Reflections by Tracey Meyers (from 29 May 2017)
Food is the fuel of life. During the Camino, we all needed a lot of food to help us climb up the rocky slopes of the Galician mountains. After three weeks, it is evident that food is a highly valued aspect of Spanish culture. It is a time to discuss what has happened throughout the day and reflect on life in general. This tradition of sit-down meals with your family is starting to lose importance among the growing generation of young Americans. Taking time to enjoy company and home-made food continues to be a tradition within my family in the US.
The local cuisine is very different in Spain than I expected. In the United States, a tortilla is a flat, round type of flour or bread. In Spain, a “tortilla de patata” is a thick omelet, almost cake-like, that is cooked with potatoes inside. (This is my favorite type of Spanish food.) Also, an empanada at a restaurant back home is a rolled flour tortilla with vegetables, beans, and meat inside. The Spanish version is almost a kind of pastry with two slices of thick bread baked with tuna, corn, beef, vegetables, etc. Although the food surprised me, it is even more delicious than I imagined.
We walked for hours during the Camino; our meals were a time to tell each other what we experienced individually and immerse ourselves in an important part of Spanish culture. When I return home, I hope to continue to sit down and remember to enjoy a nice meal with my family and friends.