos'. I was inspired to try to get this tread up and going because I have learned so much about regional food while doing various caminos and I wanted a space where other peregrinos can share their experiences. For example, when I did the Camino Frances in 2008, I had my first torta de Santiago. The closer you get to Santiago, this becomes a regular staple in the menu peregrino. I love torta de Santiago, however, during my most recent camino, I had a long discussion which a chef about tortas de Santiago. He recommended that I don't get one of the 2 for 5 euros tortas, but get instead one of the 'primier qualiadad' ones (dark blue box) for 8 euros. I brought one of these home. It doesn't travel all that well (ie. it started to develop a few cracks), but it was undoubtedly one of the best I have ever had.

In June, my boyfriend and I started the Via de la Plata. He was in Seville for a conference and we decided to arrive a few days early to start off on the route. One of our early discoveries was 'secreto iberico'. Many of you will have heard of the iberico dried ham (like parma ham, but much better (the best quality is denoted as 5J or 'cinco jotas')). This comes from the patanegra (black hoof) pigs (which you see along the route). The meat has a special flavour because they eat nuts that fall off of trees (rather than swill like British pigs). The pata negras are famous for their dried cured hams (a must try). However, the Spanish also use these pigs for cuts of pork. The 'secreto' is a special cut of pork. It is a marbled meat, which means it is fat. It is cooked over a grill, so the fat drips off and crips up the meat and yet it is tender and juicy inside. Trust me, if you are a carnivore, you will love this. What gets me about this discovery, is that in spite of spending many vacations in Spain, we didn't become aware of this cut of meat until we were in a small restaurant on the Via de la Plata. When faced with so many different cuts of iberico pork, I asked what the difference was. The waiter said that he HAD to try the secreto iberico. It was fantastic! I have never noted this before, but now that we know to look out for it, we have seen it all over Spain.

Another discovery was made on the Camino Portugues this August. The last town you normally stay at on the Camino Portugues is Padron. Padron is famous for its small green pepper, which are a special type of pepper brought back to Spain from Mexico by monks. They look like quite small jalepenos in shape, but most of them are not hot at all. They are prepared by being fried in oil (whole, including the seeds which you can eat) and covered in sea salt. I love roasted red peppers. I don't like roasted green peppers at all (i.e. normall bell peppers), but the pimientos de padron are so good. Their claim to fame is that eating pimientos de padron is a bit like Russian roulette. Most are quite normal, a few are very hot. To be honest, we had a few slightly warm ones, but only one hot one. Again, what gets me about the whole pimiento de padron thing is that we only knew about these because our guide book to the Camino Portuguese (Brierley) mentioned them. We ate them in the run up to padron (once we started seeing them on tapas menus). We ate them in Padron. We also had them in Santiago and quite marvelled at the fact that we didn't know anything about them and so didn't order them back when we finished the Camino Frances.

If you are starting off on the Camino Portugues, a special mention has to be made about sardines. Yes, like possibly many of you, my childhood experience of sardines was from a tin. When I first started making enquiries about the Camino Portugues, it was recommended that I try out the 'sardines on the beach'. There isn't a real beach in Porto central and so I didn't find the elusive sardines. However, after talking to Portuguese people about sardines in Porto while on the camino, they ALL recommended going to Matashinos (metro stop: Mercado). You get off at the stop, turn left from the direction of travel down a side street, and you end up in a place which is lined with restaurants offering BBQ sardines. These are much bigger than any tinned sardine I have ever seen. They are cooked guts and all, so you need to cut off the head, and slit the belly to take out the guts and then you just eat the meat. My boyfriend asked it they could gut the fish before grilling it. This was met by a: 'no, this is the way we do sardines, this is the way everyone does sardines'. Sardines obviously have a special place in the heart of a Portugese person. When I asked the Portuguese peregrinos about sardines, they said 'ah sardinhas!'. When we were lost in Matashinos and asked about sardines, we got the same same response, but with some helpful pointing of fingers.

Then of course, there are the wines of the Camino. Everyone knows about the Rioja wines and fewer people know about the wines of Navarra on the Frances. When we did the Camino Portugues, we started off in the homeland of Port (I can HIGHLY recommend the tour of the Taylors port house). We passed through Vino Verdhe country (best when fresh), then we moved through the Albarino region. All excellent and cheap as it was local.

On our final day in Santiago after having done the Camino Portugues and the trek out to Muxia and Fisterra, we were having a lovely meal of secreto iberico with pimientos de padron washed down with a nice albarino wine. I had my torta de Santiago in my on board luggage. It occurred to me that we wouldn't be having this meal at all if it hadn't been for our experiences on the various Caminos. So I would be keen to hear what other things peregrinos can recommend.
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
This is another good reason to learn some Spanish.
We learn to say "menu de Peregrino, pour favor" on the first day.
Having a conversation about food takes a little practice.

I like the menus that have pictures of the food glued beside the name and price.

David, Victoria, Canada.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
This isn't a question at all, but an attempt to get up enough interest to set up a separate forum thread on 'food on the caminos'. I was inspired to try to get this tread up and going because I have learned so much about regional food while doing various caminos and I wanted a space where other peregrinos can share their experiences.

This is a lovely idea :D

Your tips are already with my notes in the guidebook - Thanks !

chinacat
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
skilsaw said:
...I like the menus that have pictures of the food glued beside the name and price....

I'm afraid these use to be more expensive and worse than the others without photos. Only for tourists.

I suggest you to try the others too.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Dine with a sense of derring-do. Lacking menu translations, I opted for something porcine one lunch. I got pig's feet. Once I was past the skin and fat, I was down to the bone and gristle. The sauce was very tasty.

For dinner in the same town, I opted for the beef. It was ox tail. Once I was past the skin and fat, I was down to the bone and gristle. The sauce was very tasty.

The menu for the day, then, was bread, bone, and sauce, a nicely dietetic day (when supplemented with regular cafe con leche).
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Great comments, great thread.

Some of my favorites:

--Any farmhouse Caldo (soup-stew) in Galicia. The best came from a smokey kitchen near Melide. They had some skinned sheep carcases hanging in the garage.

--A fancy Cabrito for dinner ( slow roasted goat) in Burgos.

--The best Pulpo galicia (steamed octopus with olive oil) in the world is at a restaurant in Cacabelos. Look for the artistic metal octopus over the door.

-- +1 on the Pimiento roulette. We've found Pimientos Padron in Santiago.

---A second ++ on the sardines in Portugal. I like them with the Vinho Verde, a young, slightly fizzy white wine.

Remember, tapas is just excuse not to cook....be adventurous!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Caldo Gallego or Portuguese Querves

My Portuguese grandmother taught me to make what appears to be exactly the same soup as the Caldo Gallego you get in Galicia. We use stew beef or goat in ours, but the vegetarian version is just as tasty! When I make it without meat, I use two onions and more garlic. Here is the recipe...

1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
Optional meat such as stew beef, goat, linguica, or chourico
3 or 4 medium to large potatoes
1 head of Kale
Salt
Olive Oil

Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a stew pot
Put the onions and garlic in and cook until the onions are transparent

(If you want meat, now is the time you put it in. Cover with water and cook until the meat is tender. Then add potatoes and cook until they are tender)

If you do not want meat, put in the potatoes, cover with water, and cook until potatoes are tender.

Salt to taste.

Kale. You can use Kale or Collard greens. Cabbage just does not taste the same, so I do not use it. The way to prepare the Kale is to pull it apart and wash it. Then cut out the heaviest ribs. Then you stack two or three similar sized leaves and ROLL the kale TIGHTLY into a roll from the SIDE... does this make sense? Then, with a very sharp knife, you carefully SHAVE off very thin slices of kale from the roll. I often then cut these slices in half to make it easier to eat.

Once the potatoes are tender, stir in the Kale, cover, then let it simmer until the kale changes color from bright to dull green.

Eat it!

YUM!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Pickled Roasted Peppers

I just discovered a new food in Spain! Pickled Roasted Pimientos. These are the RED peppers, not the green ones.

OH MY GOSH they are good!

You can buy them in cans in the supermercado for under a euro (you can also spend 7 euros on a can).

We put them on sliced bread and sprinkle with minced garlic for a GREAT vegetarian sandwich!

YUM!

You get about 7 peppers to a can.

By the way.. I add my PLUS sign to the sardinhas in Porto... they are fantastic! Nothing like what you expect from a can.
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
Since returning from the Camino two weeks ago I've been increasingly nostalgic - now reading this thread has made me nostalgic and HUNGRY! I'm a greedy pilgrim, and over several years have left barely a gastronomic stone unturned. However, on this latest trip I found I became gripped with a strange obsession over eggs. Just a simple egg, fried until the whites went crispy and golden at the edges, with a filligree of fat bubbles... I dreamt of it every day. And several other pilgrims I met confessed to the same obsession.
We were surrounded by the best France and Spain has to offer, yet all we wanted was an egg! Can anyone explain?
 

Pacharan

Member
Food cravings are usually a sign of the body asking for specific nutrients. My experience on the Camino was of barely being hungry for the first 2 weeks, unable to eat sufficient calories, then suddenly craving fat (cheese, nuts, eggs, fatty meat etc), then adjusting back to a more normal eating pattern.
I also craved a light and bitter, and curry from time to time. I missed the fresh vegetables from my allotment.
The best meal? We stayed at La Trucha in El Acebo which is a veggie B&B and thoroughly enjoyed the dinner of chickpea soup, mixed salad with rice and lentil, bread with cheese and aubergine, wine, goats cheese dessert (all homemade or locally made). What a treat.
Otherwise the food I liked best was the spicy and succulent pulpo in Melide, the rich creamy cheese in Arzua, the caldo gallego and the tortilla everywhere (I loved the way both dishes varied place to place), the tarta santiago, the green beans (with tons of garlic or chorizo), the bacalao in Pedrouzo, the tomatoes and the grapes. And the local vino everywhere.
I didn't enjoy the endless white bread as bread does not really agree with my digestion, but we did find some good wholemeal bread in some shops and were able to buy rye crackers in some supermarkets in Burgos and Leon. Light to carry and hard to damage (unless you sit on them or take them in the shower) they were a great staple for lunch.
 

Sagalouts

RIP 2015
Like other posters I found myself craving eggs,I can still remember the sheer joy of sitting down to eat a plate full. walking from Le Puy I learned to love lentilles so much so I have just sat down to a bowl of Lentilles onions carrots peppers and potatoes with a dash of chilly powder heaven :D
I have good memories of preparing food and sharing a meal sat round a table while the wine and conversation flowed sometimes eating food never before tasted before,my first seafood was eaten on the Camino it was that or go hungry, me picking at it while my Australian companions sucked the living daylights out of them throwing the heads in the general direction of the bin.I have yet to try pulpa maybe next time :shock: The cheese from all the regions the taste of local tomatoes still linger on my tastebuds,in fact the memories the sheer joy of eating simple meals washed down with wine after a days walk stay with me still
back to another bowl of lentille soup
Ian
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Some fill their pack with souvenirs and gifts for friends when they return home. Instead, I grabbed the orujo, lentils, and white beans!! Caldo Gallego on the menu!
 

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lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Good choices. I add Manchego cheese and keep a large piece for myself... now I can find in bigger cities, and it's wonderful.

I also recommend La Trucha in El Acebo. Jaime and his organic veggies from his garden and gourmet meals were a memorable treat. Staying there was worth every penny.

lynne
 

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)
In general I found the food (Peregrino meals) on the Camino to be boring. That being said, I did develop a taste for Lentils and eggs. I had a very good meal in Atapuerca, this small bar also had the very best Cafe con Baily's. The cafe/bar in Ribadiso had the best piece of meat for 11.5 Euros I had eaten on the Camino. The Cafe/Bar "Naxara", in Najera along the river, had an execellent Paella. The Pulpa, near the end of the Camino, was also a tasty appetizer. I enjoyed the red wines with Tempranillo grapes and the beer with and without Limon was tasty at the end of a days walk. Sometimes even at lunch on warmer days. :)

Ultreya,
Joe
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Some places had a good variety for the pilgrim menu, particularly Casa Manolo in Santiago. I eventually stopped in a fish store along The Way to see what I was eating for hake/merluzza. It is a fish, which is about all I can say about it!

I did not have the "Meetballs" here in Belorado, nor the tripe, which is where I draw the line in eating all of the animal.
 

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ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Dunno Falcon...I´m in Belorado right now...and hungry enough to eat even tripe!
 

WouterB

New Member
Besides Pulpo in Melide we discovered the grilled Pulpo in Santiago...I like this one even more...The locals pointed us to a place just outside the centre, Rua de san pedro number 16 I believe...i think the name is O DEZASEIS (i had to find it on internet, so i am not sure this is it because there are more restaurants) Anyway it is a big restaurant with a covered outside area at the back. the entrance is down a small flight of stairs. It is big, stylish (but ok for pilgrims) and busy...so book ahead for the next day. they have the grilled pepers aswell...didn't know the name until I read this forum, but some spanish people from an other table gave us a taste.

Although this is not a cheap menu del dia kind of place...it's not expensive compared to the fish places in the centre...and it's where at least some of the locals go :D

I will go back this year (starting next week on the Norte) and see if it is still good as last year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
If you enjoy cooking, you might want to keep your eye out at the open air markets for bacalau!
It is dried salt cod and does not require refrigeration, is light weight, and makes a WONDERFUL meal! My grandmother served it regularly as I was growing up. It is said there are 365 ways to cook it!

Generally if I'm at home, I soak it overnight, but it is not necessary. It can be cooked the same day if you take some care. Here is how I do it when on the Camino. A pound of fish will feed several people if you put it over rice.

Cover the fish with cold water and let it soak an hour or so while you get your shower, do your laundry, etc.

When you are ready to cook, pour off the water, rinse the fish, then cover with more cold water.
Bring to a boil, then turn it off and let it sit.

Cut up one big onion.
Chop a few cloves of garlic.
Saute these in some olive oil.
When they are clear, chop up a tomato (or two) and add a piece of roasted pimento, chopped.
If you don't have roasted pimento, use a bell pepper.
If you have olives, add some.
Now bring this to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes into a nice sauce. (The entire albergue will be asking, "What are you cooking!? It smells so GOOD!"

While the sauce cooks, rinse the fish in cold water and flake it, taking out any bones.
Taste it. If it is too salty, cover in some water and let it sit while your sauce cooks. Remember, a little salt will be good.

Add the fish to the sauce and simmer about 5 more minutes.

Pour this over servings of rice.

OMG it is SOOOOOO good!
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
Javier Martin said:
skilsaw said:
...I like the menus that have pictures of the food glued beside the name and price....

I'm afraid these use to be more expensive and worse than the others without photos. Only for tourists.

I suggest you to try the others too.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.

Thank you I'm going to give it a go
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... reading back through this made me hungry again for the Camino.
 

HopefulServant

New Member
Hola a todos (working on my Spanish here...). I'm set to arrive in SJPP on May 19, 2012, and hope to start walking the next day on my very first camino. Needless to say, I'm champing at the bit with excitement. I've been all over the forum, soaking up all the accumulated knowledge and following the links and watching the linked-to videos and have learned a ton. One question that has come to mind is this: I understand that at some (many?) albergues, the pilgrims de jour will do a communal evening meal. I love that idea, but how does one contribute to that? Does everyone show up and chip in for a trip to the local mercado, then hit the kitchen? Is there food and wine already there and we all kick in a few euros and get down to cooking? Clearly, I'm clueless but enthusiastic -- a nudge in the right direction would be most appreciated!!

Peace,

Steve from Maryland, USA
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The communal meal occurs best when there is a leader. Sometimes it is like a high school sock-hop where everyone is standing around waiting for someone else to dance first. I walked for a couple of weeks with Mark, who loved to cook. He would initiate the idea, then buy the food. Diners would split the food cost. Occasionally he would have the ingredients (he harvested herbs along the way), and was not shy about telling others the price for dinner. Timidity can stick you with the bill.

Sometimes when the idea comes up, everyone digs into his pack, and the meal is assembled from the pot pourri and detritus of recent mercado visits. The meals were usually less satisfactory, but still nourishing.

Many pilgrims self-cater and do not want a communal dinner, so competition for the cooking facilities and equipment can be intense.

Take the lead, and have fun!
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
Yes Communial Meals could be quite fun, could be set up in the que waiting for the 'A' to open
yummy!

love cococtions,my father did this too, he never knew the ingredients either :lol:
 

Douglas A

New Member
The food will depend on which camino you're doing, you'll find many different types and ways of preparing the same food as you walk on. As you near Santiago in Galicia, the specialties are of the sea food varieties which are abundant. My favorite was a rice dish called Arroz Caldozo or soupy rice, somewhat similar to a paella, but soupy, I had this in Arzua, in Melede and other places the specialty is Pulpo (octopus) and squid in different forms, and of course the ever present Caldo Gallego, a vegetable soup. Lamb and veal are also very good. I'd assume that if you star your camino in Madrid the dish to have is Callos madrileños, tripe and sausages in spicy sauce.
Buen camino y buen apetito. Provecho.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Parrillada grilling of meat in southern Galicia has provided some great meals for carnivores. The cook last night tossed on a couple of extra veal chops in case four was not enough for each person. The menu was 9 Euro with a pitcher of beer substituting for vino tinto.
 

Gilespenn

Member
Hi Everyone,

I just returned from the Norte and here's a quick summary of the current food situation:

Pilgrim menu about 8 -9 euros, menu del dia mostly 10 euros (beware of places that don't list prices).
Recommended first plates: Paella, of course and the beef bologna (meat in a tomato sauce), mixed salad (lettuce, tomato, tuna, and onions- your only source of veggies for the most part).
Second plates: local specialties, anything roasted or baked, ask waiter to replace the ubiquitous fried potatoes with salad..they are used to this request. so don't be shy. Also, you might try repeating to the waiter, "no frito, no frito" and he or she will help you choose something healthy.
Desserts: head for the fruit where possible.
Wine: whites are good in Basque country and Galacia, otherwise I'd stay with reds.

One suggestion: menu del dia is plentiful so consider the "half menu" where you choose from either the first plates or the second and still get bread, wine and dessert...about 6 or 7 euros.

Overall: the bar and restaurant food is inexpensive and plentiful, but often bland and mostly fried meat and potatoes (vegetarians better shop the supermarkets and cook their own at the albergue). No one has ever heard of ground black pepper (I brought the little paper packets from a fast food place in Heathrow). If you have a choice of places to eat, ask the locals. Every time I did this I got a great meal with home cooking.

Please note: this evaluation is for everyday walking on the Norte. Santiago and Madrid offer much more diversity and taste (I ate twice at a great Chinese restaurant in Santiago for 6.70 euros!).

Oh, and the Camino was the walk of a lifetime, but that's another story...
Buen camino,
Giles
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
Just to add that in Santiago there is a great fish market. There is a cafe there. Buy your food (fish/meat/shellfish) at any stall (or more than one if you want), Take it to the cafe and hand it over. Maria will cook it for you and the cafe will charge you 10% of the purchase price (evidenced by the receipts) plus 3 euros. You pay for this plus any drinks after the meal. A truly delicious experience. Obviously this is a comida (midday/early afternoon) experience while the market is open.
Allan
 

pablo.m

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (09-10.12) Portuguese(05-06.13) Norte (05-06.15)
great thread...can't resist adding to
while many of the menus peregrinos along the camino were average to awful, dry overcooked pasta or deep-fried crumbed somethings with chips, a small departure across to other food selections offered often yielded far better results, usually for only a few euros more. you might end up eating simply a main course, with a half bottle of wine along with, but i found the menu del dia to be the way to go.
i mean, i like it when i like the food i'm eating. call me fussy.
some standouts:
*pulpo in the markets in santiago, where you stand there waiting for it to come out the pot so you can wolf it down off wooden plates with crusty white bread & a glass of white: sensational.
*pimientos de padron, which started to appear once crossed into galacia
*manitas de cerdo (hand of pork), which i ate off a menu in carrion de los condes, which was amazing, & infact came out of a kitchen where everything was amazing - if only i could remember the name of the place - it was downstairs, cramped & steamy, a doorway on the left walking in, almost opposite the tree lined square out front of the church on the right as you near the town centre
*a cazuela de calamaris at casa manolo in santiago, which i ate 3 nights in a row
*pinchos in burgos, of course
*pinchos in logrono, of course
*cocido maragata, in astorga, which is worth (tho i confess to leaving the snout to my friend manoleitor) it but cant be tackled alone. & dont eat breakfast that day either - its a meal to train for!
*handmade manchego cheese & membrillo from a market leaving sarria, which i snacked on along the trail for 2 days -the feeling of being perched on a rock, alone, sun on my back, lost in transit along a medieval iberian trail...a camino moment, & one of those feelings i cant describe
*sopa de ajo in boadilla del camino, which i've since made myself &, in many ways, i feel epitomises the food of spain...so i've saved it til last to write the recipe:
ingredients:
olive oil/salt/garlic/stale bread/water/egg
method:
saute the garlic in oil, salted, til golden brown;
add small hunks of stale bread, tossing with the oil & garlic to brown also, just a bit;
add a little water, moving your pot about to collect everything in the mix;
add a little more, repeat, & a little more, till you have about enough;
if you do it right, you'll get a slight emulsification action happening, i even put the stick blender in there one time & made it a creamed soup, but either way when you bring the soup up to temperature, drop in an egg, breaking the yolk & stirring in quickly with a fork.
a sprinkle of chopped parsley if you feel extravagant, some cracked pepper...
(haha hope you werent expecting quantities - they are a matter of taste. enough to be said tho, that this soup can be made with half a head of garlic & 2 or 3 slices of bread & an egg).
sounds weird? try it.
rarely have i come across a dish so unassuming, made of the most basic of ingredients, a reflection of the necessity from which it was made, yet so so so much more than the sum of its parts.
this dish is a triumph.
buen camino
 

uknduit

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2013)
Can someone who is gluten intolerant (no bread) find food enough to eat on the Camino Frances?
 

eszterem1

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/2013
I want to eat only what I prepared for myself.
Does anyone have previous experience in buying and making his/her own food in the pilgrim hostels?
What are the fascilities? Can basic things be found (for example oil, salt and something I could cook in...)?
 

ffp13

Addicted pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Caminos: 2009 SJPP, 2011 Roncessvalle , 2012 Pamploma, 2013 Roncessvalle, 2013 Porto, 2014 Burgos, 2014 Porto

Future: Roncessvalle
The only condiment that you can be confident in finding is salt, cooking oil is hit and miss, olive oil is a rare find, after checking in check out the freebie cupboard in the kitchen for donations leftovers from previous pilgrims, if you find something you can use put it aside because if you expect it to be there when you prepare your meal you may be disappointed to find another pilgrim has used it.

The Xunta hostels in Galicia have removed cooking implements and crockery from their kitchens, and in some cases even disabled the stoves/ hotplates. If you want to cook avoid the Xunta hostels
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Wonderful food to try on the Camino:
Morcillas in Burgos - renowned throughout Spain and I love it! Crispy fried slices of blood sausage .....
Pulpo in Melide (of course)
Lemonada a la casera in Leon (don't be deceived - it's mighty alcoholic, a sort of white wine version of Sangria)
Bacalao
Caldo everywhere and menestra de verdura
Paella and empanadas
Queso tetilla with dulce de membrilla (white cheese with quince paste)
Pimentos revueltos (stuffed capsicum)
Chocolate con churros in Logrono! Yum!
And of course flan a la casera, tortilla, patatas bravos, jamon Iberica, tarta Santiago.
And don't get me started on the French routes...
 
P

Pattii

Guest
Dine with a sense of derring-do. Lacking menu translations, I opted for something porcine one lunch. I got pig's feet. Once I was past the skin and fat, I was down to the bone and gristle. The sauce was very tasty.

For dinner in the same town, I opted for the beef. It was ox tail. Once I was past the skin and fat, I was down to the bone and gristle. The sauce was very tasty.

The menu for the day, then, was bread, bone, and sauce, a nicely dietetic day (when supplemented with regular cafe con leche).
aweee poor guy ...but funny...i woulda been laughing...of course unless it was me then I would have been ...hungry.
 
P

Pattii

Guest
Wonderful food to try on the Camino:
Morcillas in Burgos - renowned throughout Spain and I love it! Crispy fried slices of blood sausage .....
Pulpo in Melide (of course)
Lemonada a la casera in Leon (don't be deceived - it's mighty alcoholic, a sort of white wine version of Sangria)
Bacalao
Caldo everywhere and menestra de verdura
Paella and empanadas
Queso tetilla with dulce de membrilla (white cheese with quince paste)
Pimentos revueltos (stuffed capsicum)
Chocolate con churros in Logrono! Yum!
And of course flan a la casera, tortilla, patatas bravos, jamon Iberica, tarta Santiago.
And don't get me started on the French routes...


I need to learn to speak spanish right bloody quick I think...I am working at it but about to put in extra effort. And now im gonna use a translator to figure out what it is that you were eating.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If you've read through this thread, you see that one of the themes is that the pilgrim's menu is not likely to present a good opportunity for you to taste regional delicacies. For many, the fact that it's 10 - 12 euros and filling is the main attraction and that's fine. But if you want to ratchet your camino up a culinary notch, you will have to spend a little more money and either go off the pilgrim's menu or go to a restaurant that isn't offering a menu del peregrino.

One other thing to keep in mind is that there is a big difference between a "menu del peregrino" and "menu del dia," though on the busy Camino Frances, the two may be one and the same. Menus del dia are well-established all over Spain, thanks to Generalisimo Francisco Franco, who decreed that all restaurants should offer a 3 course full meal at a reasonable price so that workers would not go hungry, and though he is long gone, the tradition is still with us.

I walked the Camino de Levante from Valencia this year, almost always ate a menu del dia (there are no peregrinos on this Camino, so there is no menu del peregrino), and was lucky to have had a lot of variety, regional dishes, and fresh food. For a splurge, going off the menu was a real treat sometimes, but the 10 euro menu del dia almost always had a great price/quality ratio and offered good home cooked food.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Stefania13/14

Active Member
I haven't seen a comment on the Marcona almonds! I have them in the US and can't get enough. I hope the ham some folks have written about is what I know as "Smithfield Ham". It is very salty and quite dry, sliced very thin and eaten as part of a sandwich or by itself, or in a pasta dish in very tiny pieces.
I hope I can get these, some sausages (with my chocolate of course) and some fruit and cheese. That is what I envision taking for snacks.
Stefania
 

TheTinkerBell

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC (2013);
OCebreiro - Fisterra (2019)
As a general rule (for myself), I stay away from most of the seafood when inland. Fish should be consumed as soon after it's caught and as close to the coast as possible.
Nobody has mentioned (beef) steak here. It's rare to find a good one on the Frances, but La Taberna de Gaia in Foncebadon has the best and biggest of the lot.
Do yourself a favour and do NOT pass by this restaurant.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Top 10 foods to eat on the Camino de Santiago
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 8:07 AM

The Camino de Santiago in northern Spain is one of the most famous hiking routes in Europe and is walked by thousands each year. Although the routes begin in a few different places, the most popular one starts just over the French border in St. Jean Pied de Port and all end up at Santiago de Compostela, or just beyond at the coast.

The 500 mile route takes around one month to walk and crosses different regions, each with its own traditions, culture and food. If you are walking the Camino de Santiago along the French Way, from the French border, there are a number of classic dishes and traditional produce that you will be able to taste. CaminoWays.com, the walking and cycling holiday specialists, have compiled a list of the 'Top 10 Camino Foods' to give you an idea.

1. White Asparagus
Navarra's white asparagus are the most well-known in Spain. They are delicious with a dollop of mayonnaise.

2. Chilindrón sauce
Chilindrón is a traditional sauce from the Navarra, Basque Country and Aragón regions, made with red vegetables, mainly tomatoes and red peppers. You will find meats such as lamb or chicken cooked al chilindrón, in chilindrón sauce.

3. Potatoes Rioja style
The La Rioja region is famous for its red wine. Here you will find a variety of dishes cooked 'a la Riojana', 'Rioja-style', including potatoes.

4. Ice cream in Logroño
Marzipan, goats cheese with blueberries, cherry and orange sorbets - you will find any ice cream flavour you might imagine in Logroño. The capital of La Rioja is famous for its wine but is also a city with a deep ice-cream making tradition.

5. Tapas in Burgos
Burgos has been selected as Spain’s gastronomic capital for 2013. Go for tapas in the many bars, offering a wide variety of flavours and combinations so you can taste as many different dishes as possible.

6. Cured meats in León
As you pass into Castilla-León, cured meats (embutidos) become even more popular. Cecina, smoked beef, is a local specialty.

7. Cakes and Chocolate from Astorga
Astorga had at one stage up to 64 chocolate factories - as good an excuse as any to stop and taste some of the artisan chocolate made locally. Don't forget to try the famous mantecados (little buttery cakes) and hojaldres (super sweet sticky puff pastries). There is also a chocolate museum in town.

8. Botillo in El Bierzo
The most famous dish of this region is 'botillo'. El Bierzo is also famous for its cherries so make sure you taste them if you are travelling in summer.

9. Octopus 'market fair style' in Melide
Galicia's most traditional dish is octopus, eaten traditionally on market days, hence its name in Galego (pulpo á feira - octopus market day style). Stop for a 'ración' at a real 'pulpería', a bar or restaurant which specialises in cooking octopus.

10. Arzúa cheese
Explore the small shops in town to get a taste of the local cheese, for example at the old school butcher shop of father and son Luís and Luís, also known as 'Carnicería Tarazona'. They will milk a cow for fresh milk on the spot and sell the traditional Arzúa cheese.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
If you are on the Primitivo then try the Tarta de Fonsagrada, which we only found in Fonsagrada itself. An almond type cake but much creamier than Tarta de Santiago.
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Camino(s) past & future
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
Oct 2018 (Via Francigena stage)
Just come across this old thread about Food on the Camino & it's making me feel hungry VERY hungry. Roll on September. Meanwhile, any more foody postings to keep us salivating?
Suzanne :)
 

petitewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 fall), Camino Portuguese (fall 2017)
Caldo Gallego or Portuguese Querves

My Portuguese grandmother taught me to make what appears to be exactly the same soup as the Caldo Gallego you get in Galicia. We use stew beef or goat in ours, but the vegetarian version is just as tasty! When I make it without meat, I use two onions and more garlic. Here is the recipe...

1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
Optional meat such as stew beef, goat, linguica, or chourico
3 or 4 medium to large potatoes
1 head of Kale
Salt
Olive Oil

Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a stew pot
Put the onions and garlic in and cook until the onions are transparent

(If you want meat, now is the time you put it in. Cover with water and cook until the meat is tender. Then add potatoes and cook until they are tender)

If you do not want meat, put in the potatoes, cover with water, and cook until potatoes are tender.

Salt to taste.

Kale. You can use Kale or Collard greens. Cabbage just does not taste the same, so I do not use it. The way to prepare the Kale is to pull it apart and wash it. Then cut out the heaviest ribs. Then you stack two or three similar sized leaves and ROLL the kale TIGHTLY into a roll from the SIDE... does this make sense? Then, with a very sharp knife, you carefully SHAVE off very thin slices of kale from the roll. I often then cut these slices in half to make it easier to eat.

Once the potatoes are tender, stir in the Kale, cover, then let it simmer until the kale changes color from bright to dull green.

Eat it!

YUM!
Portuguese "Caldo Verde" is what we call it. I always make mine with Linguica or Portuguese Chourico and it is one of my favorite soups. :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Hi Suzanne - @smj6 - there are quite a few food related threads. Walking so many kilometers a day means being able to eat anything, guilt free. Yah!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Portuguese "Caldo Verde" is what we call it. I always make mine with Linguica or Portuguese Chourico and it is one of my favorite soups. :)

We call it Querves (pronounced something like kwayvsh)
I have made it with linguica, but prefer it with beef shank and short ribs.
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Camino(s) past & future
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
Oct 2018 (Via Francigena stage)
The Edible Camino: A Pilgrim's Guide on Facebook is tailored for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago (not sure if it targets any specific route) who are interested in food. And a book on the subject is about to be published. I've only just come across it, & have yet to browse through the comments, but I thought it might be of interest to members of this forum.
Buen 'edible' Camino
Suzanne:)
 

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