Last week I answered a couple of basic questions about food/eating in the Camino. In short, you can buy food in the shops and cook your own meals, if you are staying at an albergue with cocina. Or you can eat out.
I also explained how the menú del día works: it’s usually a three-course meal for a set price. You get at least 2-3 dishes to choose from for each course (primero, segundo and postre).
In restaurantes along the Camino you can also find a menú del peregrino, which works in the same way as menú del día.
But restaurantes are not the only place where you can eat, and menú del día or menú del peregrino are not your only choices. So,
¿Dónde vas a comer?
Where are you going to eat?
- You can get comida in a bar. Apart from drinks, bares also serve bocadillos (sandwiches), raciones, tapas and pinchos (or pintxos).
I have translated bocadillo as sandwich, but I should warn you! A bocadillo is not made with sliced bread. It’s served on baguette (or a similar type of bread) and it can be filled with almost anything: cold meats, fish, beef, pork, chicken…
Raciones, tapas and pinchos are not different types of food. The different words refer to portion size:
Ración is the biggest of the three. It’s a normal size dish, enough for one person.
Tapa is a smaller portion, like a quarter or a ración.
Pincho (pintxo) is the smallest portion. Traditionally, it was a small piece of bread with something on top, all held together with a cocktail stick. However, pinchos have evolved a lot in recent years. In the Basque Country in particular, pintxos (you will find this spelling there) can be very elaborate, almost like a form of art.
So, if you are on the Camino del Norte, make sure you go and experience the pintxo culture. San Sebastián is very famous for its pintxos bars.
- You can also get comida in a cafetería. Cafeterías don’t have “proper” cocinas, so the comida they can offer is limited to cold dishes or hot ones that can be cooked on a grill.
In both bares and cafeterías you might get a complimentary tapa or pincho. But this practice differs a lot from one town to another and even from one bar to another.
If you have any favourite foods that you tried on the Camino, I’d love to hear about it. You can just leave a comment!
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