Tomorrow I'll post about finding breakfast and the Pilgrim's Plate. But today, I'd like to tell you a little about what I have learned about another wonderful option... TAPAS!
Even the smallest villages often have a bar and a "bar" in Spain is not the same place you think of when you say "bar" in the USA. Yes, you can buy beer, wine, and mixed drinks. But you also can get coffee, breakfast, and some pretty good eats there!
It is said the tapa originated in Andalusia as a small snack to accompany sherry. The bartender would cover the glass of sherry with a saucer (or tapa) to protect it from the flies. A good bartender would decorate the plate with a tiny savory snack, and that evolved into these luscious portions we now call tapas.
TAPA vs. RACIÓNSomething to remember is a tapa serves one. Tapas are often called "pinchos" in southern Spain. A "ración" is a larger serving, usually for 2 to 3 people, or one hungry pilgrim! I've taken these photos from the internet. Some would be considered a "tapa" but the larger portions are definitely "raciónes." You quickly learn the difference after ordering a time or two.
In some small villages along the Camino, tapas are still free with your drink. Sometimes I was served a plate of olives and other times salted almonds or a bit of meat. Most of the time, however, there was a menu, often written on a chalkboard, and you paid a small amount for your tapas. My advice to you is to try any tapa you see offered - take a walk on the wild side and stretch your boundaries. You are, after all, on an adventure!
But if you would like to at least have some idea of what you will be eating, following is a menu of typical tapas you might see on the Camino Santiago.
|We saw many pigs on the Via de la Plata, their red eyes shining in the early morning darkness, their grunts startling me!|
It can be served cold or hot. No matter how it is served, try it! You can't lose!
MORCILLA is a savory pork blood sausage. It can be seasoned in a variety of ways. I like some. I don't like others. My advice is to just try it every chance you get. I can hear you saying, "Eeeewwww... sausage made of blood!" But before you do, think about those luscious, flavor filled bits and pieces you scrape up from the pan when you're cooking pork chops? THAT is pork blood and is what morcilla can taste like. It can be incredibly good! It can be served in slices, but is usually laid on a slice of bread and topped with potato or some other item.
To me, these are an excellent example of the way that the Spanish people live the philosophy I love! They respect the animal they are killing and eating by not wasting one single piece! It's the way our grandparents lived, before we got so spoiled with our plastic filled meat cases here in the United States. I have met many people who, believe it or not, have no idea what animal they are eating and never think about how it was raised or butchered.
In Spain, people still live close to the earth and respect her.
That is one reason I'm so in love with that country!
So that's it! These are some of my favorite tapas! As you can see, there are many choices for a hungry pilgrim in Spain. A supper of tapas can be a great option when you're on a budget.
If you have a favorite tapa that I did not mention, please comment. I'll look for a photo and post it.
Buen Camino, Pilgrims, and Buen Aprevecho!
Note: If you would love to walk the Camino Santiago,
but are not quite ready to go it alone,
consider joining Annie
on one of our small, affordable Camino walks.
For more information see our website
at this link: AnnieWalkers Camino