Ever wonder what is on the menu for the pilgrims of Camino de Santiago? Worried it might only be bread and water for days as you drag yourself up the steep and rocky hills? Fear not for that is not the case.
In every town around there is the option of the pilgrim’s menu, yet again not a scary thing. The pilgrim’s menu usually had three courses, but it is not the average three courses you find a restaurant. The starter is a small bowl of pasta. The main course is almost always a chicken dish. And desert is yoghurt to an orange literally plonked down in front of you. You get offered water or wine with the menu.
As you go along the Camino most pilgrims will get their breakfast from breakfast bars or snack bars that are around. If you are part of a large pilgrimage group, the breakfast bar will remain open till about 6.30 or 7.00am so breakfast would be had there. The breakfast is a cold continental breakfast.
For lunch tortilla de Patatas was often served in a baguette. The tortilla de patatas was literally an egg omelet with potatoes. Many pilgrims carry break, cold meats and fruits to eat during the walk. Stopping to eat during noon is a popular action for many pilgrims. There are small shops in the surrounding villages, so buying your own is no issue. Many pilgrims prefer the rustic touch to their pilgrimage and want to cook their own food in the evenings. This isn’t a surprise as the Pilgrim’s menu can quickly become very boring as no matter where you go the pilgrim’s menu doesn’t vary at all.
Cooking in the evenings is also a social activity if you are traveling in a large group of people. It also works out to be much cheaper. After the pilgrimage and spiritual rejuvenation having a treat is something many pilgrimages desire. At the end of the Camino seafood is available everywhere. This is because of its proximity to the sea. Many places will serve many different variations of seafood and fish, a stark contrast to the bland pilgrims menu. The best part is that the meals do not cost an arm and a leg as they do in tourist regions. The seafood dishes are so affordable you can dine Santiago and again in Finisterre and again somewhere else. You even need to go to the restaurant as even the smallest of bar will serve some great seafood dishes.
When planning to go to Camino don’t go with the notion of spending tones of money on food. You can spend very little and still have a very successful pilgrimage. Remember a pilgrimage is time for you to escape reality and return to your true self. Over indulging in luxurious foods won’t help you achieve the true purpose of a pilgrimage.