Delicioso! Camino Cuisine
THE CAMINO IN 10 DISHES
The many routes of the Camino de Santiago cross different regions (in some cases countries), each with its own traditions, culture and food. If you are walking the Camino de Santiago along the French Way, from the French border, here are some classic dishes and traditional produce you will be able to taste.
DISH 1: WHITE ASPARAGUS
Navarra’s white asparagus are the most famous in Spain. They are delicious with just a dollop of mayonnaise sauce. Another Navarrese speciality is ‘pochas’, a regional type of bean, stewed with Serrano ham cubes.
DISH 2: CHILINDRÓN SAUCE
Chilindrón is a traditional sauce from Navarra, Basque Country and Aragón regions, made with red vegetables, mainly tomatoes and red peppers. You will likely find meats such as lamb or chicken cooked ‘al chilindrón’, in ‘chilindrón’ sauce.
DISH 3: POTATOES RIOJA STYLE
From La Rioja region of course, famous for its red wine, you will find a variety of dishes cooked ‘a la Riojana’, ‘Rioja-style’, including potatoes. This is more than just a potato dish, the potatoes are stewed in a clear broth with chorizo sausage.
DISH 4: ICE CREAM IN LOGROÑO
Marzipan, goats cheese with blueberries, cherry and orange sorbets, Ferrero Rocher… any ice cream flavour you might imagine you will find it in Logroño, capital of La Rioja and famous for its wine but also a city with a deep ice cream making tradition.
DISH 5: TAPAS IN BURGOS
Go for tapas in the many bars in Burgos, offering a wide variety of flavours and combinations so you can taste as many different dishes as possible.
DISH 6: CURED MEATS IN LEÓN
As you get into Castilla-León, cured meats become even more prominent in restaurant menus. Cecina, smoked beef, is a local speciality and cured meats (embutidos) from this region are of exceptional quality.
DISH 7: CAKES AND CHOCOLATE FROM ASTORGA
Astorga had at one stage up to 64 chocolate factories – we were assured by Camino, the shop assistant, at the Alonso Mantecados shop in the Plaza de España. As good an excuse as any to stop and taste some of the artisan chocolate made locally. Don’t forget to try the famous ‘mantecados’ (little buttery cakes) and ‘hojaldres’ (super sweet sticky puffy pastries). There is also a chocolate museum in town.
DISH 8: BOTILLO IN EL BIERZO
You will cross El Bierzo on sections 6 and 7 of the French Way, its capital being Ponferrada. The most famous dish of this region is ‘botillo’. It is a dish where various parts of the pig are chopped, seasoned, spiced and stuffed together to be cured and smoked for a few days. It gets cooked and sliced before serving and can also be eaten in stews.
DISH 9: OCTOPUS ‘MARKET FAIR STYLE’ IN MELIDE
One of Galicia’s most typical dishes is octopus, eaten traditionally on market days, hence its name in Galego (pulpo á feira – octopus market day style). Stop for a ‘ración’ (portion) at a real ‘pulpería’, a bar or restaurant specialised in cooking octopus, where the octopus is simply boiled and served with a sprinkle of sea salt and smoked paprika.
DISH 10: ARZÚA CHEESE
Before you get to Santiago, you will pass the market town of Arzúa. Explore the small shops in town to get a taste of the local cheese, for example at the old school butcher shop of father and son Luís and Luís, also known as ‘Carnicería Tarazona’. They will milk the cow for fresh milk on the spot and they sell the traditional Arzúa cheese, as well as their meats. The family has been running the establishment for over 100 years.
France has a rich cultural tradition. It is the birthplace of several artistic and social movements and is home to a diverse musical tradition. If you’ve listened to the opera Carmen, a song by Édith Piaf, or a bagpiper’s band from Brittany, you’ve heard a bit of France’s rich musical repertoire…
There is perhaps no national cuisine more venerated than that of France, and no French region more famous for its culinary prowess than the southeast. Here, the warm sun of the Mediterranean meets French savoir faire…
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