Honey, let me tell you about this honey!

Mmm. It’s been a food week. I haven’t indulged your senses in Portuguese food much so here’s to a little mouth-watering goodness… It actually started last week when I was on a road trip with Rute in Central and Northern Portugal. Given that the traditional Portuguese menu almost unanimously features meat, meat, fish, and meat, my options are quite often limited when I just don’t feel like another salty piece of cod fish (it’s grown on me a bit but will never be my fish of choice), dourado (usually my staple fish) or bass. So needless to say, the road trip was not in itself much of a culinary experience as it might be for other people who rave of country food and enjoy eating wild bore (javalí), blood stained chicken rice (this one is so appetizing I’ve unfortunately forgotten the local name), or baby goat (cabrito). However, I was introduced to the most amazing honey I’ve ever tasted. And honey, the Portuguese really get into their honey. They mix it with other things like rosemary and eucalyptus, they make super concentrated varieties with high royal jelly content, and they make this dark rich molasses thick goodness called Mel da Lousã which I tasted a week ago when visiting the forest of Lousã. The bees that produce it feast on the nectar of pink heather bushes that blanket the forest.  I’d never guess that such a dry, rough bush could contribute to the production of such an exotic delicacy.  

The source!

The source!

 

Moving on to this week.  About a 10 minute walk uphill from my neighborhood, the type of walk that works your butt muscles and allows you to burn some of the calories you are about to consume, resides a small Italian-Argentine gelateria which scoops decadently intensely concentrated flavorful doses of things like dulce de leche, After Eight (I’d call it chocolate mint but After Eight sounds much classier) tangerine, raspberry, etc. One tasting provokes words like ‘divine, sinful, godly.’ If that doesn’t have you sold, another reason this gelato place is so special is that Lisbon is almost void of proper ice cream shops. Save for the very available ice cream on a stick, like the popsicle type, available from every café (and yes, Magnum does do a very very good ice cream on a stick even with Eva Longoria’s face all over the package) it’s hard to get scooped ice cream. And this place is practically in my backyard. The price will keep my visits under control though.

And for tonight’s fare…I’ve made a plate of snacks consisting of green and purple olives that I mixed with freshly minced garlic (the pre-minced stuff isn’t half as spicy), olive oil, and oregano. Sheep’s cheese that asks me to consume it preferably by the end of 2010. A loaf of rye bread. A small green melon that’s softer and sweeter than honeydew. A sweet red pepper and some red wine from the Alentejo. It’s all just quite fresh, bottom line. That’s why it tastes so yummy. Oh, and I forgot the dark chocolate covered almonds. They’re the Easter candy and all cafés have them for the taking this week and next. Hungry?

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~ by maureenmoore on April 9, 2009.

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