Thursday 19 June 2014

It's Always About the Food

                                                               Just picture a great big steak 
 Fried, roasted or stewed.

Oh, food,
Wonderful food,
Marvellous food,
Glorious food.

This won't come as a surprise, given the number of food-porn photos I have posted here, but I'll say it anyway, I love food. I won't say that I will try anything, because that would be a lie, but I am pretty adventurous in my quest to try new foods.

In our family, food represents a coming together of people. We gather around the table to celebrate happy times, and mourn the sad times. Together. We join to stuff sausages, grill meats and fish, fry large batches of chicken, then share the bounty around a table, filled with high-tone voices all fighting to be heard over one another. It's our way.

When I travel, the highlight of any trip is the food. I'm not a shopper, so please don't ask me to visit the local outlet mall, nor the newest and largest brand-name store with the fabulous discounts. That will not do. But take me to a food market or even a local grocery store, and I'm quite happy to lose myself for hours taking in the various local specialties.

It's those local specialties I'm after--conch fritters in the Caribbean; moose burgers in Newfoundland, alligator fingers in Florida, grilled octopus in Spain, oysters in Prince Edward Island.

Food and the people behind it are the reason for travelling. If you're not open to trying the local foods and meeting the people who are cooking it, then what is the reason for pulling yourself up from the the couch? There is none. That's the answer.

Last fall, I spent three glorious weeks in Lisbon. Everyday I meandered the cobblestone streets and back alleys, taking in the different neighbourhoods and plonking myself down in a local restaurant, with the goal of trying all 365 different codfish recipes, famous throughout Portugal. Of course, that was not possible, especially since my favourite is Bacalhau com Natas, and for which there are several recipes. I opted instead to try various versions of that particular dish. As with anything, some were better than others.

Bacalhau com natas
There's a contest running through the Portuguese Food Travel Association (APTECE), which, if by some miraculous intervention, I were to win, I'd have another go at trying 365 codfish recipes. I'm not certain how that would play out, as there aren't enough days, but I'd give it a try. It's a 16-day food junket through Portugal--I'd take jeans with elasticized waistbands if I won.

Although my roots are deeply Portuguese, I am very much Canadian (sorry, not during the World Cup #ForçaPortugal). A foodie trip through a country I left behind as a child, and one that will remain in my heart forever, would be a gastronomical learning experience. Further educating myself on the food and culture of this wonderful country will perhaps make me little more Portuguese? I can try.  Promoting Portugal, its sights, food and its people, is something I engage in at every opportunity, and I would of course, be proud further do so, if indeed, a miracle were to occur. 

So, since I still do  believe in miracles, I'm entering the contest. And if by some wild and crazy chance I were to win, well: Have I died and gone to heaven in a velvety custard tart?

For more information on the food tour or just to view some stunning mouth-watering photos, take a peak at Nelson Carvalheiro's blog. It'll make you want to start packing your bags!

Wish me luck folks.


  1. Great Comment Maria. Spoken like a true Portuguese.
    Add the link to the blog post for extra credits.

  2. I like cooking for my family, it is very nice, thanks, the fish look good

  3. Thanks. I love your post, it really good and interesting.

  4. Wow looks very appetizing . I also cook special dishes for my family during holidays . Thanks for sharing .

  5. Hi, it looks really good. Thanks for sharing.

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