Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wonder #6 - Olive Oil

According to Dr. Luciano da Silva, MD, and also the innumerable medals won by Portuguese Olive oil at different international competitions (1st medal going back to the 1889 Paris Wolrd Exhibit), the Portuguese golden grease is the best in the world.

The explanation is simple – olives in the trees are exposed to more sunlight in Portugal than in most other places in the olive-growing world. Same with the wine and other products, although here soils and other factors may also have a say in their quality.

I confess I didn’t like olive oil when I first tried it. The acidity or eventual heartburn usually puts people off. As with many people, this is a taste you acquire, just like with beer or whisky. Only Olive oil is much healthier, being quite beneficial in unclogging your "pipes", as this is one of the few "fats" that is actually good for you.

Now I can’t live without it. In fact, I like my food swimming in it.

Hard to believe that something that grows on such a raquitic looking tree, can be so good and can also use it to cook, deep fry, as an unguent, a snack, an aphrodisiac, or as fuel for a torch, if you run out of electricity… amazing fruit!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Recently, someone from The Netherlands asked me for a suggestion, as where she could go to spend a week in Portugal, alone, and not necessarily near the beach, as she's taking her holiday in March.
She also wanted to know what is the best time for Sardinhas, the famous mouthwhatering Portuguese grilled Sardines. A wonder in its own, in the line of Portugal's 7 Wonders.

Well, it is possible that many other people - unfortunate to have never snifed a sardine and who are eager to pay the exhorbitant prices charged in some restaurants - may share the same query and appetite; so, in that case, keep reading.

That time of the year, Sintra is a sure bet. Not far from Lisbon, it has many interesting natural and cultural places to visit, since that time of the year the weather may not be good enough for the beach. Then there is always the local food... don't forget to take some treats of the local pastry with you, to make the Sintra experience last!

As for Sardines, the best time of the year is from May to July, according to experts, but you may enjoy them
till August just as well. "Any month without "r", as we say here. :D

There is much much more than just the Algarve. Here are other sugestions:;p_sub=1

I am sure you will find Portuguese people to be quite friendly and welcoming (not insolent, like in Bloguistan).
Enjoy your stay!