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On the Camino de Santiago: Food for Body, and for Soul

From my diary, on the Camino de Santiago:

After three hours on the trail in ever-increasing heat, I came across the Restaurante Nossa Senhora da Cabeça (Our Lady of the Head (?!)) and dinner never tasted so good! Roasted loin of pork in a delicious sauce (I’m usually quite good at reverse-engineering recipes, but Portuguese sauces somehow defy me), served with a twist of orange, with homemade fries, salad and ubiquitous collard greens, and a mound of rice cooked to perfection – none of your al dente nonsense! I decided to reward myself with a small bottle of local white, but the waiter brought out a full sized bottle, and when I protested he explained that if I drank just half, that’s all I’d pay for. Well I’d wanted to sample the homemade pudim (pudding) but servings here are uniformly gargantuan, so it’s a mystery how desserts sell at all. I poured a third deliciously cold glass of vinho as I mopped up the last of that sauce, then looked at the bottle with a suspicion I’d slightly overshot the halfway point. Well, I couldn’t pour it back, and who can say exactly where the 37.5 cl point is on a wine bottle anyway?!


and morning glories

share the hedgerows —

food for body

and for soul

languorous lunch ~

wine and coffee

each doing

their own thing

in my head

hidden city gate…

I continue

my postprandial



 — in Valença, Portugal.


What do you think?

15 Points


  1. Would love to taste this entire plate and the white! That is cool to order a large bottle and only pay for half if you don’t drink it all. And your poetry was well done too Norman. Enjoyed the dinner and dessert! (poem) 🙂

  2. Nice to share Portuguese cuisine with you watching the brambles and convolulus share the hedge as wine and coffee share your head at the Lady of the head,
    Food of the land-a-person-is-visiting is really ( partly ) why a person is visiting, and part of the memory in a visceral sort of way… ?

    • Very much so, in my case at least, Kathy 🙂 That series of double-spaced lines was intended as three 5-line poems (ostensibly tanka/kyoka) But Virily murders the formatting!