November 14, 2011

Piggin' Out In Portugal - Part 1

So my girlfriend is Portuguese and her parents still maintain an apartment up in northern Portugal in a region called Minho which loosely translates as free room and board.  So, back in August, we schlepped across the Atlantic to visit their family's tiny motherland (no seriously, you can leave the northern tip after breakfast and make it to the beaches on the southern coast by dinner).  The trip got off to an incredibly satiating start as soon as we got off the plane.  Now, I've been lucky enough to travel to several different countries, but never have I been this excited to wait for my luggage on the carousel.  Adjacent to the baggage claim was a FREE party!  It was the culmination of the "Semana do Imigrante"--The Week of the Immigrant--celebrating the immigrants of Portugal.  There were dancing locals decked out in traditional threads and cocktail tables with some traditional appetizers all to be washed down with FREE Portuguese wine.  I was beginning to like this country already.  Check out the video after the jump.

The next day, after spending our first night imbibing homemade wine and various versions of cured pork (this would become a theme for the trip) we headed up to the fortaleza -- think of a castley type of fort from middle ages on top of a hill).  Hidden amongst all of the small shops and restaurants that lined the cobblestone streets was a gem of street food royalty...freshly made churros!  The operation consisted of an elderly mother and son who were firing out a never ending supply of brown paper bags stuffed with skinny fried deliciousness.

Churro Lady doin' work!
The son would mix the batter then stuff it into this crank press.   Next, he would effortlessly trim congruent churros into the hot oil with his right hand while cranking them out of the press with his left (now you rub your belly and pat your head while giving me a fresh donut...didn't think sooooo).

Fire up the jacuzzi!
Stop drooling.

 These churros were the best I've ever had.  Slightly crunchy on the outside with a contrasting pillowy chewy center and just the right balance of salty and sweet.  Fried dough is good wherever you go.


  1. I am impressed, hungry and waiting for more! Good job Jason.
    Aunt Kris