I really love Catavino – it’s such an informative and innovative source of information on Spanish & Portuguese wines. The food of the region is key, but it’s just as vital to know about the great wines available too. This is the place to find out!
Jose Pizzaro http://www.josepizarro.com

Tag Archives: Olive oil

Shopping In Portugal: Five Gourmet Portuguese Products for Travel

Portugal is brimming with history, tradition and an abundance of natural resources, mainly of the edible variety! I’ve lost count of the number of nut, cork and olive trees; the vast amount of grapevines and vegetable gardens capable of growing in every nook and cranny; clear rivers and streams teeming with life and herds of goats and sheep, cattle and Iberian black pigs that graze along expansive sunny green pastures. It’s a life that makes you green with envy yourself. Take a walk through the countryside in the springtime and flowers are so lush and wild that they’re bursting through drainpipes and sprouting on rooftops. It’s these images that come to mind when I go shopping for Portuguese products. It’s […]

The Calçotada: From Spain to Your Backyard

Fire up the barbecues and grab your friends. No, it is not Memorial Day weekend or a celebration of the first day of spring. Winter marks the time of year when Cataluña celebrates the almighty calçot. It is no secret that Catalans love to party, and the annual calçotada is just one more excuse to gather with friends to eat, drink, and celebrate. Fortunately, this is one unique culinary tradition which can be duplicated here at home. Calçots originate from a variety of scallion from Lleida (Lerida), Spain. Although the origin is disputed, one of the most widely accepted accounts is that they were developed by a peasant farmer from the southern Catalan town of Valls (castells, the human towers, […]

Portuguese Soup: Recipes during the Chilly Winter Months

Editor’s Note: In December, we posted Beyond ‘Caldo Verde’—Three Soups and Wine Pairings to Try This Season. As per our Catavino reader, Venita Noronha’s request, here are a couple more recipes to enjoy this winter season. When I was growing up, my mother each evening began with a bowl of soup. Sometimes, I would fuss about it like any kid who just wants to get to the main course. My mother would say, “So uma concha,” which means, just one ladle of soup (she always slyly added more despite my moaning and groaning). But as soon as the soup touched my lips, my protests came to an end. My mother’s soups are a treat; and as I got older, I […]

Part 2: Summer Recipes to Quell Portuguese ‘Saudade’

Editor’s note: In Part I, we quelled our ‘saudade’ with a trip to the seaside town of Setubal for its piscatorial delights, then journeyed to the countryside village of Monsanto for carnivorous temptations. In Part II, we go to the root of it, Lisbon, the capital of ‘saudade.’ In the Fado classic, “Cheira Bem Cheira a Lisboa” (Smells Good Smells like Lisbon) the song says the city smells of flowers and the sea. It does, but that’s not all. In the colder months, the air is perfumed with the scent of strong espresso escaping from the multitude of cafes onto the cobblestoned streets where it mixes with the aroma of roasting chestnuts. During the warmer months, grilled fish and pork […]

Grilling Season: How Portuguese Expats Fire it Up and What They Pour to Cool Down

Portuguese expats in the U.S. like to joke that if there’s a waft of sizzling sardines in the air then a fellow immigrant can’t be too far. They’re usually right. Growing up in New Jersey, expats’ grills were hardly ever graced by the usual American fare of hot dogs, hamburgers, porter house steaks, ribs, lobster tails or corn on the cob. Our grills brimmed with sardines, carapau (small mackerel), pork cutlets, cod fish, pork belly, chourico (Portuguese sausage) and whole or select chicken pieces. The side dishes generally consisted of boiled young potatoes, skin on of course, garnished with olive oil. Or, a salad packed with lettuce, tomatoes, and olives and charred red and green bell peppers. To top the […]

The Olive Harvest in Portugal: A Delightful Aromatic Adventure

Editor’s Note: Last year, Fiona Lynch and her husband Jonathan, two passionate geologists, moved from Scotland to the Lima Valley in Minho region in Portugal. Fiona has kindly been submitting articles to Catavino based on her varied experiences, and we couldn’t be more appreciative. Today, Fiona brings you her take on the Olive harvest in Portugal. We had every intention of picking the olives from our modest but productive olive trees but being rather unsure of how to go about it we kept putting it off. It was late November in Alto Minho region, northern Portugal and every day we passed groups of people collecting olives. Often we would stop and watch the different methods; some climbed the trees and […]

Pairing Portuguese Wines with Roasted Fowl

On cold winter evenings there’s nothing more heartwarming for this writer than a chicken roasting in the oven. The scent of herby seasonings enchant my senses and transport me to my mother’s kitchen in New Jersey where she roasts to perfection just as she learned to do back in the Old Country. In America, roasted turkey is considered one of the coziest meals in this country’s culinary repertoire. To meld the flavors of the Old and New worlds in my own kitchen, I need only to turn to my mother, Maria do Ceu, who along with her seven siblings was raised in the sleepy village of Bemposta do Campo in the interior Beira Baixa region of Portugal where roasting in […]

A Few of Our Top Gastronomic Experiences of 2010!

To ring in the New Year with friends and family, we’d like to bring you our Top 10 Gastronomic experiences of 2010!! As our lives revolve around food and wine, we love to look back and reminisce on those moments that truly effected our lives. These experiences are in no particular order, and only some of them have been covered on Catavino; however, we’d love to share some of our experiences and ask all of you to share a few of yours in the comments below. Note: Please make sure to click on the title of each experience to learn more. Cinc Sentits Innovation and experimentation are traits we love! Red wine with scallops? Why not! Sweet wines with steak? […]

Tradition Meets Modernity: New Ideas for Old Tapas (Part III: Pan con Tomate)

Our journey through the world of traditional tapas began with the mighty tomato and led us to the robust potato. We now find ourselves returning once again to Spain’s favorite bread-topping condiment – the almighty tomato. Pan con Tomate (aka Pa amb Tomàquet or Pan a la Catalana) is one of the most popular and widely eaten dishes in Cataluña. This rustic and basic food is as much (or more) a part of the Catalan identity as the region’s newfound reputation as the gastronomic epicenter of the culinary world. Once you try it you will understand why. It is uncertain as to the true origins of Pan con Tomate. The tomato found its way to European soil in the 16th […]

The Perfect Trifecta: Arroz Caldo, Spanish Rose and White Sandy Beaches

It is close to impossible to visit Barcelona and not take the short jaunt south to Sitges, where you can bask in the stunning blue waters and grand villas of this small but bustling Catalan town. Renowned for its gorgeous beaches, festive gay ambiance, Film Festival and Carnival –  it’s a place of stunning beauty and incredible food. I have been to Sitges only a handful of times, the last of which I spent eating a mouthwatering pot of mussels while longingly staring at the sea wishing that my ridiculously heavy, plaster cast was water resistant. Having recently broken my hand in a moronic sailing accident, where I tripped over a mooring line while “gracefully” leaping onto the cement dock, […]