Chanfana in a black casserole dish

“What do you want?” asked the Juiz (judge). “To eat chanfana!” I chanted, along with the 15 other initiates to the Confraria da Chanfana (brotherhood of goat casserole). We were on the stage in the Vila Nova de Poiares cultural centre wearing long black cloaks and wide-brimmed black hats. A waitress gave us each a tinyRead More →

Herdade dos Grous and lake

It really wasn’t hard to fall in love with Herdade dos Grous, a country estate spread over 730 hectares of Alentejo countryside. For nature lovers who appreciate comfort, good food and fine wine, it’s hard to beat and I’m glad I accepted the invitation to stay there. I would happily put my handRead More →

Various ponchas, Funchal. Some of the many food and drink in Madeira

I’m quite used to Portuguese food by now but the island of Madeira has its own unique food and drinks that are well worth a try, including the much-loved espetada (meat on a skewer). As you might expect from a subtropical island, there is plenty of fresh fish and seafood andRead More →

Serra da Estrela cheese about 30 days old

One of Portugal’s gastronomic highlights is Serra da Estrela cheese. Its by-product, requeijão (like ricotta) is rather yummy, too. Thanks to a cheese-making workshop, I now know how they’re made, although I won’t be trying this at home. According to Maria do Céu, who has been making Serra da Estrela cheese sinceRead More →

Pastel de Belem, a special brand of pastel de nata

How could my Personal A to Z of Portugal not include the nation’s most famous cake, pastel de nata?  With this Portuguese sweet treat, a light, slightly flaky, crispy pastry cup holds a sweet, smooth creamy custard filling which is browned off in the oven, giving them a home-made, slightlyRead More →