Food

what I ate in portugal

the best food country I’ve been in this year, totally fell in love with the restaurants, the food markets, and the street food.

super quick roll call of my favourites.

first up Lisbon:

  • all the smoked things @fumeirodesantacaterina : beef, octopus and the standout eggplant
  • woodfired coffee roasters @A flor de Selva the best €12 on beans ever spent
  • fresh grilled sardines @ Último Porto
  • percebes and steak sandwich for dessert @ Cervajeria O Palácio 
sardines @Último Porto 

sardines @Último Porto 

percebes @  Cervajeria O Palácio

percebes @  Cervajeria O Palácio

Porto - roasted chestnuts good at the time, and on reflection post Xmas markets  🇨🇿 learning they were sublime

Olhão, was there anything other than fish to eat, and beer to drink nope.  grilled seafood nirvana €10 until you can eat no more.  yes please @Vai e Volta

what was my lunch @Vai e Volta

what was my lunch @Vai e Volta

Vila do Bipso - garlicky clams, more sardines and the tiniest local market

Evora - literally 10 steps from the front door to the deliciousness from one of the 9 seats @ Botequim da Mouraria 

Serrano y vino @ botequim de mouraria  

Serrano y vino @ botequim de mouraria  

and everywhere the coffee 

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another city stealing my heart

bizarre end to the bike lane 

bizarre end to the bike lane 

Lisbon has totally captivated me - is it wrong to have a list for what a city needs, I am definitely erring on the not side. 

So the attributes required to make it gritty and liveable I've learnt for me are comprised of four simple things:

Amazing urban spaces and art

street scapes and buildings where too much decoration is never enough.  The 18th and 19thC building tiles have morphed for 21stC into tags, throwups and murals; adornment seems to be in the DNA here.

 

why limit yourself to one lion

why limit yourself to one lion

crazily they get stolen off the walls and sold : who does that? 

crazily they get stolen off the walls and sold : who does that? 

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can't believe I found @utopía.artist again - Valparisio via loads of places to Lisboa  

can't believe I found @utopía.artist again - Valparisio via loads of places to Lisboa  

Killer coffee and food 

since 1950 cork tree wood fired coffee roaster  

since 1950 cork tree wood fired coffee roaster  

where coffee with milk is an abberation

where a steak sandwich is dessert

where a pasteis is breakfast

where you get ripe cheese and aged port at the local store 

when I grow up my bodega will only sell cheese, fruit and port too

when I grow up my bodega will only sell cheese, fruit and port too

where you can eat barnacles

Gooseneck barnacles and an imperial the best second lunch 

Gooseneck barnacles and an imperial the best second lunch 

Close to the water

Pedestrian friendly

and lastly totally walkable ideally with hills and doubling back narrow roads (and yes ok, old school gyms) 

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Giants, pharmaceuticals and gymnastics

The south west corner of Peru, is most agreeable.

advertising tag mash up : Arequipa  

advertising tag mash up : Arequipa  

The vast majority are very short, it's taking some adjustment to be at the taller end of the spectrum.

So much that sits well with me.

70's & 80's cars proliferate, most much more beaten up : Tacna

70's & 80's cars proliferate, most much more beaten up : Tacna

Getting up early is normal, running with thetown waking up one of my favourite things - less so the running at altitude thing.

Food, especially the markets hyper organised, fruits seperate to vegetables, aisles labeled and full of deliciousness to explore.  Learnt that iridescent lurid fruit skin usually equates to the most delicious flesh. Beach and street side ceviche.  

Favourite snacks: roasted corn kernels, 100% cacao chocolate, it's almost black and so so bitter.  Totally lost to it.  

And of course the mysteriously named raspadillas - shaved ice layered with juice usually tamarind, strawberry, orange and mango.

Lax attitude to pharmaceuticals.  Bring dodgy looking supplements over the land border.  Sure.  

Unpackaged - but blister packed - over the counter painkillers, well more thru the bars.  Of course.  

Traditional cure for altitude sickness, coco leaves: by the freezer bag.  Everywhere.  Have been asked not to try my luck with those over next border.

not so many street cats : Huacachina  

not so many street cats : Huacachina  

Hiking and landscapes to die for.

day 2 : Canon del Colca  

day 2 : Canon del Colca  

overnight hiking : San Juan de Chuccho

overnight hiking : San Juan de Chuccho

walking out : San Juan de Chuccho

walking out : San Juan de Chuccho

sand dune sunset : Huacachina  

sand dune sunset : Huacachina  

And very much a Peruvian imprint of a posse of little girls playing on my Olympic Rings, joining me on the monkey bars and tumbling.    Whilst their brothers too cool to join in and just looked on. 

sunday arvo beach & ceviche : reserva nacional de paracas  

sunday arvo beach & ceviche : reserva nacional de paracas  

Deliciousness: Santiago

I wasn't expecting any kind of food scene in Santiago, but have been super pleasantly pleased to discover it definitely exists.

The deliciousness:

  • La Vega Central - fresh produce of amazing quality, dedicated stalls to just a few ingredients my quick favourite were the avocado, tomato and limón, closely followed by pickled vegetables
  • Mercado Central - fish vendors and hole in the wall "restaurants".  $1 for about 500g prawns pretty happy!
  • Barrio markets- taking up a couple of blocks, narrows fruit and vegetable and refrigerated trucks for fish.  Butchers for some reason seem to have permanent shops.
  • Ceviche to die for
  • 187ml bottles of Chilean wines is de rigour - and after the strength of the Pisco Sours in the barrio bars definitely prudent

The less so:

  • Although Santiago's fast food, "food in passing" is cooked to order, it's what meat do you want, what style of potatoes both topped with a fried egg, and some salad, not my idea of deliciousness

Decided that each Country is going to warrant one amazing rated/raved restaurant visit.

Loads of local press around this place:  www.peumayenchile.cl

sorbet palate cleanser: Atacama Desert plants

sorbet palate cleanser: Atacama Desert plants

A modern version of “ancestral food" based on the cuisine of Chilean indigenous groups. Who doesn't love a totally stunning mostly tasting menu.

  • "Bread" Tasting Board spanning whole country north to south, eight morsels the best pea purée and white bean purée
  • Palate cleansers like no other: crisps with white bean purée; fried seaweed and avocado; and plant sorbet
  • Starter tasting plate, 6 tastes proteins rabbit, chicken and cuttlefish. Standout dish was mushroom pate and smoked cauliflower
  • A la carte mains spanning horses, pork, lamb, fishes. Smoked fish amazing, just past raw vegetables highlighted with fruit and more cooked vegetable purees
  • Desert tasting plate, 6 tastes. Standout tiny tart with lucuma curd

Next we head south: penguins, black sand and houses on stilts.