Vacation Part Dos: Stuff of Sustenance

So here comes the gourmande parts of our travels, and there were many.

One thing you should know about Portugal is they really enjoy pastries.  In fact they practically rival the french, which is saying quite a lot.

Example one.  Apologies for the this-was-clearly-shot-through-a-window look, but I didn’t want to actually go inside the store and try to communicate with the salespeople, who were often quite insistent that you buy something.  Don’t know how they knew I was an American tourist and not a Portuguese native, however…

Mmm, that’s better.  Yes I actually bought something here, what can I say, I have very little self control.  These are only two examples of the hoards of pastelerias that literally dotted every street we stepped foot on.

Pushing everything from bastardized eclairs and millefeuilles to the traditional custard tart pastel de nata, these shops were everywhere.  I’m not complaining, but I will say having to choose which stop to shop at (tongue twister) became very difficult.

If I had to choose, though, I might say these blocks of caramel took the cake (ha.  pastry joke).  I don’t know why you would ever need such a large slab of caramel, but I hope that someday I do.

Porto also had the largest turnip I’ve ever seen.  Note the hand in the photo for comparison.  Steroids are suspected.

For some reason, much to my travel companion’s annoyances, being in Spanish (and Portuguese) speaking countries made me crave Mexican food.  After they got tired of me talking about it every 12 minutes or so, we decided to make tacos (sort of) for our beloved Portuguese hosts, Sara and Joao (with a squiggle accent on the a).

Here is Joao, aka my ideal older brother, enjoying our delicious meal, though he complained the whole time about the one tiny pepper I put into it.  Surprisingly, Portugal is not Mexico.  They don’t like spicy food and thought guacamole was the weirdest thing ever.

This trip kind of jaded me about french food, which I had always assumed was the end-all-be-all of cuisine.  How french of me.  Epiphany had whilst eating this croissant at a coffeeshop in Madrid, which kicked the a*# of every croissant I’ve had in France. Whaaa??

I know. But things get weirder.  Spanish BAGUETTES!

And they were good. 

Here are some back-to-back donut shots.  The spanish looove their donuts.  Can’t say I blame them.



Also, the markets in Spain are kiiiinda out of this world.  Look to the below montage for illustration.

Queso Fresco and fresh Coconut slices with cold water to keep them fresh.

If you look close enough, you can see one of the little escargots trying to make a run for it.  Too bad his species is notorious for its speed, or lack thereof.

So I guess this international adventure kind of shook me up a little bit.  Maybe French food isn’t the ultimate best food in the world?

Nah.  There’s really nothing better than a fresh french brioche with salted butter from normandy and confiture au fraises.

Live to die another day.


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