One of the things we were aware of before going on the Camino was that our diet was going to have to change. We were aware that it would be hard to be able to maintain the diet we had established over the last year or so. Terri and I were largely eating vegetarian with some fish. Terri had also decaffeinated herself a while ago.
Well, guess what? We have eaten mostly meat and potatoes now for over a month. We quickly realized that it was just almost impossible to eat anything close to vegetarian here in this part of Spain. We have also eaten a huge amount of bread as well each day. It became apparent that if we were going to get our nutrition for all the walking we were doing, we needed to eat the food of the Camino.
One of the interesting things you learn about ordering a salad here in Spain, is that you are going to get a huge helping of tuna on the top of the salad. Now the tuna is ok for a while but pretty soon you can not take another bite of tuna. We likely will not have a tuna fish sandwich for some time!
Another funny thing we experienced with food was when we went to a wonderful restaurant in Leon (quite fancy) for a special dinner, on the menu they had listed those items that were vegetarian. When you looked at what you ended up with you got vegetables alright but there was a small helping of bacon or ham along with the veggies! You had to laugh.
We did enjoy the wonderful cabbage, bean and potato soup of the Gallacia region. It is a true peasant soup, low cost, but extremely filling and warming for some of the rainy walks we have had the last week.
We can not talk about food without talking about the “Pilgrim’s Menu” or the “Menu del Dia”. Almost everywhere you go, some variation of this is offered. 1st course: soup, salad, pasta, or paella. 2nd course: chicken, beef, veal, pork, or fish with most always French fries. In addition you get dessert, wine, water, and bread. Many places placed whole bottles of wine on the table for just one or two people. These menus are a very easy “go to” when you are tired and can’t think. Oh yeah, all that food and drink for 9-10.00 euros per person!
Well, we are now down to our last two days of walking and we are both very ready to complete this journey and return home to all our friends and family and to the wonderful foods we so enjoy again!
John and Terri