About the Pilgrim’s Route
The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching about 500 miles across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James in Santiago.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people of various backgrounds walk the Camino de Santiago either on their own or in organized groups. Some people set out on the Camino for spiritual reasons; many others find spiritual reasons along the Way as they meet other pilgrims, attend pilgrim masses in churches and monasteries and cathedrals, and see the large infrastructure of buildings provided for pilgrims over many centuries.
Without doubt at the end of their journey they will visit the great Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the relics of the apostle St. James are believed to be buried. They will also see Tarta de Santiago in the window of every pastry shop and restaurant.
About the Tarta: Torta de Santiago (in Galician) or Tarta de Santiago (in Spanish), literally meaning cake of St. James, and is an almond cake. The Galician name for cake is Torta but often the Spanish word tarta is used instead. It is made from ground almonds, eggs, and sugar, lemon zest, sweet wine and brandy.
Originating from Galicia in North-Western Spain during the time of medieval pilgrimage, this tart is traditionally decorated with the St James cross. With its wonderfully moist almond and citrus flavours, this torte makes a perfect dessert or partner to an afternoon café con leche.
It is a round shape and can be made with or without a base. The top of the pie is decorated with powdered sugar in the shape of the Cross of St. James, which gives the pastry its name.
At Cantueso we cheated with our photo and placed the cross on a slice rather than the complete cake! But at least you don’t have to walk so far 🙂