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Vegetarians and 'Pilgrim Menus'


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I'm not vegetarian but I'm going with someone who is. And she doesn't "do cooking" so the good advice already on this website is not relevant.

I've read the Tim Moore book and he suggests that the Pilgrim menu in Spain consists nearly always of 'lomo' and chips followed by flan. Have any vegetarians tried asking for just the chips bit? Or a tortilla instead? 'Flan' would be acceptable of course.

Any vegetarians out there with any experiences to share? And of Pilgrim Menus in France?

P.S. I haven't lived in Spain for over 30 years so things will doubtless have changed but in the those days 'lomo' was usually horsemeat (which I have to confess that I quite liked).
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Vegetarians in Spain

I am a vegetarian and have done two caminos in Spain (as well as one through France and the VF in Italy.) I didn't have too much trouble in France and Italy but Spain is a bit difficult as they are passionate carnivors!
I ate lots of 'ensalda' - sin tuna - (they don't seem to think that tuna is fish so add it to salads and sandwiches) - lots of fruit, nuts, chips, flan, ice cream and, of course, bocadillas.
I also bought those little instant pasta dinners that come in plastic containers where you just add hot water, tinned or bottled veges and cup of soups. Would never eat those at home but it was better than starving on the meseta! Even if your friend doesn't do cooking she could take a little spiral immersion heater and cup with her. I'm sure she won't mind boiling water in a mug so that she can have vegetable soups and veg pastas with fresh breads and cheese.
It isn't easy being a vegetarian in Spain but she won't starve!

Thanks, Sil. The tip about salad without tuna will be useful. She has been to Spain before (and lived on bread and cheese - or 'pan con tomate sin jamon'. )

But I was especially wondering about the 'Pilgrim Menus'. The thing is I fancy going out for a daily one of these myself and was wondering how easy it would be for her to come with me and eat part of it or whether I would have to go on my own.

I like the sound of the immersion heater - I've never seen one - but I assume there is something on this website somewhere . . . ?
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

You can buy an immersion heater from Amazon.com for about $5. They also sell a mug for about $11 but an ordinary enamel camping mug will do.
immersion heater

Interesting that you cannot seem to be able to buy these for shipping to the UK. They must be banned here as unsafe. I remember a friend had one years ago and we used it in our bedsit. But I have not seen them for decades.

Maybe I'll look out for one in France when we get there.

The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Immersion heaters

Hi Sandy,
You can get one that fits into a cigarette lighter socket from Outdoorgear.co.uk for £4.99

Or you can get one from Ebay for £1.99

Perhaps they can be converted to work off electricity?
I've walked the camino with a vegetarian and found that she was frequently able to eat the pilgrim's menu by getting two "first course" selections (salad and soup or salad and menestra de verduras (a vegetable medley kind of thing that can be very good)). If that didn't work, she was usually able to get a substitution with some sort of omlette, either with vegetables, cheese, or both. One thing to be on the lookout for, though, is that many of the most delicious vegetable dishes are flavored with little pieces of cured ham. As Sil says, the Spaniards are serious carnivores! But we never found a pilgrim's menu that couldn't be adjusted to work for a vegetarian.
It depends what you understand by vegetarian. If it is only meat you don't eat, so no problem. Walked the Camino and had almost always fish or tortilla on the "pilgrim menus". It happened once or twice that we had to choose between a sandwich with ham or nothing at all, but we didn't starve. Food is necessary but not that important on the Camino, you'll always manage to find a solution.
Buen Camino, Jupp
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.

If you don't already it might be good to learn a little Spanish to explain exactly what you can and can't eat. Other people above have mentioned that the Spanish are serious carnivores, and don't consider ham or tuna to be meat or fish.

A good cover-all phrase would be something like "Soy vegetariano/a. No como carne ni jamon ni pescado ni atun" (I'm vegetarian, I don't eat meat or ham or fish or tuna.) In French it would be "Je suis vegetarien/ne. Je ne mange pas de la viande, ni du jambon, ni du poisson, ni du ton"

(My French isn't very good so maybe someone would be good enough to correct it)
Totally agree with all of the above... Tuna seems to live amongst all salad plants!!!

Tim Moore was quite right. Lomo is abundant, as is flan. Steer clear of the flan, not only because it's got a lifetime's supply of gelatine, but because it's bloody disgusting!!! :?
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Flan and Lomo

Flan - if home-made - is simply delicious. Just baked eggs and milk with a brown sugar glaze (i.e. egg custard/creme caramel). But there is lots of packet stuff around that I agree is not nice.

Lomo - three decades ago in Spain was often horsemeat. A bit chewy but quite tasty. It had a faint purple tinge. But, now, I hope it is actually 'lomo' and real pork tenderloin? I'll find out.
Yes, I agree with all of you ... I am vegetarian and when I walked the Frances I lived mostly on the omelettes, bocadillos con queso, macarones and ensalata. The lentil dishes smell delicious, but they did have bits of mystery meat in them. So no, I didn't starve. Not much variety though. On the other hand, if you're a vegan, getting enough to eat could be a problem.

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