PC #80 – Food

I'm missing Spanish food.

I ate well on the Camino. And I didn't lose weight, principally because I ate so well.

Usual day –

Breakfast – Mother's cake, or Tortilla, or toasted ham and cheese sandwich. Two coffee, sometimes three. Ordered at the same time. One after the other.

Lunch – pilgrim's meal; first course of white bean soup, or paella, or pasta. (Never the mixt salade). Second course grilled chicken, or pork, or thin steak. Third course ice cream. Two Coke Zeros.

Afternoon snack – block of chocolate. Another Coke Zero.

Dinner – either pilgrim's meal again. Sliced chorizo or charcuterie (Spanish cut meats), steak or chicken, home made flan for desert. Red wine, constantly replenished, thanks very much.

Or –

I go out to a bar/restaurant, where I have a single steak, a big bloody chunk of cow flesh, grilled, and a decent bottle of wine. At least €4 worth. Home made desert. (Avoid the fresh fruit salad)

I know there are some people love Pulpo (Galician octopus) – its not a favourite of mine. Nor paella.

My favourites? Lentil and chorizo soup, steak grilled over a wood fire, and rice pudding. Oh, and Coke Zero.



34 thoughts on “PC #80 – Food

  1. Hi Bill – You’re not the only one missing Spanish food! Mother’s cake! Especially the one at the bar across the road from the Monastery at Samos – best ever! Bottled white asparagus with Spanish mayo – yum! The grills and the roast chicken with saffron potatoes – the list goes on!
    Here at home I cook Spanish food as often as I can … Frank Camorra’s Pincho marinade/rub goes on everything possible and Caldo Gallego (Galician soup) is a staple in the winter months. Dessert … I’ve devised a recipe which I call ‘Camino Crumble’ – poached pears with lemon juice and rind, dark brown sugar and Pedro Ximenez sherry (sauce reduced) with crumble topping and whipped cream … ‘just about gets you through until you land again on Spanish soil! Cheers – Jenny


  2. There wasn’t a single meal on the Camino that I found unpalatable.

    I’m longing for the chorizo, jamon and morcilla. And yes the paella and the caldo Gallego. And even the ensalata mixta. Let me not forget the pulpo, I loved the pulpo!

    Oh, and the flan! And the vino tinto.

    Did I mention the chocolate croissants? Or for that matter the plain croissants. And remember the tortilla.

    It’s a good thing I’m on my way back!



      • Just finished packing, on the way out the door….as a cheesemaker, I am looking forward to meeting the Spanish equivalent, and can’t wait for the cheese!
        Adios, amigos….


    • Hi Arlene,
      Sorry for the silence I’ve been away in Hawaii and then San Francisco and although I’ve been keeping current with the blog haven’t been able to contribute for reasons unbeknownst to me. But I wanted to say hello and wish you well. I know you must be so excited. Good for you!

      I think I’m going to be in the minority here when I say that I didn’t care for the Spanish food at all, well outside if the chocolate croissants and Vino Tinto. Honestly, their food and my genes just don’t go very well together. I’m not a picky eater meaning ill ear most anything but when I eat things that my body doesn’t digest well it sets off a series of events that minimize my energy, not maximize it so I get in trouble. When the time is right for me to go back to finish the second half, I will make much better choices than I did and I suspect will be better off. The one thing I loved was the freshness of the eggs. I knew that the Spanish chickens were free range and happy by the color of the yolks and the tenderness of the whites.

      Okay, enough of all that. Enjoy the food and the walk and keep us posted as to how your doing.

      Sending love,



  3. Bill, oh my aching tummy… you ate a lot! and you are a Coke addict!… I had Aquarius in my pack and always a can of cerveca….. somehow it never got warm. lol.

    I never missed the Insalata mixa… only good vegis each day…. never even attempted the beef on the menu de dia, except in Acebo – I think I already talked about that one day – 5 star dinner in a little private albergue.

    Ate fish whenever possible – always fresh and so many ways of cooking it.

    LOVED the garlic soup in Viloria at Orietta’s place… adored Caldo Galego in any form.

    I cant get enough of Pulp and Rebeira.

    Tortilla each morning for sure. Always packed olives, tuna, sheeps cheese and a piece of bread for snack along the way. Loved cecina…. especially cecina de caballo and gorged on morcilla whenever available.

    I loved the home made flan, but always a hard choice, because I wanted the yoghurt and the banana for my early mornings.

    Oh and I loved loved chocolate y churros, yum almost as good as the cafΓ© con leche

    Now that is saying something for a tea drinker who brought her tea set and teas. lol

    Buen provecho!


    • Same with me Steve –

      I ate stuff I would never eat back home.

      For a start, I think Coke Zero is vile. But I needed it on that walk.

      My dietary habits went out the window on the Camino!



  4. Question: Why did you avoid the fresh produce, Bill? Is it personal preference, or is it wise to avoid? Also, I don’t remember if you touched on it or not, but did you carry water? If so, how? I have read that the bladder-type packs are not a good idea because you can’t get them clean enough during that long time.


    • Hi Julie –

      my blog post last night was a bit tongue-in-cheek, I have to admit!

      That wasn’t my diet all the time, although I did eat very poorly a couple of times. And by poorly, I remember when I got to Sarria, I went to a store and I bought two bags of home made lollies, a block of chocolate, a packet of potato crisps, and two coke Zeros. I walked out of town a bit, found a mossy log, and that was my lunch.

      For the rest of the afternoon I regretted it.

      But in a weird way it was my little celebration for reaching Sarria.

      I usually eat very well at home – fresh vegetables, hardly any red meat, hardly any pork (if any at all), lots of salads, lots of legumes. I love fresh beans and peas. When I eat veggies, I usually eat them raw of lightly steamed, with a slight drizzle of olive oil.

      On the Camino though I found that the pilgrims’ meals lacked vegetables, and other than the mixed salad, which I found lacking because it consisted largely of lettuce and limp tomato, there was a real lack of decent fresh vegetables etc.

      Instead I would have the bean soups, the meats (either steak or pork or lamb if it was on offer) and desert.

      My snacks during the day would then be fruit, and sometimes I’d get a carrot or a fresh tomato to eat. But you have to go out of your way to get fresh fruit and veggies – they don’t come automatically with your meals.

      Your mindset for eating though changes on the Camino – or at least mine did. You think to yourself – hey, I’m walking 28kms today, I can eat whatever the hell I want. But you shouldn’t, really.

      As for water – I carried two 750ml bottles – I think they were Gatorade bottles because they had a wide mouth and you could gulp your water easily. I had one in the side pocket of my backpack, which I couldn’t reach – and the other in my hip pouch on my backpack, within easy reach.

      That way I could replenish the easy to reach bottle from the one on my backpack when I needed.

      There were very few times when I needed to be carrying more than 1.5L of water. (But this was in April May, not summer!)

      And yes, I avoided the Camelbacks etc because apart from anything else, the Camelback itself, without water, weighed about 340gms or so.



      • Bill,where did y get that kind of salad? mixed salad usually was lettuce, schredded carrots, white asparagus, hard boiled egg,some beans,tuna,slivers of cheese and sometime ham. did not see many tomatoes


        • Hi Ingrid –

          Yes, I was a little unkind describing the salads.

          I did find tomato in some – but you’re right, they were often a little more fulsome than I described.

          I admit that I miss the salads in California, which are meals in their own right…



  5. I have to put my two cents in here! I get anxious when put in with groups… Think retreats, prison, the army, albergues…. This adds up to constipation.
    Last night I went to a restaurant recommended by a nice woman. Huge learning curve here!
    I probably won’t try a restaurant again, for a while. Except to have ensalada traditionale… An enormous salad, with hard boiled eggs, tuna, lettuce… Canned soft white asparagus (what’s up with that?) nice lettuce and tomatoes, olives! Had I but known, that would be all I needed. But I wanted meat too! Why did I order it with foie? To try, I guess. I will occasionally try a foie gras Nancy might order. Half cooked swollen goose livers were not something I bargained for and I think that’s what exploded when I got back to the room. Toro, was nicely cooked tho… The place, across the street from the old bull ring, run by thugs was not my idea of a swell place to eat… Lights too bright, euro-odd families… Two, and a couple who looked like they were in hate with each other… All singing and toe tapping to bad American rock music… Funny to see a macho waiter in a skin tight tee shirt singin’ to YMCA… Our gay national anthem! Yet this morning on a ramble, I found a sweet looking place… I think more to my liking. I’ll try it for lunch… Something warming like a sopa, or another ensalada.
    Lots of people out and about now, it being Sabato and cooler than usual. I need to find a watch band… My timex band broke yesterday while on the march.


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