Sunday, 14 June 2015 11:15

Ginja de Óbidos

Ginja, liqueur with ancient history

Óbidos is a major attraction in the Costa de Prata. The walled village and inside the castle have a medieval ambiance. With its typical whitewashed houses, almost all have blue, red or yellow decoration. The streets are very picturesque, and relatively cool in warm periods. From the city wall (round trip), you not only have a spectacular view of the old town, but also of the environment.

The history of Óbidos also appeals to the imagination: King Dom Dinis gave the castle to his wife Santa Isabel (queen of Portugal from 1286 to 1336) as a present. During reconstruction of the city after a major earthquake in 1755, the first foundations were found dating even 308 BC, a Celtic settlement.

The main street, that you enter when you enter through the main gate, is a very attractive street, with its beautiful blue wall tiles (azulejos). Many shops have all kinds of handmade and local products for sale. There are also many restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy typical Portuguese cuisine.

At various places you can enjoy a glass of Ginjinha (or simply Ginja). This liqueur made from sour cherries, is a typical drink that is very popular in and around Óbidos. A perfect place to drink it is the bar Ibn Errik Rex at the end of the main street, near the castle. The Ginja they serve is an old family recipe, and is only for sale at that place, in a beautifully designed bottle, perfect as a gift. The bar is beautifully decorated with an original mural (ask for the secret, 'o segredo da parede') and hundreds of small bottles on the ceiling. They serve thin chouriço (sausages) grilled on the table in an earthenware dish, accompanied by bread and cheese cubes. Host Antonio welcomes you with Portuguese hospitality.

Published in Wine and Liqueur
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 20:21

About Bacalhau, Port and Pasteis

Eating at- and from the sea

It will be no surprise that in the coastal areas, so also at the Costa de Prata, fish and shellfish dominate the menu. Don't forget to try some of the many different dishes with fresh grilled fish or seafood.

Ricedishes with seafood or fish are also an excellent choice. Bacalhau, which is salted and dried cod, is eaten in enormous amounts in Portugal. It is said that there are at least 365 different recipes for bacalhau, one for every day of the year.

Portuguese people really have a sweet tooth. So there's always room for a lovely sweet dessert, very often with ingredients like almonds, honey and egg yolks. Why not wash that down with a nice glass of Port or Madeira, a great combination.

For every dish there is a matching wine; wine is produced throughout the country. Port wine is certainly the most famous, but the wines from other Portuguese regions, such as Extremadura, Alentejo, and Dão, are highly commendable. And of course the locally produced olives, sausage and cheese taste are excellent companions.

The pasteis de nata, typical Portuguese pastries, are famous all over the world. The most famous are made in Belém in Lisbon. A stay in Portugal without at least once having coffee with a pastel de nata is actually not possible.

Published in Portuguese kitchen

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