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Portuguese cuisine: not only groceries and port wine

At the end of the XVI century, Prince Henry the Navigator ordered his subjects to deliver to Portugal any exotic plants found in the colonies. It was a brilliant decision.

The discovery of new sea routes brought tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes, beans, and avocados to the country and its colonies.

Brazilian pineapples were grown in the Azores, chili in Angola, cashews in Africa and India, and African coffee traveled to Brazil.

Today, the cuisine of each region of the country has its own face, but fish and seafood dishes are found everywhere. Especially it concerns bacalhau — dried salted cod.

The Portuguese have been passionate about it since the beginning of the 16th century, when their fishing boats reached the coast of Newfoundland. They caught cod in the northern waters, salted them and, since the trip to their homeland could last up to three months, they dried it right on the ship.

As they say, there are 365 different ways of cooking bakalyau — one for each day.

For most recipes, cod is pre-soaked in water. So begins, for example, the work on the classics: Bacalhau a brash (bacalhau a braz) of Of lisbon — cod, fried with potatoes, onions and eggs.

Or an old family dish of Porto«Bacaula Gomes de Sa» (bacalhau a Gomes de Sa), for which pieces of fish and potatoes are poured with toasted garlic, onion and olive oil, sprinkled with chopped boiled egg, decorated with olives and baked in the oven.

It used to be that bakalyau was a cheap food for everyday life. Now, if you see a crowd of homemade women occupying one of the shop windows in the market or in the store, you should know that they came for layers of dried fish from Norway or Iceland, which you will then prepare — for a holiday or a weekend — for the whole family.

In the fish company you can often find boiled eggs, cream, potatoes, broccoli, green beans, carrots. And, of course, bread.

The Portuguese eat a lot of bread, both wheat and corn.

In a private estate Paço de Calheiros in Ponte de Lima, owned by Count Francisca Kaleirush, president of the family estate network Solares de Portugal. The estate was granted to the ancestors of the count at the end of the 15th century by King Afonso IV and is considered one of the most beautiful private buildings of the 16th century. Portugal. It is located on a high hill with an impressive view of the valley and vineyards.

Here comfortable rooms are rented, there is a swimming pool, courts, riding lessons, wine tastings and master classes in cooking national dishes (www.pacodecalheiros.com).

In the estate Quinta do ameal (80 km from Porto), in the wine region Vinyu VerdeIts owner, Pedro Araujo, is a hereditary winemaker who produces 50,000 bottles of white, red and sparkling wine from local grapes of his own each year.

The famous young wine Vinhu Verde is one of the best here.

Wines Quinta do ameal noted in many wine references and ratings; in Russia there are none. The estate is the center of wine tourism.

There are various tastings and guided tours (www.quintadoameal.com).

In the bookstore Livraria lello & Irmao (rua Carmelitas, 144), opened in 1906. Stained glass, carved wood, copper. Here, JK Rowling pondered the plot of the first Harry Potter book, and it was this store that became the prototype for Hogwarts.

Here you can buy cooking books, and on the second floor, have a coffee or a glass of port wine.

AT Pousada Santa Marinha da Costa (www.pousadas.pt), in the city of Guimaraes, 54 km from Porto.

In the XII century there was a monastery of the Augustinian order. In the 70s of the 20th century, the majestic building was carefully restored and in 1985 the project received the National Architectural Award. Now this is a luxury hotel (49 rooms and 2 suites), surrounded by a large garden with fountains and a lake hidden in the shade of trees.

The cousin, baked in bread crumbs (bacalhau com broa) and toucinho do céu, should be mentioned in the restaurant’s menu.

Literally translated into Russian, its name is “heavenly fat”.

The dessert is prepared according to an old monastic recipe from yolks, almonds and caramel.

They say that the last word is always remembered, but in the case of lunch or dinner, the situation is different — its beginning is well remembered.

Food in Portugal nourishing, so sometimes it is enough to eat only served snacks, which usually begins with lunch or dinner. It can be goat or sheep cheese, dry cured gammon. presunto, pies for one or two bites with a variety of fillings, skewers of octopus or shrimp, balls of mashed potatoes and bakulyau, traditional pastamaza pate de perdiz. It is made from tender poultry or rabbit meat.

In restaurants, meat is first marinated in grappa or other strong alcohol with spices and olive oil, fried, stewed at 75 ° C for two and a half hours, then broken down into fibers and mixed with caramelized onions, balsamic and another portion of strong alcohol.

Local sausages are held in a separate line. Especially good are two pigs: shorisu (chouriço) with garlic and herbs and its more refined and flavorful version — linguis (linguiça). Many Portuguese believe that the latter, with a generous spicy taste of paprika, oregano and cumin, deserves much more attention than it is given now.

It is actively prepared at home, at 200 kg per year.

In the Azores, pork for this sausage is marinated for two days in orange juice, and in continental Portugal Sherry is sometimes added to mincemeat to impart a special, noble taste.

Sausage from the point of view of the Portuguese — and a snack, and an ingredient for cooking hot dishes. Shorisu, for example, they add to the most popular soup in the north of the country Caldo Verde from fresh green cabbage, potatoes and onions.

Despite the simplicity of the ingredients, it can be found in the menu of the fishing tavern, and on the table of the aristocrat.

Tender meaty linguis, which got along well in the homeland with boiled eggs, beans, beef, seafood, stepped out of the country, became known as the “Portuguese sausage” and was found on Hawaiian islands in the sandwich of the local “McDonald’s”.

The most unusual to taste is sausage. farinera (farinheira).

At the end of the 15th century, the Portuguese tried to evict Jews from their cities. And before the outcasts there was a choice: to leave or accept the Catholic faith.

Those who remained, although they became Catholics, continued to observe their traditions. To merge with the masses, the Jews, too, began to cook «pork» sausages, but in a sly manner.

They developed a unique recipe for minced poultry, flour and spices, which even the most ardent champions of the faith took to be pork.

The Portuguese generally love legends. Apparently, without beautiful sentimental fairy tales, the inhabitants of the country live difficult and uninteresting, it is not in their nature. Intricate stories are not only about the appearance of culinary masterpieces.

They are surrounded by the life and death of historical personalities. Until the 30s of the last century, the cult of the savior King Sebastian existed in the country, who went missing in 1578.

He was not considered dead for a very long time and declared “desirable”. Pro Sebastian composed poems, erected monuments to him, and in Lisbon, in the monastery Geronimush even prepared a tomb.

Sad but true: his disappearance during the battle in Morocco tore off the Avishian dynasty of kings, famous for its numerous victories and geographical discoveries.

The throne was occupied by the king of Spain, Philip the Second, which was the beginning of Spanish rule for the country.

There are also legend cities in the country that live their own special lives. A prime example is Porto, who always had a reputation as a hardworking city. A proverb says: “While Coimbra is learning, Braga is praying, Lisbon is having fun, Porto is working.”

For a long time I tried to find a characteristic to describe this city. And the best definition will probably be the words: “the city of the lost, former greatness”. Porto — as a well-born nobleman who went bankrupt, but at the same time retained heirloom values, noble manners and dignity.

There are few such cities in the world, and they will most likely have to go to the other end of the world.

Old city Porto, which UNESCO inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1996 is amazing in any weather. Here everything is in place: the rays of the sun, which are reflected in the dusty windows of the shops; fog coming from the river Douro; frequent rains, pouring out on passers-by from a large celestial bucket (affects the proximity of the ocean).

The streets paved with light stone, by the way, are always without puddles.

With the name of the city often associated scar in style Porto (tripas à moda do Porto), and its inhabitants used to be called this: “Tripeyrus” — tripe eaters. According to the legend, only these parts of the meat carcasses were left to the townspeople by Heinrich the Navigator when he outfitted a naval expedition to Morocco. All the meat in the city he took for his sailors.

True or not, it is not known, but here they still like to bake and fry not only meat, poultry and fish, but also offal, pork sausages, flavoring the dish with a generous portion of cumin, curry and cloves.

Any guide and guide will advise tourists only walking around the city, in which there are so many narrow streets and steep stairs. And visiting restaurants and restaurants will be one of the mandatory points of the program.

For example, a trip to a 5-star gastronomic restaurant The yeatman (www.the-yeatman-hotel.com).

This wine spa hotel is built on the principle of a vineyard — a cascade on the banks of the river Douro, opposite the colorful promenade Ribeira. The kitchen is dominated by chef Ricardo Costa — one of the most famous young chefs in the country.

Ricardo is great. In an interview, he admitted that he used techniques in his work, which he learned from his grandmother and parents.

Guide inspectors Michelin, probably, they didn’t suspect that a pig with sweet potatoes is a restaurant’s hit Largo do Paço, to which they awarded one star in 2009, Ricardo prepared just according to a family, grandmother’s recipe. Now the chef masterfully combines molecular delights with national traditions in the kitchen The yeatman, presenting guests including tasting sets with six to eight meals.

Dinner can be delayed for several hours, which means there will be time to study the interior and appreciate the panorama of the old city.

Previously, it was necessary to come to the observation deck or climb the tower, but now it is enough to book a table by the window or go to the terrace of the restaurant.

Dishes “Assador de Chouriço” (assador de chouriço). This is an oblong ceramic bowl with a low rim and a lid grate. Sliced ​​sausages are laid out on the rack, alcohol is poured to the bottom and set on fire.

It turns out the desktop version of the barbecue in Portuguese.

Souvenirs and kitchen textiles with the image of a bright cockerel, which is considered a symbol Portugal and the mascot of travelers.
Bags, jewelry, watches, umbrellas made of oak cork. Specially treated material is thin, flexible, waterproof and durable.

Bulk bags are very light.

Blue and white tiles Azulejush (azulejos) — glazed ceramic tiles.

These can be fridge magnets, hot plates, wall panels.

Especially interesting are the hand-painted tiles depicting domestic scenes.

Port, literally «wine from Porto» — necessarily and certainly! It is best to buy it directly from manufacturers, shops and cellars are easy to find on the embankment of the river. Douro, at Vila nova de gaia. Among reputable companies should pay attention to Fonseca sandeman and Calem.

By the way, when buying, it is not necessary to chase vintage port wine made from grapes of the “year of exceptional harvest”.

At home, cool the drink, for example, Calem 10 years old — up to 18 ° C, and add a small ice cube.

Bartenders from Porto also recommend slightly diluting it with tea, green or black.

Francesinha — the top sample of local fast food. The name literally translates as «little French.»

It is believed that the recipe of the dish appeared in Porto in the 60s of the last century as an interpretation of the French sandwich «Croque monsieur». Francesinia is served with french fries and consists of bread, several types of sausage, grilled meat, ham, melted cheese and thick sauce. The Portuguese believe that the charm of the “Frenchwoman” is just in the sauce, the cooking subtleties of which every cook or owner of the cafe keeps in strict confidence.

It is known only that it always has beer and tomato sauce. Each institution strives to remake the traditional sandwich in his own manner. It can be served with scrambled eggs or potato chips, enlarged to gigantic sizes, baked in a wood oven, filled, among other things, with champignons, shrimps or vegetables.

Regardless of the filing, French Bezinja is the favorite food of football fans, because you are full of the whole match. Among residents Porto in blogs and forums, serious debates about the charms and shortcomings of sandwiches of a restaurant and cafe are flaming up. For example, according to the authors of the site www.fortheloveofport.com, the rating of the institutions in which a local hit is being prepared is headed Bufete fase and Majestic, both on Rua stá.

Catarina, and Chamiço on Rua da Constituição.

For the organization of the trip, we thank the Portuguese Institute of Tourism and the Porto Tourism Association.

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