Portuguese corn bread

June 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Broa is a delicious corn bread that is a great complement to many Portuguese dishes (if you guessed that broa goes great with grilled sardines, you guessed right). For a while broa was hard to find in urban areas where people preferred bread made with white flour. But, over time, urbanites saw the error in their ways, so now you can find broa almost everywhere. The texture and color varies by region but the taste is always deeply satisfying.

The Óbidos medieval fair

June 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

If you’re in Portugal in July, you might want to visit the Óbidos medieval fair. It features jugglers, jesters, and jousting tournaments, all in the shadow of the majestic Óbidos castle. You can also taste the delicious pork roasted on a spit, a delicacy that, in the Middle Ages, only kings could afford.

Tasca da Esquina

June 30, 2011 § 7 Comments

“Tasca” means a modest establishment that serves cheap wine and “petiscos” (the Portuguese word for “tapa”). When well-known chef Vitor Sobral opened this restaurant he probably called it tasca to signal its affordable price. But the quality is excellent. There is a daily menu featuring small dishes, all original, all prepared with great care. There is also a degustation. The wine list has many good choices, including the excellent Chef’s Collection Vitor Sobral from Alentejo. Three star food almost at tasca prices, that is what you get at Tasca da Esquina. Reservations are a must.

Rua Domingos Sequeira 41C , Campo de Ourique,  1350-119 Lisboa, Tel. 919 837 255, email info@tascadaesquina.com. Click here for web site.


A poem by Sophia de Mello Breyner

June 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

“When I die I will return to seek
The moments I did not live by the sea.”

Sophia De Mello Breyner

Selected Poems, translated by Richard Zenith, Carcanet Press, 1997.

300 years of brewing

June 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Portuguese produce wonderful coffee. “It tastes like cognac,” an American friend said, admiring the smooth taste of Delta coffee. This coffee is so good that Delta exports it to Brazil.

It has taken three centuries of experience in three continents to learn to roast coffee that tastes like no other. All so that we can wake up in a good mood, looking forward to our first cup of brew.

Click here to visit Delta‘s web site.

Bottled sunshine

June 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

Favaios is an aperitif made from muscatel grapes grown in the Douro region. These grapes trap the sunlight all year round, which is why Favaios looks like liquid sun.

You will not be surprised, dear reader, to know that the best place to enjoy Favaios is by the beach at 6:30 pm, when the sun is tired and all is at peace. Favaios can be enjoyed outside of Portugal. But it will only remind you that you’re not in Portugal.

Boia Bar

June 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

At Boia Bar, a restaurant in Salema, near Lagos, Algarve, we always feel we are in a movie set. Everything is too perfect to be real. The restaurant is right on the beach. At dinner time you see the sky drowned in yellow and the sea getting ready for sunset, covering its dark blue color with washes of lighter hues. The warm air and the fresh sea breeze create the perfect temperature. Then, the wine and food arrive. The best item on the menu is the “robalo” (sea bass) grilled Algarve style. Before grilling, the chef makes diagonal incisions on the fish and fills them with thin slices of garlic and some olive oil. It’s that simple. But simple things are often the hardest. You have to have the freshest fish. You have to know the right temperature for the coal, the right amount of salt to use, the right moment to take the fish from the grill to the table. It’s this perfection of simple things that you can enjoy at Boia Bar.

Rua dos Pescadores 101, 8650-199 Salema, tel. 282 695 382, email: boiabar@mail.telepac.pt, click here for website.


June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

The sardine is the silver of the sea, mined by brave Portuguese fisherman to adorn the dinner tables of rich and poor. Portuguese sardines have a layer of fat that melts during cooking and gives them their unique taste. The most popular way to cook sardines is to grill them on charcoal. They are usually served with grilled peppers dressed with olive oil. Another popular sardine dish is “sardinhas de escabeche,” fried sardines marinated in olive oil, vinegar, onion, and bay leaves. During the June feasts of St. Antony, St. John and St. Peter restaurants set their grills on the street and serve sardines to saints and sinners alike.

Bem vindo!

June 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

It means welcome in Portuguese. Welcome to our blog about places to see, food to eat, wine to drink, poetry to read, and whatever else comes to mind. The Portuguese navigators discovered much of the world four hundred years ago. But the world has yet to discover Portugal. So the country remains the last secret of Europe. A place of castles and palaces, of mountains and valleys, of sand and sea. All bathed in warm light, all cooled by the breeze that carries the ocean’s salt, the salt of Portugal.

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