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Tag Archives: Portugal

Portugal: A vegetarian’s oasis!

Walk into any mercado in Portugal and there will be stalls stuffed with large heads of cabbage, bunches of turnip tops, spinach and the young leaves of rapini. Go out to the Portuguese country-side and you’ll see patches of tall couve portuguesa hovering in the middle of gardens and a strip or two of grelos nearby. This often makes one question, what do the Portuguese do with all these vibrant leafy greens? The use of cabbage and greens are the epitome of peasant food. They became a Portuguese staple because in this climate they grow like, well, weeds! If there isn’t a small plot of land for such things, they are still inexpensive to grab from the local store. These […]

Deciphering the Vibrant Street Art of Porto

Enchanting, mystical, charming…these three words perpetually fall off my tongue when I describe the city of Porto. It’s a city that holds a thousand secrets etched on porcelain tiled buildings and abandoned romantic gardens teeming with flowering camelia trees. It’s a city where a 102 year old grandmother draped in black will smile broadly as you pass by, oblivious to your “foreign” appearance; or where young teenage boys will respectfully part their testosterone filled wave of jostling in order for you and your mammoth stroller to pass. However, what truly makes Porto unique is its architecture. Never has a city whispered so many stories, or expressed such unique personalities, through its concrete walls. And though many of Porto’s buildings have […]

Three Dynamic Female Portuguese Winemakers

Portugal might be on its knees economically, but the wine industry is going from strength to strength. Exports are growing quietly (between 5-10% per year over the last decade), and the country is beginning to escape the shackles of being seen only as a value producer. I’m not talking about Port, which has its own long-established market and following, but rather about “still” or non-fortified wines. Portugal was known for knocking out large quantities of “rustic” fare in decades gone by, but this started to change in 1986. Accession to the EU was a watershed which split apart the old cooperatives and saw the emergence of smaller, more quality-lead wineries. Not surprisingly for a country which is relatively new to […]

People of Porto! Join us for a Massive Picnic at Parque da Cidade THIS SUNDAY

People of Porto! Come join us THIS Sunday (April 13th) for a MASSIVE picnic at Parque da Cidade! If you enjoyed dancing with us in “We are Happy: Porto”, or you just enjoyed watching, make sure to join us for a second round to highlight another fantastic aspect of Porto! Everyone can come! Everyone should come and share the good vibes at the lake closest to the ocean in Parque da Cidade!! There’s only one requirement: we ask you to bring the following for this special picnic. Picnic blanket Bottle of wine or beverage Delicious food to share Funny hats and bright/colorful clothing (it’s festive and spring after all ) Toys – instruments, kites, whatever makes you happy! LOCATION: We […]

The Lush Green Parks and Gardens of Porto, Portugal

There are few cities in the world that are internationally known for their parks. Off the top of my head, I can think of Central Park in New York City, Parc Guell in Barcelona, Stanley Park in Vancouver, Griffith Park in Los Angeles, Lincoln Park in Chicago and Monsanto Park in Lisbon, but never once has anyone boasted of the rich, green paradises of Porto. Never has anyone sat down with me and said, “Hey Gabriella, make sure you squirrel away some time to see some of the most delicious gardens, incredible vistas or panoply of birds that grace our city parks!” As a lover of all things leafy, I’m amazed that this nugget of information is kept secret, and […]

Eggs: Sweet and Savory Portuguese Recipes

Prior to my migration from America to Portugal in 2011, I had often heard of the love affair that the Portuguese have with their eggs, especially when used in their sugar laden sweets. I didn’t really understand that eggs were also loved as additions to savory dishes until I got here and was pleasantly surprised by both the sweet and savory side of the ovos de Portugal. As savory dishes go, I find the egg to be an afterthought, an addition, not the center of attention that they often are in American cuisine. When it comes to ervilhas com ovos escalfados, or peas with poached eggs, that is definitely not the case. If there were no eggs in this dish, […]

The History of the Egg In Portugal: Why Portugese Cuisine Can’t Live Without It

If you ask the Portuguese, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” I would place my bet on the egg. Ovos are found throughout Portuguese cuisine. They’re poached in soups and açordas; fried on top of steaks, alheiras and francesinhas; boiled with fish and mixed into many of their beloved bacalhau dishes; and beaten with sugar and cinnamon in numerous desserts and sweets. Even the Portuguese chicken soup- canja, traditionally includes the boiled yolks of the un-laid eggs still left inside the chicken after its killed! So why does the egg seem to symbolize as much “à portuguesa” as their national anthem in their culture? Where did this love for eggs originate?    This was the question I set out […]

Friday Feature Photo: Herdade do Esporão, Portugal

Photographer: Ricardo Bernardo Capture Date: May 26, 2012 Location: Herdade do Esporão, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Portugal About: Table set in Herdade do Esporão’s recently renovated restaurant in the Alentejo.  Between the lagoon, and the table, young vines from this charismatic Alentejo wine producer can be seen. Desktop Wallpaper: To download this image, simply right-click on the image and select “save link as” or “save target as”, then select the preferred location on your computer to save the photo. Purchase: Please contact us directly if you’re keen to purchase any of Catavino Friday Photo images. Note that the images are not to be reposted on any web site or blog without the express permission of the photographer.

Off the beaten track in Porto – Simplesmente Vinho

What do you call a group of small, artisan wine producers at a tasting? If you’re in France or Italy, the “natural wine” moniker might well rear its head. The suggestion being that these are winemakers who eschew overtly industrial production methods, intervene less and attempt above all else to express their terroir. The less charitable may claim this merely means long beards, stinky wines and radical stances on sulphur. In Portugal things are a little different. Here, no-one seems that interested in defining such a slippery category – least of all the 23,000+ visitors to Porto’s annual Essencia do Vinho tasting. The mix of trade and consumer attendees are packed in tighter than sardines, and beating a path to your favourite producer’s stand can turn into […]

Pharrell Williams – Happy – We Are from Porto

It would be hard to escape the trendy, upbeat sounds of “Happy”, a song performed by American singer Pharrell Williams, from the Despicable Me 2 album. It’s been so successful that it’s topped the charts in 16 different countries and sold one million copies in the UK alone. Impressed? Just wait, there’s more! To coincide with the song’s release, the website 24hoursofhappy.com was launched marketed as “the world’s first 24 hour music video”, featuring a host of cameos including Jamie Foxx, Steve Carell and Magic Johnson. In typical social media fashion, the original music video eventually spawned covers on YouTube in which people from various cities around the world dance to the song. These videos are generally called, “Pharrell Williams – Happy – […]