I found some of the best foods for a pilgrim soul, via this hungry pilgrim’s body.
In our day to day lives we rarely experience hunger, so it’s almost a new experience to feel the gnawing of real hunger pangs and experience the delicious viands that more than meet that hunger, but some foods are more special than others.
The three big Cs
For me, it’s the churros and chocolate, washed down by café con leche that I ate after a rainy start, a climb up over the hill above Pontedeume, and the long saunter through coastal lowlands over which soared the arches of highways.
The thick barely sweet chocolate has to be scooped up with the crisp churro, and then eaten with a spoon. The velvety richness of this dish is best savoured spoon by spoon.
Another C – Cerveca or Beer
After a long hot walk, it’s Cerveca, or Estella beer of Galicia, that quenches a hard earned thirst.
I never drink beer, unless I’ve walked a long way, and especially on the Camino. And it always comes with free tapas.
For me, I would usually ask for Una Clara y Limon – which translates to beer and lemonade, but you can’t call it shandy in Spain, that means something else. I didn’t dare ask.
Pulpo – Love it or Hate it?
Galicia means seafood, and octopus or pulpo is ubiquitous and delicious, if you like it.
I tried it once, and it was, well palatable, but I neither love it or hate it, so I could skip it next time, there’s something about those sucker pads that are strangely alien.
After the grande dish of Galicia, we come to tortilla patatas, or omelettes with potatoes.
I love this, and it reminds me of dish we make at home called Parsee Omelette, but that had more spices in it. Still, a tortilla, or a bocadillo with tortilla makes for the only protein breakfast you could get along the way.
So, mm, delicious, and we even got it chopped into elegant pincho one evening in the bar.
These little pastries filled with tuna are one of my firm favourites.
You can get them in many sizes, and one day emerging out of a forest above Coruna, a large bakery had scores of these laid out fresh baked on trays.
The fish filling is so fresh and hot you have to be careful you don’t burn your tongue when you are so hungry you can barely wait to dig your teeth into these.
And you can get these larger as well, once when we were walking, a bakery van stopped by us and gave us a huge empanada. At that time we had no idea what it was, we assumed it was sweet, fortunately I love fish, so it was a fishy surprise. You can read about our encounter with the baker in the book – on Day Two.
Tarta de Santiago
Sweetness at the end – No visit to Galicia and Santiago is complete without this delicious almond cake, it’s gluten free as well, and used to be made in the convents that abounded in Galicia.
There may be fewer nuns, but the cake is still here as delicious, moist and buttery as every – and with the Santiago cross outlined on it.
Cañitas de crema galicia
This was another treat given to us, we had no idea what it was, the whipped cream and layers of airily thin pastry seemed to just melt into our mouths and vanish leaving us with the fine sugar to lick off our lips.
So there you have it!
Which one is your favourite? Which one do you miss the most?