We’re back from a tour of the Alentejo (and Lisboa), and are we ever stuffed. Every day, our guests rolled their eyes heavenward and made mumbling sounds of happiness as they tasted black pork, oven-roasted lamb with mint, pork loins, deep fried finger-sized fish (eaten whole), clams steamed with cilantro and garlic, shark soup, chickpea stew with pork and chouriço, and much more. We haven’t even gotten to the sauteed rabbit or cataplana yet. And the desserts! Carob tart, sweet rice, various concoctions with egg and loads of sugar, chocolate mousse, and of course the regional delicacies available in Lisboa and Sintra: pasteis de Belém (custards in pastries), queijadas (egg pastries made with fresh cheese and loads of cinnamon), and travesseiros (egg and almond pastries).
I’m not sure our guests are ever going to leave. We tried to bring them back down to earth with a “clean out the fridge” lunch today, but even then they were delighted with the rest of our goat cheese, spicy olives, and local beer. And tonight we’re serving bacalhau à Brás, a yummy dish of shredded salt cod, shoestring potatoes, eggs, olives and fresh parsley. They’re never going to be the same after this trip.
Which, of course, is the whole point.