Showing category "food and drink" (Show all posts)

The Top Cheeses of Portugal

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Friday, December 16, 2016, In : food and drink 
Every country has its own special cheeses and so does Portugal. They taste very different from the Dutch Gouda or the British Cheddar, but once you have tried some, you will soon find one that fits your taste. 

When you go shopping for cheese in Portugal there are a few words you should know:

- Fresco means fresh, young
- curado means cured, aged
- velho means old, aged for at least 90 days
- leite means milk
- cabra means goat
- ovelha means sheep
- vaca means cow
- amanteigado means creamy, buttery....

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Fresh Figs Season - What A Sweet Delight

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Monday, July 20, 2015, In : food and drink 
                       


Many people only know the taste of dried figs and I think they are lovely. But here and now - until the end of September - you have the chance of tasting the fresh fruit. Before moving to the Algarve I did not even know what they looked like, leave alone how they taste. But I fell in love with them from the first time we met.

The fig could be considered the perfect fruit, although it rather is a "false fruit," or syncomium. Within the globe of the "fruit" are little clus...

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Flor De Sal - The Best Salt Of The Algarve

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, In : food and drink 
                       

Salt. What could be simpler than that. We have been using salt for thousands of years to spice up our food and to preserve food as well. But there actually are quite a lot of differences. The salt harvested from sea water in the Algarve if a very high quality sea salt, but the top of the line is definitely the Flor de Sal - the flower of salt. 

What is Flor de Sal? 

Through evaporation by sun and wind, a thin glistening layer of flaky salt crystals will start to float on ...

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Portuguese Olive Oil - Amongst The Best Of The World

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, In : food and drink 
                             

Portugal is not a giant producer of olive oil like neighbouring Spain, but the traditional production of olive oil goes just as deep here.  During the last couple of years Portuguese producers have improved the quality and polished their brands to shine among the world’s best olive oils.  

Now some of the world´s best olive oils are coming from Portugal.  Brands like Oliveira da Serra, Saloio and Gallo have some oils that won prestigious international awards. An...

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Licor Beirão - THE liqueur of Portugal

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, In : food and drink 
                       

The most famous liqueur of Portugal is without a doubt Licor Beirão. Its recipe is a trade secret; producer J. Carranca Redondo, Lda. only states it is made from a double distillation of seeds and herbs from all over the world.

The history of the liqueur dates way back. It was already produced as a medicinal product for stomach aches in the 19th century in a pharmacy in Lousã, before being named Beirão.  In the late 19th century alcoholic beverages were no longer qual...

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Wines Of Portugal

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Monday, June 22, 2015, In : food and drink 
                       

Speaking about wine, most people do not make a direct link to Portugal. The wines from this country are 
relatively unknown in the world, but nevertheless Portugal is the 7th largest producer of wine in the world!

Besides the white, red and rosé wines, we have a few extras here: There is port wine (a wine fortified by adding Brandy), there is Madeira (fortified wine from the island of Madeira), we have Moscatel (a liquerous wine from the Setúbal Peninsula) and then ther...

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Algarvean Oranges - The Sweet Taste Of Sunshine

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Sunday, June 21, 2015, In : food and drink 

                       

In the middle of the winter, when nature is asleep in the northern part of Europe, the evergreen orange trees bear fruit and it seems like a million Christmas trees with bright orange balls are decorating the rural Algarve. Absolutely breathtaking!  If you drive through the western Algarve in early springtime and open your car window, the scent of the flowering orange trees tickles your senses. This lovely perfume is one of the nicest aromas I know.

Silves, 
the former c...

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Traditional Portuguese Food

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Sunday, June 21, 2015, In : food and drink 
                       

When I first came to Portugal - the Algarve to be precise - I was a bit sceptical about the food that was served by the locals.  In The Netherlands we have a saying, literally translated into English: "what the farmer does not know, the farmer does not eat!"   And - I am a bit ashamed to admit - that is often also the way I behave.  But, getting older and wiser, I am more often trying new flavours and foreign dishes, although some things I will never ever put in my mout...
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Nesperas Or Loquats - The First Fruit To Be Harvested

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Thursday, April 23, 2015, In : food and drink 
                       

In the Algarve the people just love their Nêspereira (loquat tree). This evergreen, easy to grow, tree (Eriobotrya japonica) originates from China and Japan and is not only ornamental, but it also has wonderful tasty fruit. 

The fruit of this tree is called the loquat (nespera in Portuguese) and is related to the apple and the pear. It is the first fruit to ripen in the springtime. It is rich in beta-caroteen, fibres, kalium, vitamin A, pectine and has only 45 calories ...

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Há Caracóis ! We Have Snails on the Menu !

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Friday, March 27, 2015, In : food and drink 

                       

What Escargots are in France, caracóis are in Portugal. Caracois, Portuguese snails, are smaller than their French cousins and many locals as well as foreigners, absolutely love them.  You can only eat them during spring and summer, since it is a seasonal dish.  While snails are considered a delicacy in France, here in Portugal it is a dish that everybody eats.  

Look out for the sign:  "Há caracois" and give it a try. Usually they are served with buttered bread and th...

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Lupini Beans - Tasty Little Bites

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Saturday, October 25, 2014, In : food and drink 
                                                               


The first time I was served these yellow beans in the local café with a beer, I did not know what they were.  In the meantime I learned to appreciate these "Petiscos" (Portuguese for "tasty little bites") as a delicious snack, especially since I found out how healthy they are!

Lupini beans are the yellow legume seeds of Lupinus genus plants, that grow all over Europe and are a common snack food in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, G...

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Acorns - The Chestnuts Of The South

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Monday, September 29, 2014, In : food and drink 
                                


In Portugal the acorn is so important that they have a different name for each type of acorn. The acorn of the cork oak (sobreiro) is called a lande (or landre) and the acorn of a holm oak (azinheira) is called a bolota (or boleta).  

The acorns mainly serve as food for the pigs, but the bolota also used to be a very important source of food since the ancient Lusitanian people populated Iberia. It was a welcome addition to the shortage of cereals in the winter. ...

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Some Like It Hot ! Piri Piri, The African Devil

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Thursday, September 18, 2014, In : food and drink 
                              


Thanks to Columbus you can now enjoy the famous chicken piri piri here in the Algarve. He was the one that brought this fiery pepper from South America to Europe and the Portuguese then took it with them to Mozambique and Angola, where it became an important fruit to the natives as well as Portuguese. 

Piri Piri is Swahili for "pepper pepper", but this cultivar of Capsicum frutescens is also know as peri peri, African birdseye Chili, or African Devil. It is a rela...

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Medronho, Much More Than A Drink

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Tuesday, September 9, 2014, In : food and drink 
                            


These are some Medronho berries. They grow on the Strawberry Tree - Arbutus Unedo - and are mainly used to create the famous Algarvean Aguardente de Mendronho.

The berries have an acquired taste. Maybe that is why it has "Unedo" in its Latin name, which means: eat only 1. The fruit and the pretty little flowers can be see all at the same time, between October and December. It takes a complete year for the berry to develop from flower to ripe fruit. First they are gr...

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How To Order Coffee In Portugal Just The Way You Like It

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, In : food and drink 
The Portuguese are proud of their coffee. And not without reason! Some of the richest coffee growing countries in the world are ex-colonies of Portugal. Although the sound of the coffee grinder and the espresso machine can be annoying at times, it also promises a great quality coffee is nearby.

The Portuguese generally do not drink their coffee at home, but rather have one in the local café or pasteleria. Here they can order their beloved coffee, just the way they like it.  If you want to ha...

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About Me


Marianne Hoesen Born in the deep south of The Netherlands, I moved to the central Algarve in 2007, together with my partner and 2 dogs. In the meantime we added some goats and chickens and are living a peaceful life in the rolling hills of the rural south of Portugal. I invite you to read a bit in my blog and to leave a comment afterwards. Also check out the holiday accommodations mentioned elsewhere in this website.

 

 
Weersverwachting
Algarve
Meer weer in Silves
Algarve Portugal
café Portugal, bica
Esteva, rock rose, Algarve
sun, beach, Algarve
real cork real wine
beach Algarve
folklore dance Algarve
chicken piri piri