by David Sheffler


t the end of the fifteenth century, the German Pilgrim, Hieronymous Münzer, praised the quality of food in Santiago, a city with “gardens full of oranges and lemons, apples, pears, plums and other fruits.” (Krochalis, 73) He also associated towns and regions with their dietary habits. The people of Galicia “live largely on pork flesh, and truly in all their doings they are unclean and porcine.” (Krochalis, 83) Modern pilgrims, too, filter their experiences through food and drink; café con leche, kalimotxo, sidra, sopa de lentejas, paella, tortillas, and helado blend with the voices of friends and strangers in camino-side cafes and in communal breakfast rooms. Many look back wistfully on meals of bread and chorizo, cooking and eating with familiar strangers, and days scheduled by the basic needs of hunger and thirst. Food can also be a source of complaints. The endless breakfasts of bread and coffee elicited more than a few groans — “I got up early for this?” Some pilgrims grow tired of the monotonous offerings of the daily Pilgrim’s Menu (Menú del Peregrino): mixed salad, spaghetti, chicken and fries, or grilled hake — with cheap icecream served in its waxed-paper container for dessert. Kim Anja, a German student in her early twenties, laughed about the food, “I think all the pilgrims think it could be better because all the pilgrim menus are the same.” (Student Interview)


Continue reading  about the five senses …

SIGHT    |    HEARING    |    SMELL    |    TASTE    |    TOUCH