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The gastronomy of the Camino de Santiago and its typical dishes

If you like gastronomy, the Camino de Santiago and its surroundings have a great variety of traditional cuisine that enters through the eyes and that conquers the palate. These are our 9 recommendations of dishes that you should not miss.

Pulpo a feira | Wikimedia Commons

Pulpo a feira | Wikimedia Commons

The gastronomy of the French Way of Saint James

One of the greatest stimuli that any pilgrim can find is, without any doubt, the rich and varied Spanish cuisine. More specifically, if we walk the different stages of the French Way, we will come into contact with an incomparable gastronomy and with a large number of typical products from the north of the Iberian Peninsula as well as from autonomous communities such as Navarre, La Rioja, Castile and Leon or Galicia. 

At the end of each stage, pilgrims have the opportunity to discover a large number of typical dishes of each locality, region or region through which they pass. You can taste traditional stews that have been with us for generations (and still survive), the best seafood, rich homemade desserts, meat of the highest quality ... The environment of the Camino de Santiago has much to offer, beyond hundreds of kilometers of trails and spectacular views. 

If your plans include walking the French Way or enjoying the Camino de Santiago from home, don't forget to make a list of all these typical dishes and try them when you have the chance. You won't regret it! 

What typical dishes of the Camino de Santiago should you try?

The typical cuisine of regions such as Navarra or Galicia, to name a few, is so wide that trying to condense it in just a few recommendations is impossible. Personal tastes, of course, also come into play. That is why this list is simply a "starting guide" of some dishes that pilgrims should not miss on their journey to Santiago, although there are undoubtedly many more that are worthwhile.

Cod with ajoarriero (Navarre, Aragon, Castile and Leon...)

Although its origin is not very clear, it is related to the figure of the muleteers, old travelers in charge of transporting goods through the territory. Cod with ajoarriero is a traditional hot dish from the center-north of the peninsula, very typical in areas such as Navarra, Aragón or León, to mention a few. Its main ingredients are cod, green and red bell pepper, garlic, onion, tomato, olive oil and salt. However, there are different ways of preparing it (Navarrese style, Manchego style...), depending on the place we visit. 

How to prepare Cod with ajoarriero?

Ingredients

  • 400 grams of desalted codfish
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 200 grams of crushed tomato
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Step by step

  • Chop the onion, the green bell pepper, the red bell pepper and the two cloves of garlic into very small pieces. Cut the cod loin into medium pieces.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat with a good splash of olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped onion until golden brown and then add the garlic, green bell pepper and red bell pepper. Let the vegetables cook for about 10 minutes. After this time, add the crushed tomato and a pinch of salt.
  • Meanwhile, place a little oil in another frying pan and add the cod loins. Let them cook for about five minutes.
  • When the cod is done, transfer it to the vegetable pan. Finally you can stir or leave the sofrito on top of the fish.

Potatoes Rioja style (La Rioja)

Another of the most potent dishes on our list of recommendations is potatoes Rioja style. This is a first course or unique dish of great flavor that was already taken by the farm laborers and that simply consists of a stew of potatoes cooked with sausage, onion, garlic and peppers. Its preparation is really simple, but the final result requires good quality ingredients.

How to prepare Potatoes Rioja style?

Ingredients

  • 1/2 kilo of potatoes
  • 1 chorizo per person
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons of chorizo bell pepper meat
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Water
  • Salt

Step by step

  • First, peel and cut the onions into julienne strips. Then, cut the garlic cloves into very fine fillets.
  • Next, heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan and let them cook over low heat for about ten minutes. When they begin to brown, add the sliced skinless chorizo. Sauté until the meat is done.
  • Then add the potatoes, which have been previously cut, washed and mashed (cut them without reaching the end and pry them up to remove the pieces). It is important to do it this way, otherwise the vegetable will not release starch. 
  • Add salt to taste, two teaspoons of chorizo bell pepper meat and a bay leaf. Mix the ingredients well, letting the potatoes cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Finally, add water and let it cook until the potatoes are tender.

Garlic soup (Castilla y León)

Garlic soup, also known as Castilian soup, is a typical Castilian-Leonese dish, of humble origin and whose ingredients may vary according to the cook. It consists of a soup made of water or broth, bread, garlic, olive oil, bay leaf, sweet paprika, salt, pepper and poached egg, although some people add ham or chorizo. With common and cheap ingredients, it is one of the great wonders of "Spanish poor food" and one of the typical dishes that you will find along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.

How to prepare Garlic soup?

Ingredients

  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg per person
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 250 grams of stale bread
  • 100 grams of ham in small cubes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Water
  • Salt

Step by step

  • First, add a little extra virgin olive oil to a casserole and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic cut into slices and, when they are a little browned, remove them and save them for later.
  • Then, in the same oil, fry the 100 grams of diced ham. When you find that the ham is more or less cooked, turn off the heat and add a teaspoon of sweet paprika. Stir until the ingredients are well blended.
  • Once this is done, return the pan to high heat and add the sliced bread. Patiently stir the bread until toasted.
  • Next, add a liter of water, salt to taste, the bay leaf, the ham and the garlic previously cooked. When the water comes to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Finally, before serving the soup, pour in the eggs so that they become poached and ready. 

Roast suckling lamb (Castilla y León)

Prepared in wood-fired ovens in specialized rotisseries, roast lamb is one of the most popular traditional dishes of Castilla y León. Served in clay pots, the difference with roast lamb is that the suckling lamb comes from a lamb not yet weaned, being its preparation an art in the kitchen. 

How to prepare Roast suckling lamb?

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 of lamb
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Salt

Step by step

  • The lamb is salted with fine salt and, skin side down, is placed in an earthenware dish.
  • Then it is bathed with olive oil and placed in the oven, which should be set at a temperature of 170 degrees. Every 15 minutes we will calculate the baking time of approximately one hour.
  • After each quarter we add water to prevent it from drying out. 
  • Once this time has passed, turn it over and water it with the juices released by the lamb in the tray. Bake as long as necessary for the skin to brown. 

Cocido maragato (Castile and Leon)

Similar to cocido madrileño or cocido lebaniego, cocido maragato is one of the most traditional hot dishes from the province of León, coming from the Maragatería region. It is a stew of the people of the countryside, a strong dish to give energy for a whole day's work. It consists of a soup with chickpeas, cabbage and various types of beef or pork, being one of its peculiarities that it is served the other way around than other stews: first the meat, then the chickpeas and finally, the soup. 

How to prepare cocido maragato?

Ingredients

  • 200 grams of chickpeas
  • 150 grams of pork shoulder or knuckle of pork
  • 150 grams of jerky
  • 150 grams of chicken
  • 100 grams of potatoes
  • 100 grams of bacon
  • 300 grams of blood sausage or zancarrón (blood sausage)
  • 1 ham bone
  • 1 cane bone
  • 1 rastra of chorizo
  • 1 pig's ear
  • 1 pig's trotter
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Sweet paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Salt

Step by step

  • Leave the 200 grams of chickpeas to soak for about 12 hours before starting the recipe.
  • Fill a large casserole with plenty of water and salt. Add all the meat except the chorizo (reserved for later). As soon as it starts to boil, in addition to lowering the heat to medium intensity, remove the foam. The cooking time of the meat should be about one hour.
  • After these 60 minutes, add the onion and the chickpeas. When the chickpeas are done, add the chorizo and the peeled potatoes. 
  • One hour later cut the cabbage and cook it for 20 minutes. As soon as it is cooked, put the cooking water in the meat casserole (it is important to remember that it should be over medium/low heat)
  • In the meantime, chop the two cloves of garlic and cook them until golden brown in a frying pan. Then add a teaspoon of paprika and stir quickly so that it does not burn for a few seconds. Add the cooked cabbage to the pan and sauté it.
  • Finally, remove all the meat, the chickpeas and the cabbage in a tray. A good idea is to use the broth to cook some noodles to accompany the stew.  

Octopus a feira (Galicia)

The octopus a feira is perhaps the most characteristic dish of all Galician cuisine along with the traditional empanada, very popular in festivals or fairs, where it is served as a tapa. It consists of a whole octopus cooked to soften its tough flesh and served in slices, accompanied by olive oil, coarse salt and paprika. Although traditionally we associate the "octopus a la gallega" with sliced potatoes, the truth is that this custom is more typical of the rest of Spain than of Galicia. 

How to prepare octopus a feira?

Ingredients

  • 1 octopus (the quantity will depend on how much you want to make)
  • Sweet or spicy paprika
  • Coarse salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Step by step

  • Freeze the octopus as soon as you buy it, this way it will be much more tender.
  • 12 hours before preparing the recipe, defrost the octopus from the refrigerator, so you will not break the cold chain.
  • Once it is thawed, add plenty of water in a large pot. Heat over high heat so that the water comes to a boil.
  • When it starts to boil, separate the legs of the octopus with scissors or a knife and submerge the pieces one by one giving them "scares". To do this it is as easy as holding a leg with your fingers or kitchen tongs, leaving the piece in the boiling water for 2 to 3 seconds. Repeat this process 3 times in a row, and on the third time leave the leg in the pot. Do the same with the other pieces. 
  • When all the legs are scared, count 30 minutes and keep the fire at high temperature. 
  • After this time, drain the water with the help of a strainer and cut the octopus with care not to burn yourself in slices. 
  • Add sweet or spicy paprika (according to your taste), a pinch of coarse salt and extra virgin olive oil. 

Galician broth (Galicia)

Galician broth is one of the best known dishes in Galician gastronomy and at the same time one of the simplest and healthiest. It consists of a soup of cooked vegetables, such as turnip greens, cabbage, cabbage, potatoes or beans to which pork fat is added (also bacon or chorizo) to give it its particular flavor. The truth is that there are many variants of the Galician broth, all of them suitable to warm the pilgrim after a hard day of Camino. 

How to prepare galician broth?

Ingredients

  • 150 grams of small beans
  • 500 grams of potatoes
  • 250 grams of pork shoulder
  • 50 grams of salted pork bacon
  • 2 fresh chorizos
  • 1 bunch of turnip greens
  • 1 bone of pork backbone
  • Salt

Step by step

  • The night before the preparation, soak the beans and the pork shoulder. 
  • Pour in a large pot two liters of water with salt to taste and introduce the beans along with the meat except the sausages to cook for an hour and a half.
  • Next, peel and cut the potatoes, crushing them so that they release starch. Once this is done, add them to the broth with the two chorizos. 
  • While the ingredients are cooking, wash the vegetables, cut them into small pieces and add them to the pot. Finally, when it is completely cooked, adjust the salt if necessary. Ready to serve.

Santiago Cake (Galicia)

It is almost obligatory to try the tarta de Santiago when arriving in the city of the Apostle, a legendary dessert that can be found in almost all traditional pastry shops (not only in Galicia, but also in many other places along the Camino de Santiago). The tart of Santiago, by definition one of the typical dishes of the Camino de Santiago, has almonds, egg, sugar, lemon zest and butter.

Ingredients

  • 250 grams of ground almonds, raw or without skin
  • 250 grams of white sugar
  • 50 grams of ground sugar or powdered sugar for garnish
  • 5 large eggs
  • 5 grams of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 shot of herbal brandy
  • Butter
  • Zest from the peel of one and a half lemons

Step by step

  • Start by grinding the raw or skinless almonds with the help of a grinder. The ideal is to chop 125 grams on one side and 125 grams on the other with different weights (one very fine and one coarser so that it is noticeable). 
  • Then, put the chopped almonds in the oven for 10 minutes at a temperature of 120 degrees. You can also do it in a frying pan, toasting at medium/low temperature.
  • Now place the 250 grams of white sugar and the 5 large eggs in a bowl. Whisk vigorously to bind the ingredients well. Add the zest of one and a half lemon peel and the 25 milliliters of herbal liqueur.
  • Remove the almonds from the oven and let them cool. When lukewarm, add the cream you have prepared and mix with a spatula. 
  • Once this is done, preheat the oven to 180 degrees up and down. Grease the mold with a little butter so that the dough does not stick and pour the mixture.
  • Put the cake in the oven at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes or so. The surface should be golden brown. 
  • During the last 10 minutes in the oven put a piece of aluminum foil so it does not burn. 
  • Finally, when the cake is completely baked, decorate to taste with powdered or powdered sugar. 

Filloas (Galicia)

This is another great and typical dessert of Galician cuisine, very similar to French crepes. The filloas are traditional from the carnival season, usually filled with sweet, although originally they included blood from the slaughter. Among its ingredients, you can find egg, flour or oil and they are usually made with both stew broth and milk.   

Ingredients

  • 200 grams of flour
  • 500 milliliters of whole milk or stew broth
  • 100 milliliters of water
  • 5 medium eggs
  • Pork bacon without lean or olive oil
  • Salt

Step by step

  • Pour the milk, water, flour, a pinch of salt and the eggs in a bowl. You can also use broth instead of water and milk.
  • Beat the ingredients well with a mixer and let the solution stand for an hour to finish waiting.
  • After this time, use a non-stick frying pan on the fire, spread the base with pork bacon or olive oil. 
  • When it is hot, add a generous ladleful, there should be a thin layer. Keep the filloa on the heat until it is golden brown on the bottom. Lift the corners and cook the other side for one or two minutes.
  • Repeat the process until the filloa cream is finished.

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Recent activity
albe
albe 25/08/18 12:30:35
10
El caldo gallego me cautivo al igual que una ensalada con queso de ARZUA y nueces
1 0
Sin avatar
Alain Juncy 24/08/18 17:35:25
30
Si, la gastronomía del camino existe como lo explicáis muy bien. Pero tampoco hay que olvidar que el "menu del peregrino" existe también en casi todos los restaurantes del camino: macarrones, lentejas, lomo de cerdo o pollo a la plancha, etc...y que es el menu de 80 % de los peregrinos...
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