Gastronomy on the French Way

The French Way is one of the most popular routes on the Way of Saint James, and runs approximately 800 kilometres from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, in the French Pyrenees, to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain.

During this route, you will have the opportunity to sample a wide variety of gastronomic delights that form part of the region’s rich culinary tradition.

From start to finish

The trip begins in the Aquitaine region, famous for its red wine. Here you can taste some of Bordeaux’s best wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as the dry white wines of the Graves region. Accompany your glasses of wine with local cheeses, such as Roquefort or Comté, and enjoy the combination of flavours.

As you go deeper into the Midi-Pyrénées region, you will have the opportunity to taste typical dishes such as cassoulet, a pork, sausage and white bean stew, or foie gras, a pâté made from duck or goose liver. Don’t forget to try confit de canard, a traditional dish consisting of duck confit in its own fat, which is incredibly tender and tasty.

As you drive through the Languedoc-Roussillon region, you will come across a wide variety of Mediterranean products.

Try the fresh seafood from the Costa Brava, such as prawns, mussels and oysters, which are particularly delicious in this area. You can also enjoy fish dishes such as zarzuela de mariscos, a fish and seafood stew in tomato sauce.

Already in Spain

As you get closer to the Spanish border, the Spanish influence on the cuisine becomes more evident.

You can try typical Basque dishes such as bacalao al pil-pil (cod in pil-pil sauce) or txuleta, a grilled beef cutlet.

Finally, when you get to Galicia, you’ll find a cuisine rich in seafood and fresh fish. Try the empanada gallega, a pie filled with seafood or meat, or pulpo a la gallega, a dish of octopus cooked and seasoned with olive oil, salt and paprika. You should also try the famous scallops, a bivalve mollusc that is highly prized in the region.

All along the French Way, you can also enjoy the local markets and traditional taverns, where you can try home-made and regional dishes. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample the local cured meats and cheeses, such as Serrano ham, sausage and tetilla cheese.

In addition to the main courses and desserts, you can also sample a wide variety of artisan breads along the way. Galician bread, known as pan de Cea, is particularly famous and is characterised by its crunchy crust and dense, tasty crumb.