Great and credible information with a fresh approach about Portuguese and Spanish wine and food. Not to mention, fantastic info about new trends as well as age-old traditions from the vibrant Iberian peninsula.
Bento Amaral

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Part 3: The Ultimate User’s Guide To Portuguese Cheese

In my two previous posts, we’ve explored Portugal’s most renown and cherished artisanal cheeses, learning the basic flavor profiles, as well as common Portuguese terms when buying and selecting cheese. (Read Part 1 and Part 2) Now it’s finally time to enjoy our delicious Portuguese cheese with some equally delicious Portuguese wine. For many of us, it’s impossible to pick only one ideal Portuguese cheese and wine pairing, as there are several wonderful and interesting combinations to experience. Consequently, I’ve not only listed a few of my favorite pairings at the end of the article, but have garnered the feedback of several Portuguese natives and wine / food enthusiasts alike. So make sure to read on! But first, allow me […]

Part 2: The Ultimate User’s Guide To Portuguese Cheese

In Part 1 of “The Ultimate User’s Guide to Portuguese Cheese”, we covered the 2 self-created categories “A Lil’ Stinky But Smooth And Creamy” and the “Not Too Soft, Not Too Hard And Not Too Stinky”. The last 2 categories highlight the “Hard, Rugged and Nutty” cheeses, as well as the “Refreshing”. However, you must be reminded that all of the cheeses covered in my article are not the only quality cheeses in Portugal; there are still hundreds of other cheeses, many very similar in style to one or more of my four categories. Also true, cheeses may vary in characteristics and descriptions depending on where you buy them. And of course, there will always be some very rare, small […]

Part 1: The Ultimate User’s Guide to Portuguese Cheese

Like wine, cheese is an important and valued part of Portuguese cuisine, and one that is typically overlooked by much of the world. Portugal boasts of various high quality artesanal cheeses, which are primarily produced in the central mountainous and plateau regions using sheep’s and goat’s milk.  The islands of the Azores are also famed cheese producers, but unlike the mainland, cheese is mainly produced from cow’s milk.  Most cheese production occurs in the winter months, when the “temperature of the women’s hands is cold enough to work the cheese in the typical granite cold cellars”, in the northern regions of Portugal, but small production still occurs in the spring, summer and fall months throughout the country. There are approximately […]

Festival of Santo Antonio and Festas de Lisboa: Lisbon’s Biggest Party of the Year

Lisbon is brimming with events throughout the year, but in early June, the city is jam-packed with festivities which represent the heart of the EGEAC sponsored Festas de Lisboa (Parties of Lisbon). Starting on the 15th of May, the Iberian Masquerade Show kicks off the city wide party with loud expositions, various musical concerts, and interesting cultural events such as Theatre in the metro and Fado on the trolleys.  But the most extravagant and outrageous summer events are the Festas dos Santos Populares (Popular Saints Parties); a mix of traditional pagan celebrations honoring the summer solstice and the religious feast days of Santos Antonio, João  and Pedro (Saints Anthony of Padua, John and Peter). And of these three, may I […]

Restaurant Gemelli: A Fusion of Italian and Portuguese Cooking in Lisbon

As mentioned last week, I made it to another restaurant thanks to the one week extension of Lisbon’s first Restaurant Week. And I’m elated I did, because what a completely different experience I had! This was our second attempt to dine at the much acclaimed Restaurant Gemelli, which I have seen consistently listed in the top 5 of Lisbon’s Top 20 Restaurants in Blue Wine Magazine for the past year and whose namesake chef, Augusto Gemelli has been featured in several popular food and wine events around the city such as the Gosto de Lisboa (Taste of Lisbon) and Peixe em Lisboa (Fish in Lisbon). Consquently, Lisbon Restaurant Week has of course been a huge hit for Gemelli, completely selling […]

Restaurant Conventual: A Sample of Lisbon’s First Restaurant Week

May 21st thru May31st marked the very first Restaurant Week in Lisbon, with some of the city’s most popular fine-dining restaurants offering 3-course lunches and dinners both at a special price of €20. Restaurant Week was organized by TRYP Portugal and sponsored by Sabor do Ano. Being a huge fan of Restaurant Week back in the States, it was without a doubt, I planned to attend. However, as half of the participating restaurants were already sold out by the time my fellow Lisbon Twitterer and Twinelis fan @jnogueira and I learned about Restaurant Week, there was a bit of a challenge to get a reservation at the last minute. But we were finally able to book an early lunch with […]

Chafariz do Vinho – Where Flavor Meets Aesthetics in Lisbon

Enoteca Chafariz do Vinho is located just up the street from Os Goliardos near Praça da Alegria and right down the hill from Principe Real. What makes Chafariz do Vinho attractive is its unique location within an 18th century stone reservoir. This Mãe de Agua (Mother of Water), which also happens to be the name of the street it’s situated on, connects with the rest of a 36 mile aqueduct used during water shortages to bring clean water into the city up and until the 20th century. The reservoir was eventually refurbished and converted into the enoteca where it stands now. Beginning at the very bottom of the cistern and traveling up a towering 3 stories, tables fill every nook […]

Cozinha Portuguesa Vegetariana: Eating Vegetarian in Portugal

Regardless of where you are in the world, someone wants to know,  “Are there vegetarian options available?.” When I first think about Portuguese cuisine, vegetarian or vegetables are definitely not what come to mind, while fish, meat and rice are more common.  But as a foreigner, I am no expert. So I decided to take a poll of every Portuguese mama and grandmama I could get my hands on, as well as their twenty to thirty-something year old sons still living at home and enjoying their cooking.  To no surprise, much of the answers were the same, “Cozinha vegetariana?  Uhhh…… I don’t think we have that”, with a peculiar expression that inferred, “why would anyone want to just eat vegetables??” […]

Bacalhau: The Staple of Portuguese Cuisine

Bacalhau is Portuguese for dry, salted cod, and referred to as Bacalao in Spain or Bacala in Italy. Today we take a look at it from a Portuguese perspective. Historically, Bacalhau was the staple for these three predominately Catholic countries during Lent, when meat was considered a forbidden food. And although the recipes have diversified and evolved, it can still be found on the dinner table of Portuguese, Spanish and Italian families in all its glorious forms today. Although the fiercely independent Basques, from the northern region of Spain called Pais Vasco, lay claim to first curing cod, the Vikings had traveled to the Newfoundland in the 12th century and were said to have hung it in the brutal winter […]

Need a Fabulous Late Night Snack in Lisbon? Check out “Restaurante A Merendeira”!

I’ve raved about Portugal‘s amazingly delicious and affordable cuisine, from sunny seafood lunches to rich and meaty dinners, not to mention delectable desserts from the pastelerias.  But what happens when the all the restaurants, cafes and supermarkets close at night and you’re still open with an appetite? It can be difficult to find someplace that is still serving a bit to eat, and nine times out of ten, the food tends to be less than stellar! Finding places to grab a bite to eat in the wee hours in Lisbon can also be an adventure, but if you happen to be out and about in Santos, the city’s “design district” with plenty of bars and clubs like Bairro Alto, there’s […]