Gazpacho

Gazpacho

Gazpacho |

It’s the end of September. Es otoño (it’s autumn). However, the temperatures this week have been very high, so it still feels a lot like summer. It gets a bit chilly early in the mornings and then again in the evenings but quite hot during the central hours of the day. ¡Hace calor! (it’s hot!).

It’s always important to stay hydrated but we must be extra careful in this kind of heat. In the south of Spain they know a lot about very hot weather so they came up with the perfect solution: gazpacho.

What is gazpacho?

Gazpacho is a cold soup. Its main ingredient is tomate (tomato), but it has other vegetables too. So it’s refreshing AND it’s also full of vitamins and minerals.

Gazpacho originated in Andalucía, in the south of Spain that’s why it’s also called gazpacho andaluz. But you can find it in other regions too. And as it happens with most traditional dishes, it has many variations.

Here’s the basic recipe.

You will need:

  • 1/2 kg tomates – they should be very ripe. In order to peel them, dip them in very hot water for a few seconds. The skin will come off very easily.
  • 1/2 pimiento verde (green pepper)
  • 1/2 pepino (cucumber)
  • Ajo (garlic), 1 clove
  • Aceite de oliva (olive oil)
  • Vinagre (vinegar)
  • 1 slice of pan (bread) – you need to soak it in a bit of water.
  • Sal (salt)

Chop the tomates, pimiento and pepino and blend them together with the ajo and pan. Season to taste with the aceite de oliva, vinagre and sal. Keep it in the fridge for one hour at least. And it’s ready!

Gazpacho can be taken as a soup or as a drink. When served as a soup, it is common to garnish it with croutons, cucumber and tomato cubes and chopped onion and egg. Actually, some people also add cebolla (onion) to their gazpacho, but not everybody does.

If you are planning to drink it, you can add some water, so it’s not so thick and you can also leave the bread out.

 

Gazpacho’s benefits

Gazpacho is refreshing and nutritious, but it has other benefits too:

  • It’s very easy to prepare!  All you need is a few basic ingredients and a blender. No cooking necessary.
  • It’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans. If you are ordering it at a restaurant, just remember to ask about the egg. It’s not part of the recipe, just a possible garnish. So even if the restaurant normally serves their gazpacho with some chopped egg, they should be able to accommodate you.

If you can’t remember how to ask about the ingredients in a dish, check my previous post Soy vegano/a.

  • It’s potentially suitable for coeliacs too. If you are not preparing it yourself, just remember to ask whether they’ve added pan.
  • You are on the Camino. It’s hot and you want some gazpacho but you can’t find it in bars/restaurants and you can’t prepare it. No worries! You can find it in supermarkets, in the chilled section, ready to drink.

Have you tried it already? No? What are you waiting for? Go get some gazpacho now!

 

For the pronunciation of pan, check Shopping on the Camino

For the pronunciation of aceite de oliva and sal, check Pulpo á feira

 

Today’s Spanish words and phrases

 

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¡Buen Camino!

Tengo alergia a…

Tengo alergia a…

The Camino de Santiago is for many a life-changing experience that takes you out of your comfort zone: you are in a foreign land where they speak a different language… and they eat differently too!

 

It can be a wonderful opportunity to try new foods and discover new flavours that you may later try to recreate at home. But if you have any food allergies, it can be very stressful not knowing whether you can get the right food, or not being sure whether something is safe for you to eat.

 

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post with tips and Spanish for veganos and vegetarianos who wish to do the Camino de Santiago. I know it’s not the same; if you suffer from food allergies, accidentally eating the wrong food can be life-threatening or it can make you very sick. But still, most of the tips and vocabulary I shared in that post can be used in case of alergia or intolerancia.

 

Shopping for food 

If you decide to buy your food, you should know that labels must clearly indicate any allergens present in the product:

 

  • On the ingredient list, you can see allergens in bold or capitals.
  • After the ingredient list, there is usually a list of possible traces of other foods, as well as a full list of allergens (this is not always present, so make sure you check the ingredient list).

When a particular product is safe to eat for a specific group, the label clearly indicates so. You can see different examples in the pictures.

These show a variety of food products that are suitable for celíacos (celiacs), because they are sin gluten (literally, without gluten).

The first picture shows a product that is suitable for veganos (sin huevo y sin lácteos – no egg, no dairy), which would also make it suitable for people with egg or dairy allergies. The second one shows a product sin lactosa (lactose free).

 

Most supermarkets these days have a good selection of products sin gluten and sin lactosa. Smaller towns and villages might not have so many options, so it’s a good idea to buy a few extra things when you get the chance.

 

Eating out when you have food allergies

Eating outside is also possible, as long as you take some precautions such as informing the waiter/waitress about your alergia or intolerancia.

 

  • You can say No puedo comer… (+ food you are allergic to), which means “I cannot eat…
  • Alternatively, you could also say Tengo alergia a…(again, complete with food you are allergic to).

 

Let’s say you are allergic to peanuts. You could say:

 

No puedo comer cacahuetes or Tengo alergia a los cacahuetes…

or a combination of both, just to make sure the message gets a cross:

 

No puedo comer cacahuetes. Tengo alergia. 

 

Some menus will have allergen information. You will see little symbols like these:

tengo alergia a

If this information is not there or if you are not sure, remember you can always ask about the ingredients in any dish (check Soy vegano/a for that info). And you can also ask for an ingredient to be left out. For instance, if you don’t want cream you could ask sin nata, por favor.

 

Do you suffer from food allergies and you have done the Camino?  Please share your experience!

 

* For celíacos, here’s a link, in English, containing useful information and tips to prevent problems when eating out: https://www.celiacos.org/informacion/en-ingles/gluten-free-spain.html

 

This other link includes a list of restaurants in Galicia that have an agreement with the Celiacs Association to  provide a menú sin gluten. The website also includes links to restaurant and hotel chains that offer gluten-free meal options: https://www.celiacosgalicia.es/web/es/comer_fuera_de_casa

 

Today’s Spanish words

 

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¡Buen Camino!

Soy vegano/a

Soy vegano/a

Soy vegano. Or soy vegetariano.

I’ve seen an increase in the number of future pilgrims asking about the availability of vegetarian or vegan dishes along the Camino de Santiago. They worry that it will be hard for them to find suitable food. And it’s understandable.

Obviously, you need adequate nourishment.

And, although it’s true that the Mediterranean diet includes a lot of vegetables and pulses, it is also true that Spain is not the most vegetarian-friendly country. It’s common for an ensalada to have tuna; and a “vegetable sandwich” with either tuna or a slice of ham is a classic (and nobody thinks it’s odd!).

Things are changing and it’s not unusual now to find restaurantes vegetarianos or veganos. But they are not available everywhere. They are more common in the bigger cities. But the Camino goes through a lot of smaller towns and rural areas. So, is it possible to do the Camino as a vegetariano/a* or vegano/a*?

The short answer is: YES! It’s possible, with some planning.

 

What are your options as a vegan or vegetarian on the Camino?

 

You have two main choices:

  • You can buy food and snacks from the local fruterías and supermercados (see Shopping on the Camino for the pronunciation of these words). Some albergues have kitchens where you can prepare your own meal. You just need to find out if the place where you are staying has such facilities.

 

  • Or you can also eat out and enjoy the local cuisine, even in the smaller towns. And it’s probably easier than you think.

 

There are many Spanish dishes that are naturally vegetariano/vegano or can be easily adapted (In this article you can find a long list of Spanish dishes that are suitable for vegans: https://www.thenomadicvegan.com/the-ultimate-vegan-guide-to-spain/). You just need to know a few Spanish words and phrases to make sure you get the right food:

 

Soy vegetariano / Soy vegetariana or Soy vegano / Soy vegana

I’m a vegetarian or I’m a vegan.

 

*If you are a male, you will refer to yourself as vegetariano/vegano. If you are a female, you will use vegetariana/vegana instead.

 

  • You can also specify the foods you don’t eat by saying No como… (I don’t eat…) + anything you need to mention, such as carne (meat), pescado (fish), huevos (eggs), lácteos (dairy) or queso (cheese). If you have food allergies, get more info here.

 

  • Let’s say you are not sure about the ingredients of any particular dish: you can ask ¿Lleva carne, huevo…? (Does it have… meat, egg…?).

 

  • If a dish is mostly vegan, but it has some egg or cheese, for instance, you can still order it and ask them to serve it sin huevo (without egg) or sin queso (without cheese).

 

  • You could even take advantage of the menú del día. I know I said in this previous post that the second course is normally pescado or carne. No problem! You can explain that you are vegetariano/vegano and ask if you could take dos primeros (two first courses) instead of a primero and a segundo. Most places wouldn’t have a problem with that.

 

Do you have any experience as a vegetariano/a or vegano/a in the Camino de Santiago? You can share it in the comments!

 

Today’s Spanish words

Make sure you don’t miss any posts by subscribing for free here. That way, when a new post is out, you will get it in your inbox. And… you get access to exclusive content too.

You can also download your free Camino food guide here, with lots of useful info and Spanish.

 

¡Buen Camino!