Portuguese Food Travel Cookbook

Portuguese Food Travel Cookbook

I sometimes am still amazed at how long it took us to take our first trip to Portugal. We traveled all over Europe before finally venturing west enough to land in Lisbon. Since that time we continue to explore the country, mainly for Portuguese food! When our friend Nelson, a Portuguese travel blogger, sent us a signed copy of his Portuguese Travel Cookbook, I was thrilled. Then, I was jealous. And, I kind of hated him. Let me tell you why. The Portuguese Travel Cookbook Nelson’s Portuguese food cookbook is not a  typical cookbook. Instead, it’s a travel cookbook. It provides more than merely recipes, it tells the stories behind the recipes. It uses recipes to encourage people to not only travel to Portugal, but to explore its rich culinary history. For such a petite country, there is a diversity of cuisine unlike many other countries. The variety of fish and seafood from the coast. The variety of sausages that are different in the cities than in the country, differing from the north to the south. Don’t get me started on the Portuguese wine. And, Nelson is the perfect person to be a host on this culinary journey. A native of Portugal, he grew up eating his grandmother’s cooking. The first recipe of the book is his grandmother’s farmer’s soup. From there, the book continues through the sea, the land, and more to offer the best of Portuguese food heritage. All of this along with stunning photographs that certainly inspire one to travel to Portugal. This is why I was thrilled to see the book finally in print. Cooking Portuguese...
Where to Eat in Porto

Where to Eat in Porto

We didn’t have enough time to eat in Porto. With only two nights in town, and most of our time spent touring the Douro Valley, our time was limited.  In fact, one of the most famous things to eat in Porto, the Francesinha, we didn’t even try in Porto, but in Lisbon. But, we had three great meals during our brief trip, and as much as I cannot profess to being an expert on where to eat in Porto, I think these three restaurants should be mentioned and sought out. I will note, we dined at two other restaurants while eating in Porto, which do not merit mentioning. They weren’t bad meals, they just weren’t great. Perhaps that buys me some street cred about these three meals. Rui Paula’s DOP Porto Set inside the Palace of the Arts in the historic center of Porto, DOP Porto focuses on contemporary interpretations of classical Portuguese dishes. Chef Rui Paula, who we had the privilege of meeting, learned how to cook from his grandmother. I always love to hear this about a chef. Chef Rui prepared a a tasting menu for us, which allowed us to taste a wider variety of dishes, It also added an element of surprise to the meal. Although we ate multiple courses, with a heavy influence of fish and seafood, two particular dishes stood out. One of our starters was a codfish carpaccio with corn bread crumbs and olives. The carpaccio was so thin I almost didn’t see it on the white plate. The second, at first, seemed like a simple hunk of meat, with mashed potatoes and...
Douro Valley Wine Tasting

Douro Valley Wine Tasting

Prior to our trips to Portugal I knew oh so very little about Portuguese wines. I knew of port wine, although I didn’t understand much about how it is made or why ruby red is different from tawny. I knew of Vinho Verde, but could not have pointed on a map where Vinho Verde came from. I also had never heard of the Douro Valley. After our trip wine tasting around the Douro Valley, though, I was surprised I’d never heard of this gem of a wine region. Located along the Douro River, Porto is one of the oldest European cities. It’s also a city split in two. On one side of the Douro River is the historic center of Porto, and on the other side is Vila Nova de Gaia, home to the large port houses, or port caves. This is where the production of port was historically centered. But, before the fortified port wine was aged and exported out of Porto, the grapes were grown in the Douro Valley, just up the river. We’ve toured a lot of wine regions in Europe, and even in South America. Mendoza, set at the foothills of the Andes is a particularly stunning wine country. The Emporda wine region, in Catalunya, is another, where we saw vineyards set on the hillside overlooking the Costa Brava. There was something special, though, about touring the Douro Valley. The Douro River splits the wine region in two, and winds through the countryside. It leaves steep hillsides of stunning vineyards throughout the region. It makes a perfect background for Douro Valley wine tasting. The other...
Best Foods to Eat in Europe in 2016

Best Foods to Eat in Europe in 2016

Like I mentioned in my last food porn post on where to eat in Asia in 2016, we ate a lot of amazing food in 2015. I wish I could share photos of all of them, and encourage people to search for all those dishes during their upcoming travels. Instead, I’ve come up with a list of the absolute BEST foods to eat in Europe in 2016. Okay, so maybe we didn’t eat all the food in Europe during 2015, but we ate a good many fabulous meals. Enough that I can put together a pretty good roadmap of what to eat in Europe. These dishes tend to focus on Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland, because that is where we spent most of our time in 2015. Check out Episode 4 of our Travel Podcast It’s a Wrap – Europe! It’s true that food in Europe can be more expensive than in Asia. But, these dishes can be found at every price point. We had the chance to taste some dishes at the best restaurant in the world, where a meal for two will cost 600 Euros! And we ate some fabulous pork sandwiches that cost a couple of dollars. Most of our meals fell somewhere in between. And, instead of just sharing my photos of the dishes to eat in Europe, I am actually sharing links to the With Husband In Tow Instagram account. I am doing this not only to encourage you to check out all our food photos on Instagram (there’s a lot, and they are yummy), but also because the Instagram photos include links to the restaurants and locations...
Cervejaria Ramiro – Best Seafood in Lisbon

Cervejaria Ramiro – Best Seafood in Lisbon

I don’t know how many times I’ve written about the same restaurant, more than one time, on this blog. Perhaps I’ve mentioned Din Tai Fung, my favorite dumpling house, more than once. But, here I am writing a second blog post about one restaurant. I thought Cervejaria Ramiro in Lisbon deserved another spot on the blog. We visited Cervejaria Ramiro in 2012, during our first trip to Lisbon. It was based on a recommendation from Anthony Bourdain‘s No Reservations, like many of our food choices were back then. I wrote about how I survived dining at Cervejaria Ramiro Lisbon, despite having a slight intolerance for seafood. Sometimes I get sick, particularly from crab. But, I don’t care. Meals like this are worth the risk. When we returned for our second trip to Lisbon in early 2014, it seemed like a no-brainer. A trip to Cervejaria Ramiro was required. We ate some of our old faithfuls, and tried a new dish for us, the whole crab. Cervejaria Ramiro prepares the crab in a way that is probably unique to many Americans. They take all of the good stuff in the “head” of the crab: roe, the green bits, and all, and mix it together to form a dip for the crab, as well as fresh bread. I knew this was worth the risk, and told myself I’m only allergic to certain kinds of crab. I should be fine with this one. I tried to let Eric eat most of it, but I couldn’t help myself. It was so good, and fresh, and creamy. Photo is taken from my Galaxy Note 6 phone,...
Wine Tasting in Minho – Hotel Monte Prado

Wine Tasting in Minho – Hotel Monte Prado

After sipping Alvarinho with Miguel at Vale dos Ares, completing a mega tasting at Quinta de Pedra, and enjoying a luxury lunch with Chef Marco at Convento dos Capuchos, I was ready for a nap. Francisco had one more stop planned, though, for a final wine tasting in Minho. For our last stop we met another Miguel, the general manager of the Hotel Monte Prado. I was fading fast, felt exhausted, and was stuffed to the brim from our lunch with Chef Marco. I kind of wanted to crawl back into our bed at Hotel Minho. But, we were at Miguel’s property to taste a little more wine, an enjoy an aperitif. I didn’t think I could stomach any more food, and even felt myself wanting to say no to wine. That doesn’t happen too often. After a quick tour of the property, we made our way to the rooftop of the hotel. Hotel Monte Prado is located in Melgaço, one of the two regions of the Alto Minho where the Alvarinho grape is produced. Set within a forrest, and with the Galician mountains in the backdrop, the hotel had an amazing rustic view. Even the hotel rooms had stunning views of the dense trees through floor to ceiling windows. We were not there, though, to stay at Hotel Monte Prado. Instead, we were there to eat and to finish up our wine tasting in Minho. Wine Tasting in Minho on the Rota das Tapas Hotel Monte Prado is part of the Rota das Tapas e Alvarinho, which includes stops throughout Melgaço. In Portuguese, small plates of tasty food are actually referred...
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