As anyone who knows me well already knows, I am half Portuguese on my father’s side. His family came from the Azores, and as it turns out we also have converted Portuguese Sephardic Jews on his mother’s side of the family. Anyway, I have always loved Portuguese cuisine, and as I have gotten older I have come to appreciate Portuguese culture and history a lot more. Kelly and I originally planned to visit Portugal and France (my mother’s family is French-Canadian) on our honeymoon, but circumstances and finances prevented it. Perhaps one day we will get to go. I hope so.
Anyway, recently the Netherlands released a tourism promotional video that poked a lot of fun at our new President. It’s easier if you see it rather than me try to explain what they did. But it is hilarious. See the original below.
A shipwreck found near the coast of Oman is believed to be the oldest yet discovered from Europe’s Golden Age of Exploration. The wreck is believed to be the Esmerelda, a Portuguese vessel from Vasco de Gama‘s fleet that was lost near the island of al-Hallaniyah in a storm in May 1503.
Fortunately, the wreck’s relatively remote location seems to have prevented the site from being looted.
There are so few Americans of Portuguese descent that are seen on the national stage, much less the international stage, and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has managed to do both. He is one of the few people in politics and policy circles that I would totally go all fanboy over if I ever had the chance to meet him.
Why? you might ask. After all, this guy is probably more famous for his hair in American culture than for anything else about him.
I have been thinking a lot about what I am going to make for my planned Dornish meal to honor the late Prince Oberyn Martell. I haven’t tried doing any Dornish stuff yet, and I wanted to try since it all sounds so tasty. Originally I wanted to do something before the big showdown with the Mountain. The perfect time has passed, I know, but I just didn’t have time to do it last weekend with all the server surgery.
The Red Viper also got me thinking about wine. Especially those magnificent Dornish wines that get mentioned so frequently in the books.
A few weeks ago my friend Teri sent me a link to something she thought would interest me – A Cozinha Mediaeval, or in English – the Medieval Kitchen. I can’t believe I hadn’t discovered it sooner – a web site that combines two of my favorite things: Portuguese cuisine and medieval history. Yet another reason for me to keep working on my Portuguese language skills, which are quite poor, sadly.
I have not yet had the chance to try any of the recipes that are on the site, but there are so many that look absolutely delicious: carne estufada (called stewed beef but actually a beef rib dish); and arroz frutado (a rice dish with fruit and almonds) are two of my favorites so far. And the site doesn’t stop with just recipes. There is a wealth of other information as well, such as senhor Djalma’s excellent essay on the myths of medieval cuisine and his review of a 15th century Portuguese cookbook that was reprinted in 1963 by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture.
Tomorrow, June 10th, is Portugal Day. It is a big holiday in Portugal in honor of Luis de Camoes, the writer of Portugal’s national epic poem, Os Lusiadas (The Lusiads). Since there is such a big Portuguese population here in southern New England, it is a big deal in these communities. And since my father is Portuguese, I try to remember these important days.
I saw this while leaving work today.
So maybe tomorrow, in honor of the holiday, I will enjoy some good home-cooked Portuguese food, and maybe some wine.