It's time for yet another dish list and this time it's dominated by all things
Spanish and Portuguese. Here are the top 5 things I hope to be chomping down on (or slurping up) in the next two weeks:
Pedro Ximenez Sherry
Syrupy sweet sherry (Image: wineanorak.com)
Yes it's yet another sweeter than sweet wine on my list of favourites. With it's thick, syrupy texture, raisin and mollasses flavour and deep berry scent, this sweet sherry was one of my top finds in Spain last year and I'll be looking to raise a few happy glasses (and hopefully bring back a bottle) when I visit Madrid this weekend.
The francesinha looks like a good way to line your tummy before a string of port wine tastings (Image: wikipedia.org)
Despite its deceptively dainty name (it means little French girl) the Francesinha sounds like a monster sandwich. The sandwich is a Porto specialty and according to Wikipedia is made with "bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat and covered with molten cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce served with french fries". If that doesn't sound like a Man vs Food-style sandwich, I don't know what does. Still, I guess I'll need something stodgy to soak up all that port ;)
Sweet cherry brandy mixed with dark chocolate sounds like the perfect night cap (Image: ginjadeobidos.com)
I've already sung the praises of this cherry liqueur before
, and although I'm still not sure if I'll make it up to Obidos, I'm hoping to spot a bottle of chocolate ginja on the bar shelves elsewhere in Portugal. Sweet morello cherry nectar paired with dark Belgian chocolate.... mmmm. I know alcohol shouldn't make my mouth water but this does :)Pasteis at Pasteleria Picole
Will Pasteleria Picole be able to take on the legendary Pasteis de Belem?
I stand firmly by my belief that Pasteis de Belem
is the only place to eat Lisbon's famous pasteis de natas but my sister says otherwise. According to her, Pasteleria Picole gives the famous Belem pastry shop a run for its money. What has come to light in the last discussion we've had on these famous custard tarts is that my sister has never eaten pasteis de natas hot from the oven in Belem (she ate takeaway pasteis which I believe may have taken away something from their piping hot goodness). I however have never eaten pasteis at Pasteleria Picole. Ever. So guess I can't really knock them till I've tried them. So the pasteis-off is declared. May the best tart win :)Pesticos at Pérola do Fetal
When I think about my most memorable meals, lunch at Pérola do Fetal
definitely comes to mind. More so because it wasn't even the mains that did it; it was a humble platter of pesticos - small snacks that are served at the start of a meal in Portugal to whet the appetite. The ones we were served did so much more - I'm close to drooling just thinking about them and I ate them three years ago. Dates wrapped in bacon, soft cheese with berry preserve, crusted mushrooms, bacalhao fritters... it was a simple selection of food that tasted divine. Again, not sure if I'll be able to find this restaurant again or get to it as it was some distance out of Lisbon, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will.