Local Heart, Global Soul

September 2, 2011

Comparing Dinner to Lunch and being Ruined for Life…

Filed under: CAPE VERDE,FOOD,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Still on my 2007  retro tour of Sal in the Cape Verde islands, we have found that cooking back at our self catering accomodation is limited by  the difficulties of obtaining the ingredients in the quantities we want and the cooking space and equipment available.

Eating out is not terribly expensive so we  decide to head to the resautant that’s  not too far from the pier, on the beachfront  for dinner.

We had been here earlier in the day, for lunch  and returned  in the evening becuase we had been impressed. I’ve got a combination of our lunchtime and evening menu photos here.

Kiwi’s Best Friend had lobster for lunch, she scored it high on the yummy scale, and  had a deep fried cheese appy to go wiith it, the verdict on the cheesy thing  was ” looked divine, taste somewhat lacking”

Kiwi’s Best Friend had sampled some of my lunchtime tuna and loved it so ordered the tuna for dinner … I tried some too… it was good but was not nearly as good my lunch plate….  Different chef perhaps?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wanting a change from tuna  I opted for the grilled fish for dinner and it was  quite tasty actually, especially compared to some of the others.. ton of tiny bones made it a hassle though…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself couldn’t resist the lure of reasonably priced mega fresh lobster… we hardly got a word out of him becuase he was constantly busy eating with a look of bliss on his face.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ordering the bread here was the best and worst thing I have probably ever done in my life. It was beyond divine. It’s arguably the best combination of garlic and bread I have ever eaten, the garlic was intense but not with that “raw” kind of taste you sometimes get when you have a mega heap of garlic…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I want all garlic bread to be like this.. forever and ever. This one has probably ruined me becuase few will ever measure up to this again in my lifetime. (sigh) I wrote this note when we were on Sal and sadly no garlic bread I have had since has been as good.

This bread has ruined me for life…   I have this bread in mind each and every time I make my own garlic butter concoctions to go on bread… I keep trying, but in all honesty, I haven’t even gotten close.

Oh well, everyone needs a Life Challenge,  “To attempt to match this garlic bread perfection“… (happy sigh) …someone’s gotta do it.

July 12, 2009

Influences on Portuguese Cuisine – the Romans

One of the best ways that you can really get to understand a Country’s food, is to understand it’s Culture.
One of the best ways to understand a country’s culture is to understand it’s History.

The make up and characteristics of all National cuisines could be very simplistically summed up by a simple thought, which in it’s most basic form would be defined as :”who-bought-what-to-you-when-they-arrived” and “what -we-bought-back home-after-we-travelled-abroad.

Way back when, Portugal didn’t yet possess it’s own identity, but in approximately the 2nd Century BC, it did get a name: Luso. The restless Romans had been busy capturing and conquering all around Europe and Lusitania was a wider Roman province that geographically encompassed the entire south west of Europe. In present day terms this included a territory that encompassed a southern snippet of France, all of Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra.

The prefix Luso came originally from a fierce tribe called the “Lusitani” who resisted the Roman advancement into the region with gusto and by all accounts, after they were overrun by the Roman known-world domination machine, resisted Roman rule rather well too. The tribe’s Chieftain leader , “Viriatus” thus became one of Portugal’s first national heroes. Under Roman occupation, Olisipo (Lisbon) became the western capital of the expanded Roman Empire.

Not only were the Romans were responsible for providing the Latin roots into the Portuguese language, and much of the road patterns that are still followed today, they were also responsible for starting agriculture in Portugal and introduced wheat because they wanted to turn it into the granary of Rome. But most importantly for centuries of Portuguese food lovers, they introduced olives, grapes, onions and garlic into Portuguese cuisine

Roasted Garlic Recipezaar Recipe 6570 by RiffRaff (photo © kiwidutch)

Roasted Garlic Recipezaar Recipe 6570 by RiffRaff (photo © kiwidutch)

Later, somewhere in the middle of the 4th century AD, Christianity arrived on the Iberian Peninsula and the Roman occupation ended in the 5th Century with the invading forces of the Germanic tribes. But the even with the Romans gone, the are far from forgotten because their aromatic legacy lives on strongly in Portuguese cuisine today.

… so in all probability, the Portuguese would have been rather delighted to see the Romans finally depart their shores, but I’m equally certain that whilst they would have said ” Well, it’s finally time for ” goodbye”… we have had our ups and downs over the past few hundred years”, they probably also added “but many many Thanks for the Garlic my culinary Roman friends“….

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