Vacay Mayday: Portugal

Hello Everyone!

It’s been a week since I’ve been back from my Portuguese adventure and what an adventure it was! #Vacaymayday indeed!

First of all, congratulations to my cousin for finally tying the knot and providing such a beautiful vacation location for us to visit. I can’t think of another way to describe how beautifully magical their wedding was and how awesome the food was too.

Hors d’oeuvres, weeding buffet and, best of all, dessert buffet! Woot! I’m sure the open bar was a serious attraction as well, but I was too distracted by food to even contemplate alcohol at that time. There were cucumber boats filled with cream cheese, smoked salmon on melba toast, kebabs of watermelon and honeydew melon and pate on toasted brioche.

Dinner was a buffet of baked salted code with cream, lamb tagine with apricots, Portuguese duck rice, tomato and mozzarella salad with basil, Spanish chicken with chorizo, Dauphinoise potatoes, lentils tabbouleh and vegan zucchini casserole. I apologize that the picture isn’t any better than my plate of food, but too distracted and too many people.

Dessert, wow, included: mini lime curd meringue, almond cupcakes, pastel de nata (aka Portuguese tarts), apple crumble quinoa and parfait serradure. We weren’t allowed to have more than one each… it was very sad… at least I was very sad.

If you had to ask me what one prevailing theme of the entire trip was, I would tell you it was cod. I had cod almost every day, to the point that I started wondering if it was Portugal’s national fish… which I don’t think it is. Something worth looking up? Either way, I had managed to find a really good deal for a two night stay in a 5 star resort in Cascais. By the time we go there, it was so late and the NSSSO was so tired from driving that we just decided to try the in-house restaurant.

I wasn’t pleasantly surprised, on the other hand though, I was pretty disappointed. Other than the skin being incredibly crispy, the rest of the fish lacked something… flavouring perhaps. Nevertheless, I decided that the next day would hopefully be better!

We went into Lisbon and the NSSSO wanted to check out Timeout Market. One of my cousins had told him it was worth going to and the food was reasonably priced. So he was crazy gung-ho about it whereas I was a bit hesitant. The internet had given me mixed reviews of the market and I wasn’t sure if it was a good or bad idea to visit. But away we went!

Something I learned about in Portugal, if they ask you whether or not you want appetizer/they show up with bread, it isn’t complimentary. They do put the item on the bill, which confused us both when we saw the bill, but we said yes, we ate it, so no use in arguing.

Their spreads were pretty interesting, the yellow one was egg yolk and butter and the one next to it was seaweed combined with butter. Despite the sounds of it, it was actually really good. I doubt i would give up butter on its own, but this does pop up in my memory every once in a while.

Now this was good cod. The fish was so tender, almost melt in your mouth tender. The dish came with chorizo, mashed chestnut, pine nut and (something called) “Horteio do Ribeira”. Now, I’m not normally interested in nuts in my food and I have never been a huge fan of chestnuts, but that mashed concoction went so well with the cod that I had nothing left to say.

Now, we needed something sweet after the excellent lunch and wandering. My friend had recommended Pasteis de Belem, in fact she told me it was a must! So off we went! Now, I’m a big fan of egg tarts but never had a Portuguese tart before. Essentially, it was a custard tart that had a burnt top. Once we bought our tart, they also offered us cinnamon and sugar. We each took a bite of our tart and decided it was plenty sweet enough, thank you for the offer though. On a side note, so lucky we went the time we did, right behind us a tourist bus showed up and people were streaming out and the line stretched down the street.

I was under orders to find something called Ovo Moles for my friend (because OMG she CRAVED! >_>). So we climbed up Lisbon’s steep streets looking for the place. It was pretty tucked away (or at least I thought, the NSSSO thought it was just because I was distracted by the popup store next door). The place was so adorable and the lady behind the counter gave us a history lesson on the egg pastries. I didn’t completely understand her, something about monasteries making pastries out of egg yolks. For more info, I suggest Wikipedia!

And those are the highlights of my trip! I swear, one week in Portugal is sure as hell not enough and I look forward to when I can go again!

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