Sunday, April 8, 2012

PORTUGAL..the Land of Affordable Wine and Food by Philip S. Kampe

The week I recently spent in Portugal was highlighted by attending the famous' SISAB Food and Beverage Show in Lisbon.

Portugal is a country that stimulates your food and wine senses. From sausage to tuna to port wine, this small country that occupies the west coast of Europe stimulates the taste buds from morning to night.

The Portuguese people are friendly, happy and are ready to entertain guests in a way few countries can, from the captivating Fado music at night to the classic architecture by day.

Portuguese culture never ends.

Culture and tradition exist in the foods of Portugal, especially Bacalhau (cod), the national dish.

Portuguese cuisine is characterized by rich, filling and full-flavored dishes that are closely related to the Mediterranean cuisine. A wide variety of spices are used, due to the influences of Portugal's former colonial possessions. Popular spices include my favorite, piri piri, a small fiery chili pepper, saffron, cinnamon, black pepper and vanilla.

The national soup (eaten daily) of Portugal is Caldo Verde. Recipes vary from chef to chef. The ingredients normally remain the same: potato, shredded kale and chorizo.

Desserts range from rice pudding decorated with cinnamon to an outrageous caramel custard.

Queijo da Serra, a cheese from the region of Serra da Estrela was served at most meals. Sheep and goat's milk cheese dominate.

And then there are the wines...

Portuguese wine is the result of traditions introduced by ancient civilizations, such as the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Carthaginians. Some of the many Portuguese wine regions include the Douro Valley, Dao, Alentejo, Barrada, Colares, Moscatel and Minho. Twenty-six wines are classified as DOCG.

Some of the most known Portuguese wines include Port, Madeira, wines from the Douro and Vinho Verde.

From my experience in Portugal, I believe it should be a destination of all seeking beauty, nature, art, unique beaches, gourmet food and some of the World's Best Wines.

PHILIP S. KAMPE

philip.kampe@thewinehub.com


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