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Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Strangest food & drink on the Camino

howardd5

Active Member
On a hot day after “windmill hill”( west of Pamplona) I was sitting in a bar sipping a cold water, when a young perigrina advised a new cooler. She said “you can order a hot tea in a glass and a bowl of ice. Next add some sugar and add the ice , it’s very refreshing” I smiled and we have something similar at home in North Carolina .
 
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The oddest thing I have eaten on a camino was probably lampreys cooked in their own blood on the Camino Portugues. A seasonal dish in winter. Not something I have any great desire to try again!
I googled lampreys: Grotesque! The "worst" I've had was oxtail: Much bones and little meat... But it was food, all right...
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
The oddest thing I have eaten on a camino was probably lampreys cooked in their own blood on the Camino Portugues. A seasonal dish in winter. Not something I have any great desire to try again!
Oh! That sounds horrible!
I don't think I saw anything too weird on any menus. I shall try to find something strange when I walk this autumn!
 
In our hotel in Santiago I ordered some orejas de cerdo, a Spanish delicacy. I normally translate the menu, but not this time. The picture looked good enough. I was served up a plate of pigs ears. I tried a good few before I was put off by the hairy ears. 😂😂
 
I grew up in an area of unique foods and seafood as well as some unusual wild game dishes so nothing too strange that I can think of on the Camino.
Probably the most unique was when I was in Pamplona the last day of the San Fermin as I was passing through and I had the fighting bull stew at one of the restaurants. It had obviously slow stewed for a long time in a wine sauce and was very good.
 
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Ensaladilla rusa, “Russian salad”

Perhaps not too odd aside from 1) the mysterious name, 2) how something tinned in a can tastes SO wonderful, and 3) why a dish created by a Belgian chef for the Hermitage in Moscow became such a favorite in Spain. It’s basically a creamy tuna salad with vegetables in mayo. The simplicity and low cost are deceptive – the mouthfeel is rich and full of umami, like a fine Italian tonnato sauce. You might be able to find it in small grocers along the Camino Frances next to anchovies, pulpo, and other canned fish, but I’ve struck out on my last attempts. Too bad, I would happily eat it every day if I could. :)

ensalada rusa.JPG
 
Ensaladilla rusa, “Russian salad”

Perhaps not too odd aside from 1) the mysterious name, 2) how something tinned in a can tastes SO wonderful, and 3) why a dish created by a Belgian chef for the Hermitage in Moscow became such a favorite in Spain. It’s basically a creamy tuna salad with vegetables in mayo. The simplicity and low cost are deceptive – the mouthfeel is rich and full of umami, like a fine Italian tonnato sauce. You might be able to find it in small grocers along the Camino Frances next to anchovies, pulpo, and other canned fish, but I’ve struck out on my last attempts. Too bad, I would happily eat it every day if I could. :)

View attachment 143014
We have fresh "Russian salad" in the Balkans where I come from. Not having it here in Norway I got really curious finding it in a store in Spain. Shelf life was amazing. I was to really surprised by the fresh and good taste for something from a box/tin - not refrigerated.
 
Well my oddest was on the Portuguese. It was rabbit stew, but all the heads were in the stew with their tiny white teeth intact and contrasted the brown stew. 😱
My second oddest, once again in Portugal, was the giant, gooey, Francesinha sandwich, already discussed recently on another thread.
 
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all the heads were in the stew with their tiny white teeth intact and contrasted the brown stew.
Ah, a classic of cocina povera and a classic trap for the greedy. You scoop out the largest looking lump in the communal stew-pot and find it’s laughing at you; as are the rest of your fellow diners.
Students of desperate dining might like to research Redmond O’Hanlon on the joys of Howler Monkey and or River Turtle (mud mint chewing-gum). And before anyone asks Hedgehogs taste like Hedgehog, not Chicken
 
Ah, a classic of cocina povera and a classic trap for the greedy. You scoop out the largest looking lump in the communal stew-pot and find it’s laughing at you; as are the rest of your fellow diners.
In Scotland in the 1960s a friend of my mother ran a home for the elderly. She used to make soup every weekend using a sheep's head for the broth. A bit of a surprise for a small child to discover it staring up at him out of the big Belfast sink in the scullery. The old joke was that you should ask the butcher to leave the eyes in so it would see you through the week...
 
A few times I found an unidentifiable substance liberally added atop my mixed salad. It looked like sprouts, but it wasn’t. I came to find out from a waiter that they were tiny elvers, baby eels, the Spanish for which is angulas, locally gulas. Because the texture and flavor take some getting used to, I learned to ask for my salad sin angulas. It may be a regional or a seasonal delicacy; I encountered them first on the CF before Burgos, and a few more times before León, then never again.

All the best,
Paul
 
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You scoop out the largest looking lump in the communal stew-pot and find it’s laughing at you; as are the rest of your fellow diners.
Funny you should mention that, Tincatinker. I was the only lady at the table and the men insisted I scoop the stew first. Let me tell you, there were at least 4-5 rabbit heads in there.😳
 
A few times I found an unidentifiable substance liberally added atop my mixed salad. It looked like sprouts, but it wasn’t. I came to find out from a waiter that they were tiny elvers, baby eels, the Spanish for which is angulas, locally gulas. Because the texture and flavor take some getting used to, I learned to ask for my salad sin angulas. It may be a regional or a seasonal delicacy; I encountered them first on the CF before Burgos, and a few more times before León, then never again.

All the best,
Paul
I sampled the imitation version. Yes, I would eat them again.
Another one to try if you saved up on the way to Santiago or Fisterra, percebes. I did not try them, didn't save enough en route!


 
I googled lampreys: Grotesque! The "worst" I've had was oxtail: Much bones and little meat... But it was food, all right...
Its the flavour that makes Oxtail special ! First catch thy ox OR practice legging it at the Bull run in Pamplona when it is still attached to its owner :)

Samarkand
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Maybe not too strange but a huge disappointment, in a restaurant I asked for patatas bravas and got chips/french fries with HP sauce.
 
Maybe not too strange but a huge disappointment, in a restaurant I asked for patatas bravas and got chips/french fries with HP sauce.
As in, brown sauce? I understand the disappointment. Even the sauce in chippers in Edinburgh was a vast improvement on that, in my student days 1000 years ago... ( salt and sauce? A very strange question to an almost Glaswegian. The vast distance between the two locations covers a range of epicurean differences). 😁
Proper patatas bravas, best from a bar, in my limited experience.
 
Squeamish vegetarian here.
So all these posts really make me wish there were a 😝 reaction emoji - fully cognizant that 'disgusting' in my book might very well be 'delicious' in someone else's.

Not eating meat is a reasionably good protection from surprises like ears tongues, eyes, and teeth - so I can't say I've ever been presented with any strange foods in Spain. Unless you count truckloads of iceberg lettuce. Oh. Wait. I am forgetting. Tinned white asparagus. The only vegetable I've ever met that causes me to feel disgust. 😝.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

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fully cognizant that 'disgusting' in my book might very well be 'delicious' in someone else's.
As a child my son thought all veggies were 'disgusting'. In his book 'delicious' was McDonalds.😅
Tinned white asparagus. The only vegetable I've ever met that causes me to feel disgust. 😝.
I agree! It's so disgusting I never even tried it😂; looks like it washed up on a beach.🤣
 
Have you ever come across karela (bitter gourd)? Popular in India. Looks like a cross between a cucumber and a hedgehog and tastes like paracetamol tablets :-( Revolting!

View attachment 143036
It even looks revolting and reminds me of some baby catcus I once scavenged although flat. I was going to try to fry them like some Mexican recipes show, but I got unseen tiny prickles all over my hands and pockets.😅
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
It even looks revolting and reminds me of some baby catcus I once scavenged although flat. I was going to try to fry them like some Mexican recipes show, but I got unseen tiny prickles all over my hands and pockets.😅
On some of the southern Caminos and on Gran Canaria you often come across prickly pear (Opuntia). Very confusingly known as tuna in Spanish! The big spines are fairly obvious but it is the tiny glass-like ones that cause the real problems. I've been jabbed by them a couple of times. Extremely hard to remove them as they just snap off below the skin.
 
looks like it washed up on a beach.🤣
Agree. Wholeheartedly.
Thing is...fresh asparagus is one of the most delectable things on the planet. And I've never seen it in Spain, even in season. An absence of food, rather than an encouter, but that's strange.

Have you ever come across karela (bitter gourd)?
We get it hete all the time. I love it.
But yes. You have to like bitter.
 
I sampled the imitation version. Yes, I would eat them again.
Another one to try if you saved up on the way to Santiago or Fisterra, percebes. I did not try them, didn't save enough en route!



Thanks, @Kirkie for the article on angulas, which (at least to me) makes clear why I might have met them in or near Basque Country. It thoroughly licks the plate clean on the subject, one might say.
By the way, I am not squeamish; I have eaten them, but I prefer not to.

All the best,
Paul
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I don't remember where it was (probably blocked it out of my memory), but I ordered what was listed as a local food delicacy. There were three courses. The soup was a typical vegetable soup. The main course was composed of the parts of cows and sheep that were all gristle, bone, fat, and meat by the broadest definition possible. The good news was that they gave you an enormous portion. Desert, by my memory, was ok. Someone else might remember where. I think it might have been Ponferrada or that region.
 
I remember my surprise when I ordered a variation of (what I thought was pulpo) and it turned out to be, primarily, the "ink" in a stew form. I have a fairly strong stomach (after all I spent 30 years in the US Army) so I ate it. It wasn't the worst thing I ever had, just the most surprising. I only remember being in the middle of somewhere - and certainly not near the shore which added to my surprise.
 
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I agree with those who won’t eat that slimy white asparagus. But the most unpleasant food for me was the large bowl of duck innards in a dark brown sauce served as the main course at a communal dinner somewhere along the eastern part of the Via Podiensis from Le Puy. I though it was mushrooms at first, didn’t realize what it was until it was on my plate. Actually I much prefer the food in Spain over the food in France.
 
I grew up eating ox tail soup regularly in Germany
I also had ox tails when growing up in the US. Trick is to cook it low and slow so the meat falls off the bones. Had a Sunday lunch of ox tails in Pamplona at Meson de la Tortilla.
 
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On a hot day after “windmill hill”( west of Pamplona) I was sitting in a bar sipping a cold water, when a young perigrina advised a new cooler. She said “you can order a hot tea in a glass and a bowl of ice. Next add some sugar and add the ice , it’s very refreshing” I smiled and we have something similar at home in North Carolina .
2015 - lunchtime in Vilar de Mazarife. The little bar was filled with local workmen and pilgrims. When the waitress came for our order, I asked what the workmen were eating as they seemed to be enjoying it. She responded that we wouldn't like it and insisted we order something more "pilgrim". We did but we were curious and kept asking what the workmen were eating. Finally the waitress said she would give us a taste. By then all the locals knew what was going on, and they watched as a small bowl of brownish pieces appeared. My friend and I tasted cautiously and then we smiled. It was pigs tripe, and as we were both Chinese Americans, we were familiar with it and ate the whole bowl - much to the amazement of the locals!
 
In our hotel in Santiago I ordered some orejas de cerdo, a Spanish delicacy. I normally translate the menu, but not this time. The picture looked good enough. I was served up a plate of pigs ears. I tried a good few before I was put off by the hairy ears. 😂😂
Ditto on the hair. I think I even had some ear wax. And the hand, crunchy cartilage. Thereby becoming [literally] the only food I would NEVER eat again. I really will eat anything and everything else [again].
 
I don't remember where it was (probably blocked it out of my memory), but I ordered what was listed as a local food delicacy. There were three courses. The soup was a typical vegetable soup. The main course was composed of the parts of cows and sheep that were all gristle, bone, fat, and meat by the broadest definition possible. The good news was that they gave you an enormous portion. Desert, by my memory, was ok. Someone else might remember where. I think it might have been Ponferrada or that region.
Maybe Cocido Maragato?

 
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I was surprised when I ordered black tea with milk and was given a little pot of hot milk and a tea bag. No water. I did enjoy it.
 
Ensaladilla rusa, “Russian salad”

Perhaps not too odd aside from 1) the mysterious name, 2) how something tinned in a can tastes SO wonderful, and 3) why a dish created by a Belgian chef for the Hermitage in Moscow became such a favorite in Spain. It’s basically a creamy tuna salad with vegetables in mayo. The simplicity and low cost are deceptive – the mouthfeel is rich and full of umami, like a fine Italian tonnato sauce. You might be able to find it in small grocers along the Camino Frances next to anchovies, pulpo, and other canned fish, but I’ve struck out on my last attempts. Too bad, I would happily eat it every day if I could. :)

View attachment 143014
I cheat here at home and go to a small deli that makes a very nice potato salad, and I add to it good tuna from Portugal or Spain (whatever I've been able to get from my local specialty store most recently), and some frozen carrots. Et voila!
 
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Its the flavour that makes Oxtail special ! First catch thy ox OR practice legging it at the Bull run in Pamplona when it is still attached to its owner :)

Samarkand
De acuerdo! Every couple of months or so I’ll get a hankering for some oxtail soup, especially in the colder months here on the Baja peninsula. My ex-suegra had a tasty recipe for it (from her home state of Guerrero, MX), which she was kind enough to pass on to her gringo son-in-law. I’m not sure where she got the main ingredient from, but I just go to the mercado and buy it ready for the pot. I’ll leave the running and roping to the more nimble and fleet afoot.😎
 
Thing is...fresh asparagus is one of the most delectable things on the planet. And I've never seen it in Spain, even in season. An absence of food, rather than an encouter, but that's strange.
Off topic, but if you walk in the spring, it has been rather common for me, although never on the pilgrim menu. At one country house, the hospitalera's father greeted us outside with a basket of fresh asparagus he had just cut from the garden. A few hours later was the best revuelto I have ever eaten.
 
Off topic, but if you walk in the spring, it has been rather common for me, although never on the pilgrim menu. At one country house, the hospitalera's father greeted us outside with a basket of fresh asparagus he had just cut from the garden.

On the Via de la Plata I met a man picking wild asparagus beside the path between Guillena and Castilblanco.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
In our hotel in Santiago I ordered some orejas de cerdo, a Spanish delicacy. I normally translate the menu, but not this time. The picture looked good enough. I was served up a plate of pigs ears. I tried a good few before I was put off by the hairy ears. 😂😂
Did you also try the pig cheeks?
 
On a hot day after “windmill hill”( west of Pamplona) I was sitting in a bar sipping a cold water, when a young perigrina advised a new cooler. She said “you can order a hot tea in a glass and a bowl of ice. Next add some sugar and add the ice , it’s very refreshing” I smiled and we have something similar at home in North Carolina .
There is very little we won't at least try. The Pig and Beef Cheeks are incredible. Someone mentioned Ox tail...don't understand not enjoying that. Percebes are wonderful. We're fortunate enough to have a town butcher that we can enjoy a lot of the same foods although not the same quality but organic in town. We are not crazy about the baby eels... But we tried them.
You have to try everything at least once
 
A friend ordered a choice from the menu del dia in Baiona. The serving staff looked a little bemused. I have no idea what it was, but some sort of small sea creature stuffed into its own a**hole.
The other choice was salad with arugulas, which I have learned are often not really eels but made from polluck, like the fake crabmeat you can buy in Canada
 
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At a guess, I'm thinking most of the "strangeness" listed here is coming from the largely North American experience of eating boxed, packaged, sanitised food. Only the "large cuts" of meats. Limited legumes and vegetables. Limited ways of preparing and eating them.
"Nose to tail" is not strange or weird to cultures where few people have access to the "prime cuts", where factory farming and monocultures of cereals are not the norm. Making use of everything in the larder on the Thursday to make a "coddle" before meatless Fridays might require a melange of pork and fish that people find "strange" but which is very ordinary to most Irish families...
What would happen if we reframed this conversation as "What foods have you encountered on Caminos that were new and seem very uniquely of Iberia?"
Fabes?
Percebes?
Very pretty pinxtos that are gone in two bites?
Poached eggs with arugulas?
What about the surprise of extremely bland foods that have none of the thyme, rosemary or other herbs that line the trails we walk? How to account for that?
How interesting that the ubiquitous anise/fennel that scents the morning air appears almost exclusively as tea and not as a menu item per se?
What if we were curious instead of cranky in our approach to the wonderful cultures of food and the generosity that is communicated in the simplest of peppers stuffed with salt cod, or blood sausage and potato?
Forgive me, but I am a little saddened when I see a region's food culture dismissed as "icky" -- for foods and cultures and peoples are tied to each other. Food is among the most intimate ways to communicate belonging and welcome, ritual and context. To call it "icky" or "yucky" is not far off from berating the people who eat those foods.
So... what have you encountered that you had never had before, but found wonderfully or simply delicious? What of a place that hybridised its food to communicate the presence of all the people who had been there? Salt cod, for example, likely descended into Iberia from Northern European travellers, Dutch colonisers... Chocolate obviously comes from South America... Almonds arrive via Muslim colonisers... Oranges arrive from the East as well...
Cocido Maragato arises in a specific group for whom seafoods were unattainable, reserved to be delivered to their "betters"... Somewhere I read recently that the little cakes made in Astoria are an adaptation from Muslim traditions as well...
What a fascinating, fascinating melange...
 
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How interesting that the ubiquitous anise/fennel that scents the morning air appears almost exclusively as tea and not as a menu item per se?
Anise makes its way into one of the most pleasant discoveries of my first Camino. Patxaran - a Basque liqueur made using sloes, aniseed, sugar and a few coffee beans. Occasionally a few extra tweaks like cinnamon or camomile. Very hard to find it here in the UK so in years when there is a good crop of sloes I make my own. A taste that instantly transports me back to Spain.
 
Anise makes its way into one of the most pleasant discoveries of my first Camino. Patxaran - a Basque liqueur made using sloes, aniseed, sugar and a few coffee beans. Occasionally a few extra tweaks like cinnamon or camomile. Very hard to find it here in the UK so in years when there is a good crop of sloes I make my own. A taste that instantly transports me back to Spain.
I've not had this yet, but my Beloved has had... with cheese and bread one night early on his first camino. Perhaps I will try it this year if I encounter it. Is it as heavy as it appears? could one cut it with plain soda and not cause offence?
 
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I've not had this yet, but my Beloved has had... with cheese and bread one night early on his first camino. Perhaps I will try it this year if I encounter it. Is it as heavy as it appears? could one cut it with plain soda and not cause offence?
Commercial patxaran is usually about 25-30% alcohol by volume. Most often served over ice which dilutes it further anyway. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't have it served any way you like. If younger Basques can drink something as bizarre as kalimotxo by the pint then I think that anything goes! :cool:
 
A few times I found an unidentifiable substance liberally added atop my mixed salad. It looked like sprouts, but it wasn’t. I came to find out from a waiter that they were tiny elvers, baby eels, the Spanish for which is angulas, locally gulas. Because the texture and flavor take some getting used to, I learned to ask for my salad sin angulas. It may be a regional or a seasonal delicacy; I encountered them first on the CF before Burgos, and a few more times before León, then never again.

All the best,
Paul
Most of the gulas in spain are created from fish meat, a la the "crab legs" often found in US supermarket chiller cases. Sometimes the vendors brag about the high quality of the fish they make their gulas from!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
On some of the southern Caminos and on Gran Canaria you often come across prickly pear (Opuntia). Very confusingly known as tuna in Spanish! The big spines are fairly obvious but it is the tiny glass-like ones that cause the real problems. I've been jabbed by them a couple of times. Extremely hard to remove them as they just snap off below the skin.
Glochids. Sometimes pouring peroxide over the area helps.
 
Hopefully this one will not gross out all the vegetarians.... I just remembered an absolutely delightful dessert: custard sprinkled with spices, with sponge cake and meringue. It's just that the name sounded very strange: "Souls in Purgatory, with Meringue." With a name like that, you have to try! This was at San Zoilo and it was very good 😅

purgatory souls san zoilo.jpg
 
It's just that the name sounded very strange: "Souls in Purgatory, with Meringue."
Here in the UK a very traditional dish is "Toad in the Hole". No amphibians are harmed in the making of it. At least not if you make the conventional version. There is also a well known dessert called "Spotted Dick" which sounds like an unfortunate medical condition but usually turns out to be quite pleasant.
 
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Squeamish vegetarian here.
So all these posts really make me wish there were a 😝 reaction emoji - fully cognizant that 'disgusting' in my book might very well be 'delicious' in someone else's.

Not eating meat is a reasionably good protection from surprises like ears tongues, eyes, and teeth - so I can't say I've ever been presented with any strange foods in Spain. Unless you count truckloads of iceberg lettuce. Oh. Wait. I am forgetting. Tinned white asparagus. The only vegetable I've ever met that causes me to feel disgust. 😝.
My early experience with asparagus was of the tinned variety. When I was young that was all that was available. It was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
 
2015 - lunchtime in Vilar de Mazarife. The little bar was filled with local workmen and pilgrims. When the waitress came for our order, I asked what the workmen were eating as they seemed to be enjoying it. She responded that we wouldn't like it and insisted we order something more "pilgrim". We did but we were curious and kept asking what the workmen were eating. Finally the waitress said she would give us a taste. By then all the locals knew what was going on, and they watched as a small bowl of brownish pieces appeared. My friend and I tasted cautiously and then we smiled. It was pigs tripe, and as we were both Chinese Americans, we were familiar with it and ate the whole bowl - much to the amazement of the locals!
An acquaintance travels to China frequently on business and travels with a local who acts as interpreter, guide and ensures that he follows the correct cultural protocol. They have become good friends. He relies on his Chinese friend when dining with clients, who will give him a subtle signal when served something he might find 'unusual'. At a banquet, his friend was engaged in conversation while Fred ate what looked innocuous. The wide-eyed look he gave Fred told him that he probably are something he wasn't expecting. His friend confirmed after that someone didn't need to take their dog for a walk
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
At a guess, I'm thinking most of the "strangeness" listed here is coming from the largely North American experience of eating boxed, packaged, sanitised food. Only the "large cuts" of meats. Limited legumes and vegetables. Limited ways of preparing and eating them.
"Nose to tail" is not strange or weird to cultures where few people have access to the "prime cuts", where factory farming and monocultures of cereals are not the norm. Making use of everything in the larder on the Thursday to make a "coddle" before meatless Fridays might require a melange of pork and fish that people find "strange" but which is very ordinary to most Irish families...
What would happen if we reframed this conversation as "What foods have you encountered on Caminos that were new and seem very uniquely of Iberia?"
Fabes?
Percebes?
Very pretty pinxtos that are gone in two bites?
Poached eggs with arugulas?
What about the surprise of extremely bland foods that have none of the thyme, rosemary or other herbs that line the trails we walk? How to account for that?
How interesting that the ubiquitous anise/fennel that scents the morning air appears almost exclusively as tea and not as a menu item per se?
What if we were curious instead of cranky in our approach to the wonderful cultures of food and the generosity that is communicated in the simplest of peppers stuffed with salt cod, or blood sausage and potato?
Forgive me, but I am a little saddened when I see a region's food culture dismissed as "icky" -- for foods and cultures and peoples are tied to each other. Food is among the most intimate ways to communicate belonging and welcome, ritual and context. TO call it "icky" or "yucky" is not far off from berating the people who eat those foods.
So... what have you encountered that you had never had before, but found wonderfully or simply delicious? What of a place that hybridised its food to communicate the presence of all the people who had been there? Salt cod, for example, likely descended into Iberia from Northern European travellers, Dutch colonisers... Chocolate obviously comes from South America... Almonds arrive via Muslim colonisers... Oranges arrive from the East as well...
Cocido Maragato arises in a specific group for whom seafoods were unattainable, reserved to be delivered to their "betters"... Somewhere I read recently that the little cakes made in Astoria are an adaptation from Muslim traditions as well...
What a fascinating, fascinating melange...
Ooh, such a generalization to lead off an otherwise interesting piece of writing, and one with which I generally agree. I don’t know where you hail from Parambulating Griffin, but there are many of us North Americans (from Canada, the United States of America and the United States of México) whose diet is not based on “boxed, packaged and sanitized food”, hugemongous slabs of beef and pork, a dearth of fruits and veggies and few ways to prepare and consume them .

I’ve lived in México, the northernmost part of the historical and cultural area known as Mesoamerica, for close to thirty years. When I first moved there, just south of Mexico City, I dove head first into the pool of local culinary traditions, and it is one big pool, brah, and I’m still swimming in it. I have never shied away from trying the, oh, let’s call them “exotic” foods. Por lo contrario; a hot bowl of menudo with all the “fixins”? Perfect on that cold winter morning out en el rancho or for that hangover on New Year’s Day; freshly caught iguana en salsa verde, with a side of arroz y frijoles de olla? ¡Por favor! Tacos de cabeza y lengua (beef cheeks and tongue), de pastor con piña asada (sliced spit grilled pork with pineapple) or carne asada con tripa bien crujiente (grilled beef with crunchy tripe pieces)? Bring me one of each to start! Now I live a stone’s throw from the Mar de Cortés, so I haven’t even started on the delicias from the sea or our abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. But, enough. I’ve gone and made myself hungry🤤. I think I have some fried and salted crickets or grasshoppers somewhere. How ‘bout some pigs’ feet in escabeche and a cold Pacífico🍺? And for dessert? A sweet treat that actually originated in Mesoamérica…chocolate.

I look forward to trying some of those foods you mentioned and many more when I get on my camino. I promise not to shy away from the different, the strange and the weird. Besides, weird is good. Buen camino, brah🤙🏽
 
If younger Basques can drink something as bizarre as kalimotxo by the pint then I think that anything goes! :cool:
Had to google that, and honestly? I'd try it at least once. But the wikipedia page had the following:

"It is also known as katemba in South Africa, cátembe in Mozambique, bambus in Croatia, jote in Chile, and jesus juice in Argentina."

I'm cracking up at "jesus juice!"
 
but if you walk in the spring, it has been rather common for me, although never on the pilgrim menu. At one country house
I must just be unlucky. I've walked 7 caminos in the spring - in March, April, and May. On the Camino Francés and less traveled ways. I can count the number of times I've seen fresh asparagus on less than half the fingers of one hand. And no - I rarely eat from rhe pilgrim menu. YMMV is the bottom line. 😉

Via de la Plata
That may be the answer. Go where it's being grown!

Forgive me, but I am a little saddened when I see a region's food culture dismissed as "icky" -- for foods and cultures and peoples are tied to each other. Food is among the most intimate ways to communicate belonging and welcome, ritual and context. TO call it "icky" or "yucky" isnot far off from berating the people who eat those foods.
At a guess, I'm thinking most of the "strangeness" listed here is coming from the largely North American experience of eating boxed, packaged, sanitised food. Only the "large cuts" of meats. Limited legumes and vegetables. Limited ways of preparing and eating them.
"Nose to tail" is not strange or weird to cultures where few people have access to the "prime cuts", where factory farming and monocultures of cereals are not the norm. Making use of everything in the larder on the Thursday to make a "coddle" before meatless Fridays might require a melange of pork and fish that people find "strange"
I'm totally with you about sanitized and factory farmed food, @Perambulating Griffin , but at least in my case your hypothesis falls flat. I'm from the US and grew up around all sorts of 'unusual' foods - my parents and friends definitely ate nose to tail. Raw sea urchin right out of the ocean, anyone? Sweetbreads? But from a very young age not (ever) me.

Some of us just get queasy about eating other animals, full stop - there's no disrespect just visceral reaction. But I've never met a legume or vegetable I didn't like (with the exception of that tinned white asparagus) - and it's fun to meet new ones.

Hopefully this one will not gross out all the vegetarians
Vegans, perhaps. But I'd eat that in a split second. It looks delicious.

what have you encountered that you had never had before
Going with drinks, three things, all wonderful.
Chocolate...not like hot chocolate anywhere else, sometimes so thick a spoon almost stands up in it. Obviously from the Americas, but now very Spanish. I have a rule I try to follow - only one a week. Otherwise...addiction.

Then Horchata de Chufa, a drink made in Valencia out of the roots of a sedge. I had to Google it when I kept seeing it in grocery refrigerator cases - one of those happy encounters. Cold, and refreshingly delicious! Wikipedia (FWIW) says it's originally from North Africa.
The drink originated in North Africa and it is estimated that during the 11th century, it began to spread throughout Hispania. There are 13th-century records of a horchata-like beverage

And then Bitter Kas, a bottled soft drjnk born in Vitiria-Gasteiz,apparently in the '60s. It made my eyebrows go up in surprise when I first tasted it. A bit like campari and soda, but with its own flavor signature.

Sadly (full disclosure...sigh) all of these have a lot of sugar.
 
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I had the baby eels in Muxia in an egg scramble and liked them. Possibly mine were the fake ones; I don't remember if it had the black eyes.😳
 
Ooh, such a generalization to lead off an otherwise interesting piece of writing, and one with which I generally agree. I don’t know where you hail from Parambulating Griffin, but there are many of us North Americans (from Canada, the United States of America and the United States of México) whose diet is not based on “boxed, packaged and sanitized food”, hugemongous slabs of beef and pork, a dearth of fruits and veggies and few ways to prepare and consume them .

I’ve lived in México, the northernmost part of the historical and cultural area known as Mesoamerica, for close to thirty years. When I first moved there, just south of Mexico City, I dove head first into the pool of local culinary traditions, and it is one big pool, brah, and I’m still swimming in it. I have never shied away from trying the, oh, let’s call them “exotic” foods. Por lo contrario; a hot bowl of menudo with all the “fixins”? Perfect on that cold winter morning out en el rancho or for that hangover on New Year’s Day; freshly caught iguana en salsa verde, with a side of arroz y frijoles de olla? ¡Por favor! Tacos de cabeza y lengua (beef cheeks and tongue), de pastor con piña asada (sliced spit grilled pork with pineapple) or carne asada con tripa bien crujiente (grilled beef with crunchy tripe pieces)? Bring me one of each to start! Now I live a stone’s throw from the Mar de Cortés, so I haven’t even started on the delicias from the sea or our abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. But, enough. I’ve gone and made myself hungry🤤. I think I have some fried and salted crickets or grasshoppers somewhere. How ‘bout some pigs’ feet in escabeche and a cold Pacífico🍺? And for dessert? A sweet treat that actually originated in Mesoamérica…chocolate.

I look forward to trying some of those foods you mentioned and many more when I get on my camino. I promise not to shy away from the different, the strange and the weird. Besides, weird is good. Buen camino, brah🤙🏽
 
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For me, the difficult thing has been that many things change names in different parts of Spain. I've come across at least three different names for roast piglet, and four names for sausages that looked and tasted the same.

So I have learned to ask, every time there's something on a menu that I don't immediately understand, because I will always eat roast piglet (or lamb) if they're on the menu.
 
Each time I walk through or stay the night in Triacastela, I always stop at Parillada Xacabeo Restaurante. They serve a delicious beef tongue accompanied by some fresh veggies and potatoes. The dish brings me back to my youth - my Mom would serve that perhaps once a month
 
At a guess, I'm thinking most of the "strangeness" listed here is coming from the largely North American experience of eating boxed, packaged, sanitised food. Only the "large cuts" of meats. Limited legumes and vegetables. Limited ways of preparing and eating them.
"Nose to tail" is not strange or weird to cultures where few people have access to the "prime cuts", where factory farming and monocultures of cereals are not the norm. Making use of everything in the larder on the Thursday to make a "coddle" before meatless Fridays might require a melange of pork and fish that people find "strange" but which is very ordinary to most Irish families...
What would happen if we reframed this conversation as "What foods have you encountered on Caminos that were new and seem very uniquely of Iberia?"
Fabes?
Percebes?
Very pretty pinxtos that are gone in two bites?
Poached eggs with arugulas?
What about the surprise of extremely bland foods that have none of the thyme, rosemary or other herbs that line the trails we walk? How to account for that?
How interesting that the ubiquitous anise/fennel that scents the morning air appears almost exclusively as tea and not as a menu item per se?
What if we were curious instead of cranky in our approach to the wonderful cultures of food and the generosity that is communicated in the simplest of peppers stuffed with salt cod, or blood sausage and potato?
Forgive me, but I am a little saddened when I see a region's food culture dismissed as "icky" -- for foods and cultures and peoples are tied to each other. Food is among the most intimate ways to communicate belonging and welcome, ritual and context. To call it "icky" or "yucky" is not far off from berating the people who eat those foods.
So... what have you encountered that you had never had before, but found wonderfully or simply delicious? What of a place that hybridised its food to communicate the presence of all the people who had been there? Salt cod, for example, likely descended into Iberia from Northern European travellers, Dutch colonisers... Chocolate obviously comes from South America... Almonds arrive via Muslim colonisers... Oranges arrive from the East as well...
Cocido Maragato arises in a specific group for whom seafoods were unattainable, reserved to be delivered to their "betters"... Somewhere I read recently that the little cakes made in Astoria are an adaptation from Muslim traditions as well...
What a fascinating, fascinating melange...
I agree with much of your enthusiasm, eating being one of our two primary physical pleasures in life, though Spain too has its share of processed food..

Coddle though, like biksemad in Denmark and perhaps other dishes in other countries made from leftovers and associated with poverty in bygone decades, isn't often eaten in Irish households nowadays. I think the last time I ate a bowl of coddle was about forty years ago, though I have seen it occasionally on 'authentic' pub menus.

In Zaragoza recently, my friend and host persuaded me to try an interesting pinxio that caught my eye..

On bread: anchovies, cream cheese, tomato jam and grated bitter chocolate

Surprising combination and I went for a second one, well I was getting another caña anyway!
Screenshot_20230316-094336_Gallery.jpgScreenshot_20230316-094328_Gallery.jpg
 
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I agree with much of your enthusiasm, eating being one of our two primary physical pleasures in life, though Spain too has its share of processed food..

Coddle though, like biksemad in Denmark and perhaps other dishes in other countries made from leftovers and associated with poverty in bygone decades, isn't often eaten in Irish households nowadays. I think the last time I ate a bowl of coddle was about forty years ago, though I have seen it occasionally on 'authentic' pub menus.

In Zaragoza recently, my friend and host persuaded me to try an interesting pinxio that caught my eye..

On bread: anchovies, cream cheese, tomato jam and grated bitter chocolate

Surprising combination and I went for a second one, well I was getting another caña anyway!
View attachment 143087View attachment 143088
Hmm. I’m not a big fan of anchoas, but there’s something about that combo that sez I gotta try it, so on to the list it goes. Thank you for the heads up.

By the way, how much does a pinxio like that cost, more or less?
 
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Ensaladilla rusa, “Russian salad”

Perhaps not too odd aside from 1) the mysterious name, 2) how something tinned in a can tastes SO wonderful, and 3) why a dish created by a Belgian chef for the Hermitage in Moscow became such a favorite in Spain. It’s basically a creamy tuna salad with vegetables in mayo. The simplicity and low cost are deceptive – the mouthfeel is rich and full of umami, like a fine Italian tonnato sauce. You might be able to find it in small grocers along the Camino Frances next to anchovies, pulpo, and other canned fish, but I’ve struck out on my last attempts. Too bad, I would happily eat it every day if I could. :)

View attachment 143014
A favourite of mine too.
Here's a recipe - I'm sure you can find many more!
 
Hmm. I’m not a big fan of anchoas, but there’s something about that combo that sez I gotta try it, so on to the list it goes. Thank you for the heads up.

By the way, how much does a pinxio like that cost, more or less?

Oh, around €2.50 something like that, plenty of cheap enough eateries in and around El Tubo..

I did try to replicate it at home but couldn't find a sweet enough tomato jam, all were too savoury which didn't work at all for me, and the chocolate too.. it needs to be very bitter, like 99% cacao or something.

The thing with many wonderful culinary experiences we have away from home though, it so often has to do with the moment, the atmosphere, the company, the environment and sometimes the alcohol consumption too. I have more often than not, had disappointing results trying to recreate stuff. And some things are best just kept as nice memories, too, like the shared platter of assorted offal, deep fried in batter we enjoyed one colourful night in a Columbian restaurant in Valencia many years ago, the grease running down our clothes as we laughed, not even daring to enquire what we were eating..
 
Oh, around €2.50 something like that, plenty of cheap enough eateries in and around El Tubo..

I did try to replicate it at home but couldn't find a sweet enough tomato jam, all were too savoury which didn't work at all for me, and the chocolate too.. it needs to be very bitter, like 99% cacao or something.

The thing with many wonderful culinary experiences we have away from home though, it so often has to do with the moment, the atmosphere, the company, the environment and sometimes the alcohol consumption too. I have more often than not, had disappointing results trying to recreate stuff. And some things are best just kept as nice memories, too, like the shared platter of assorted offal, deep fried in batter we enjoyed one colourful night in a Columbian restaurant in Valencia many years ago, the grease running down our clothes as we laughed, not even daring to enquire what we were eating..
Thanks very much for the info. I can find the anchoas and the very bitter chocolate here in MX, and the cream cheese, of course, but may have to search some for the sweeter tomato jam.

And you are so right about trying to recreate things enjoyed on the road. Oftentimes it just ain’t the same, but your memories keep it alive.

Buen camino🤙🏽
 
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Ooh, such a generalization to lead off an otherwise interesting piece of writing, and one with which I generally agree. I don’t know where you hail from Parambulating Griffin, but there are many of us North Americans (from Canada, the United States of America and the United States of México) whose diet is not based on “boxed, packaged and sanitized food”, hugemongous slabs of beef and pork, a dearth of fruits and veggies and few ways to prepare and consume them .
I had to give a ponder to where the hostility about particular kinds of “sausage” meats would come from and that ruled out most of the EU and the North Atlantic Islands. Hostility to seafood… would also rule out most places except — maaaaaayyyyybe — very most Central Europe. The only places in the world in which people are en masse revolted by eating what is available rather than what came in a tidy processed box are places where “choice” is determined by the ubiquity of processed foods and factory farming. It narrows things quite a lot.
I live in North America and have lived all over it (west and east, mid-west, very north, and very SW). My eating habits are not typical, but I’m an outlier, and even within that outlier position there are certainly some foods I don’t like to eat because of their texture. Slimy tinned salmon with the bones in it stands as a prime example.
My issue is referring to things one dislikes as “strange“ and “icky” because food is integral to culture and while we might have a few idiosyncrasies as individuals, what we eat is *cultural*, not personal. Food is a central means of communicating a culture, from one generation to the next, and across groups. Responding to items as “gross” or “icky” or “strange” is common but needs a minute to rethink how insulting such responses are to the local cultures being visited.
And I’m not anyone’s “bruh”.
 
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I agree with much of your enthusiasm, eating being one of our two primary physical pleasures in life, though Spain too has its share of processed food..

Coddle though, like biksemad in Denmark and perhaps other dishes in other countries made from leftovers and associated with poverty in bygone decades, isn't often eaten in Irish households nowadays. I think the last time I ate a bowl of coddle was about forty years ago, though I have seen it occasionally on 'authentic' pub menus.

In Zaragoza recently, my friend and host persuaded me to try an interesting pinxio that caught my eye..

On bread: anchovies, cream cheese, tomato jam and grated bitter chocolate

Surprising combination and I went for a second one, well I was getting another caña anyway!
View attachment 143087View attachment 143088
Well, I live in N. Am., but am Irish, lived in Dublin fairly recently, and ate coddle plenty, both out at restaurants and at home. Frankly, as a junior professional when I was living there, I could not afford beef at all, rarely the whole cuts of pork or lamb, and had roast lamb only when visiting family. I grant that it’s an economic thing, but not at all out-moded. My friends all ate it fairly regularly as well, usually on Thursdays as a matter of tradition, and some of those friends are barely into their 40’s now.
 
Witthout meaning any offence, nor getting remotely political, perhaps a bit of a north(Dub)south divide on it too, like many things..😄
 
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Agree. Wholeheartedly.
Thing is...fresh asparagus is one of the most delectable things on the planet. And I've never seen it in Spain, even in season. An absence of food, rather than an encouter, but that's strange.


We get it hete all the time. I love it.
But yes. You have to like bitter.
Well, it's a shame there are so many airmiles on them, but this is what I saw when shopping this morning...
65CF5DB3-D42A-4BC6-AFF9-73490849D997.jpeg
 
Witthout meaning any offence, nor getting remotely political, perhaps a bit of a north(Dub)south divide on it too, like many things..😄
Possibly, yes. I can think of 2 colleagues who liked to rib each other quite a bit about this Whilst I would enjoy my coddle and they would have a friendly feud about being from here or there. The irony at the time was that the only affordable bedsit I could find was neither here nor there in particular, being in Cabinteely.
 
but this is what I saw when shopping this morning...
Peru?! Besides the distance, It's autumn in Peru. How the heck do they force asparagus to do that?
Sorry to derail...

My issue is referring to this one dislikes as strange and icky as part of a set of cultural differences
I think you have a point here.
Unfamiliarity can definitely create caution. And reflexive dislike, even before tasting whatever it is.

That said, strong personal preferences are at least as important as familiarity in determining one's perceptions of what gets labeled as 'ick'. Example: My dad lived his whole life in places where seafood is plentiful - and he also often traveled to Japan for work. So he was familiar with all kinds, sizes, and bits of fish and ocean critters as food. But detested it all with a passion.

And. Certainly when away from.home, we need to be aware of how we might be throwing around labels (like ick, strange, &etc) without considering how they're landing with locals. It's one thing to think 'yuk', quite another to broadcast that thought. A little graciousness goes a long way.
 
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Ensaladilla rusa, “Russian salad”

Perhaps not too odd aside from 1) the mysterious name, 2) how something tinned in a can tastes SO wonderful, and 3) why a dish created by a Belgian chef for the Hermitage in Moscow became such a favorite in Spain. It’s basically a creamy tuna salad with vegetables in mayo. The simplicity and low cost are deceptive – the mouthfeel is rich and full of umami, like a fine Italian tonnato sauce. You might be able to find it in small grocers along the Camino Frances next to anchovies, pulpo, and other canned fish, but I’ve struck out on my last attempts. Too bad, I would happily eat it every day if I could. :)

View attachment 143014

We have fresh "Russian salad" in the Balkans where I come from. Not having it here in Norway I got really curious finding it in a store in Spain. Shelf life was amazing. I was to really surprised by the fresh and good taste for something from a box/tin - not refrigerated.
I am not totally sure how did the "Spanish" ensalada rusa got tuna in it but as a former USSR citizen I can assure you that it is nowhere to be found in any "Slavic" (Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian) kitchen.
For some reasonably comprehensive history on the dish you can go here Oliv'ye Salad (and i spelled it with the proper if you will Russian pronunciation). We always joke that "it has nothing to do with Sir Larry". For some of my American friends I introduce it as "a Russian version of German potato salad" with an explanation that there are definite differences but it gave them an idea as to what to expect.
The Wiki article pretty much nails the base ingredients pat. My family favors finely chopped boiled potatoes, pickles (dills, gherkins, anything of a type), boiled green peas and very thinly sliced white onions. Depending who the chef is\was (i.e. my Grandmother, Mom, Stepmom, sister-in-Law, aut, etc.) the dish would vary with perhaps an addition of celery and then I've had chicken, ham or hot dog as a 'meat'. Hard-boiled egg can be, and also sometimes was, added to it - again based on chef it could've been sliced, simply cut in-half or make up a bit of a fancy "rose" bowl as a decoration piece (but in all cases perfectly edible). Carrots can also be finely chopped or shredded....
It is never served as a main dish but rather in conjunction of something akin to Antipasti - to start the party off and (needless to say) goes well with vodka (or any other libation of your choice)

In any case - no tuna although I do understand that it "is" a thing in some Western European Countries Spain included.

My "cooking rant" hence concluded, the strangest things I've encountered on my Camino were red peppers stuffed with seafood (not too sure what exactly was there) and raja
While I definitely did not spit, got nauseous, or grossed out by either - chances are I probably wont order these dishes next time around.
 

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Commercial patxaran is usually about 25-30% alcohol by volume. Most often served over ice which dilutes it further anyway. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't have it served any way you like. If younger Basques can drink something as bizarre as kalimotxo by the pint then I think that anything goes! :cool:


My favourite drink in Crete was a ’Minos’ shake, a bottle of white Minos wine, half poured into another Minos bottle, both topped up with gazoza. It was made for me by Yanni, in Yanni’s Café in Malia.
This was the early 70s, when Malia was a sleepy little village and HMG wouldn’t let you take more than £40 out of the country.
 
My "cooking rant" hence concluded, the strangest things I've encountered on my Camino were red peppers stuffed with seafood (not too sure what exactly was there) and raja
While I definitely did not spit, got nauseous, or grossed out by either - chances are I probably wont order these dishes next time around.


Your second photo looks a lot like a Skate wing.
Did it taste like one ?
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I have seen several posts on this thread that call oxtail to the Spanish " rabo de toro". In reality it is bull not ox. There are very few oxen in Spain and their meat is very expensive. So, what you find mostly in Spain is cow. Sometimes could be bull (from bullfights) in specialized restaurants but never ox.
 
I am not totally sure how did the "Spanish" ensalada rusa got tuna in it but as a former USSR citizen I can assure you that it is nowhere to be found in any "Slavic" (Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian) kitchen.
For some reasonably comprehensive history on the dish you can go here Oliv'ye Salad (and i spelled it with the proper if you will Russian pronunciation). We always joke that "it has nothing to do with Sir Larry". For some of my American friends I introduce it as "a Russian version of German potato salad" with an explanation that there are definite differences but it gave them an idea as to what to expect.
Yeah, the Balkan version also has no tuna in it - it's ham or chicken. I am not sure about the box I ate in Spain - what was in it :D It just gave me some nostalgic vibes.
 
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A few times I found an unidentifiable substance liberally added atop my mixed salad. It looked like sprouts, but it wasn’t. I came to find out from a waiter that they were tiny elvers, baby eels, the Spanish for which is angulas, locally gulas. Because the texture and flavor take some getting used to, I learned to ask for my salad sin angulas. It may be a regional or a seasonal delicacy; I encountered them first on the CF before Burgos, and a few more times before León, then never again.

All the best,
Paul
“Angulas” are the real baby eels and VERY expensive, a delicacy. Most of what is found on a regular menu looks similar and the name is similar, too, just missing the first syllable. “Gulas” are imitation baby del made from the white fish pollock, just like surimi/crab stick (imitation crab meat). I’m still not a fan but at least there are not a bunch of little eyes looking up at me. I’ve seen them served on bread as tapas in and around León.
 
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On a hot day after “windmill hill”( west of Pamplona) I was sitting in a bar sipping a cold water, when a young perigrina advised a new cooler. She said “you can order a hot tea in a glass and a bowl of ice. Next add some sugar and add the ice , it’s very refreshing” I smiled and we have something similar at home in North Carolina .
In South Carolina it's simply called tea (to distinguish it from hot tea) and most restaurants do free refills and even give you some in a "to go" cup for free at the end of the meal.
 
I have seen several posts on this thread that call oxtail to the Spanish " rabo de toro". In reality it is bull not ox. There are very few oxen in Spain and their meat is very expensive. So, what you find mostly in Spain is cow. Sometimes could be bull (from bullfights) in specialized restaurants but never ox.
I'd imagine that most of not all cuts marketed as ox tail would be from beef cattle.
 
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So, according to the recipe, the next day you slice it up for lunch. How do you eat it? With a fork? With bread, or on a sandwich? Do you use any condiments? And your preferred beverage with the pig trotters?
Depends, some people would use their hands, others a fork or a twig off a lemon tree. The traditional picture is to sit and eat/drink under the shade of a giant lemon tree with puha (a type of water cress), boiled kumara (sweet potato) and a 2.26ltr (half imperial gallon) container of warmish beer on a hot Sunday afternoon with friends.

Inevitably one or more of your friends will bring along a wooden crate containing 12 1.137 litre bottles of "red" beer, the crates are useful for sitting on.

Attire would be black singlets and "stubbies", see video

If you want to read about it then see https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36407261-the-half-gallon-jar
 
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I have seen several posts on this thread that call oxtail to the Spanish " rabo de toro". In reality it is bull not ox. There are very few oxen in Spain and their meat is very expensive. So, what you find mostly in Spain is cow. Sometimes could be bull (from bullfights) in specialized restaurants but never ox.
Following with this if you see "chuleton de buey 20€", ox T-bone steak 20 €. It is not buey for sure. It is vaca (cow).
 
I love fish, but after several tries ordering it on the Camino I stopped because it was always served whole with the bones still in🙄(photo). In the US mine is always served filleted and no worry about choking on a tiny bone. I'm sure higher end restaurants serve fish without bones. My yummy alternative choice often times was calamari/chiperones, especially the little ones. They could be ordered fried or in various sauces.Screenshot_20230317-084418~2.png
 
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Depends, some people would use their hands, others a fork or a twig off a lemon tree. The traditional picture is to sit and eat/drink under the shade of a giant lemon tree with puha (a type of water cress), boiled kumara (sweet potato) and a 2.26ltr (half imperial gallon) container of warmish beer on a hot Sunday afternoon with friends.

Inevitably one or more of your friends will bring along a wooden crate containing 12 1.137 litre bottles of "red" beer, the crates are useful for sitting on.

Attire would be black singlets and "stubbies", see video

If you want to read about it then see https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36407261-the-half-gallon-jar
New Zealand sounds better and better all the time.
 
it was always served whole with the bones still in
Not uncommon. Boning a fish in one fell swoop is a skill that is easier than you might imagine.
Here you go:
There are YouTube tuorials, too...

(I rememver as a teenager being mortified when my mother asked a waiter to debone her fish. And shocked when he did, without blinking an eye. That was too long ago for words but I wonder...in a good restaurant, do people still do this for surprused diners?)
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
container of warmish beer on a hot Sunday afternoon with friends.
I'm not a beer drinker, but my OH puts an ice cube in his beer if it gets warmish before he finishes; especially nice if the glass has been chilled beforehand. In the summer I switch from red wine to chilled white and ask for ice cubes on the side, but I've "birdwalked" away from the strange food topic.
 
Not uncommon. Boning a fish in one fell swoop is a skill that is easier than you might imagine.
Here you go:
There are YouTube tuorials, too...

(I rememver as a teenager being mortified when my mother asked a waiter to debone her fish. And shocked when he did, without blinking an eye. That was too long ago for words but I wonder...in a good restaurant, do people still do this for surprused diners?)
I assume some fish are easier to de-bone than others. If I asked a waiter to do that for me in a mediocre restaurant at the table, I'd be sure to add on a heftier tip, unless he mangled the fish like I'd be certain to do. I'll check out that video for "next time".😅 Maybe I'll be a "do it yourselfer".
 
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I'd imagine that most of not all cuts marketed as ox tail would be from beef cattle.
Spain has very little beef. Most red cow meat is veal, aka "ternera." There's not enough grazing here to raise beef cattle, so the only cows who grow to adulthood are milk cows and the rare breeding bull, or "toros bravos" kept alive for the bullring. When you get "carne de res," burger meat, or whatever passes as oxen, it is most likely the meat of a milk cow that outlived her milk-giving days and was sent off for slaughter.
I live along a highway that leads to the sausage factory in Burgos. The sounds of the cattle and pigs inside have led me to give up on red meat altogether. Much as I love chorizo and carilleras, I don't want to be a part of that.
 
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I live along a highway that leads to the sausage factory in Burgos. The sounds of the cattle and pigs inside have led me to give up on red meat altogether. Much as I love chorizo and carilleras, I don't want to be a part of that.

I have a niece who gave up eating chicken in the US for similar reasons.
My wife gave up on pork after watching some videos that showed butchering a pig and she realized that they DO look like humans inside. I jokingly refer to that fact that "she converted to an Orthodox Judaism"
That said - she has no problem with Kosher Jamon Iberico 🤣
 
@Camino Chrissy
re: the whole fileting\deboning the fish. I get what you are saying and within reasons I agree that the fish should be done so for a lady in a restaurant.
But, as many already said - it is not a given in many places and pending on the fish. Many-a-times I've had my trouts and bronzinis served to me whole and I would not allow a server to touch my fish. I get (ahem) a perverse pleasure of working the magic myself. (at least I know how)
I loved the trouts esp while still in Pyrenees. Here is US I've sampled a good number in various places. I was slightly disappointed at having a rainbow trout at one of the establishments (apparently known for a good plate) near Boone NC. I guess my best ones were while in Cuzco and then hiking Camino Inca
 
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re: the whole fileting\deboning the fish. I get what you are saying and within reasons I agree that the fish should be done so for a lady in a restaurant.
What?
Women customers should be treated differently for some reason? Really, what reason??

FWIW, in Spain and Portugal in general, you can expect more often than not, to find seafood served on the bone/in the shell. A significant exception being pilgrim's menus in busy places where frozen fish fillets are deep fried for convenience. Some folk are surprised to discover that fish doesn't come out of the sea coated in breadcrumbs..
 

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