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—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Guide to the Camino: Food, Part Two

Ensaladilla rusa—Russian salad. The first time you found this in a bar you thought you´d hit the jackpot. It´s like tuna salad and egg salad and potato salad all rolled into one with some veggies thrown in.

Ensaladilla rusa

Baskets of bread—At bars and restaurants they give you bread with almost everything. Bread with your tortilla, bread with your cheese plate, bread with your pimientos de padron, bread with your ensaladilla rusa, bread with your patatas bravas. You once saw two horses eating bread for breakfast.

Kebap—It´s basically gyros. You have it twice in the bigger cities, Burgos and Leon. The first time the Belgian thinks the Spanish menu is confusing you because you try to order from the vegetarian options. The second time he asks you what type of meat falafel is.

Spicy food—They don´t have it in Spain. You and the Belgian lament the fact.

Azucar—Ever time you order a coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or cola cao they give you one or two packets of sugar. Each bar has its name or logo on the sugar packets. You once watched in horror as a woman heaped spoonful after spoonful of sugar into her tea. You´re surprised how many people put sugar in their coffee here, you don´t remember anyone in the States doing this. Maybe it´s because in America you can put sweetened flavorings in your drinks, unlike most places in Spain, but even then a lot of people simply take their coffee black or with cream. You have yet to touch the azucar.

A typical pilgrim breakfast

Vino—You´re pretty sure wine is its own group in the food pyramid, and you need some everyday to have a balanced diet.

Pimientos de padron—Fried peppers common in Galicia. One of the few dishes in Spain that is truly salty and even a little spicy.

Pulpo y pimientos de padron

Pulpo—A traditional Galician dish. Boiled octopus tentacles drizzled with olive oil and served on wooden plates. In Arzua you watched a woman in a bar snip the suprisingly large tentacles into pieces. You first tried it in Palas de Rei, and it was quite good. It wasn´t at all rubbery and had a taste between fish and chicken. The second time you had it in Finisterre with gambas al ajillo, shrimp and garlic.

Pulpo con gambas al ajillo

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, falafel is one of your favorite meats! And added sugar in your hot chocolate? That's too much.