Food, food, food!

To wrap up the series of posts about the cheese fair I’m here to talk to you about some of the amazing food I found there and what you can do to get it!

My opinions are my own and I wasn’t paid for them!

To start off let’s talk about wine. I’m not a wine expert but I can tell you that Terras do Mendo wine is produced locally, in the middle of three different mountainous areas. I can also tell you that the wine I tasted at the fair was very pleasant, not too strong, and that it was ‘easy’ to drink. For some reason beyond my understanding Dão wines are not very well known outside of Portugal (so many people seem to have developed an obsession for Port and a few red wines, only). So if you’d like to give it a try and be different from the rest you can contact them at terrasdomendo@gmail.com and order a bottle (or more!) of their wine.

Right next to their stall was a company, called Azeites do Cobral, selling three of their brands of olive oil, one of which is organic. If you don’t know much about olive oil let me tell you that besides being one of the most healthy and versatile oils around it can and it will taste differently, depending on the types of olives that are used, on the weather and on several other variants – very similar to wine! An olive oil that has a strong flavour is great to season a salad or to use as a dip, along with some nice bread. A more bland type of olive oil will always be a good option for your cooking. Their website is all in Portuguese, but you can have a look around and if you want more details about their products and/or order some of them you can reach the company at azeitesdocobral@gmail.com.

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Azeites do Cobral at the cheese fair.

Probably the most unexpected food product at the fair, to me, were the vegan sausages. I really wasn’t expecting anything like this and the one I tasted was actually good – very good! Biosan‘s sausages are made with non-GMO soy along with the normal seasonings, herbs, etc., that make up the normal sausages. Plus, they’re smoked in the traditional way,which is probably why they’re so tasty! If you’re vegan, vegetarian or you’d just like to try something different they have an online shop, where you can order these and other products.

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Vegan sausages – tasted great!

Next were some of the cutest bonbons I have ever seen – and they were handmade! Yes, it’s true, handmade bonbons with several types of delicious fillings. Their flavours are: strawberry-mint, cassis (a liqueur made from blackcurrants, in case you don’t know), cheese (temporarily unavailable, but I’m told it will soon be back on sale), Port, Griottines (cherries in Kirsch), honey, vanilla with dark chocolate and vanilla with milk chocolate. All the fillings are handmade as well, and the chocolate that is used is from the Belgian brand Callebaut – fancy stuff! My favourite flavour was cassis, but they all tasted wonderful and knowing that humans and not machines made such wonderful things makes it all more valuable to me. Whether you want to get a treat for yourself or impress your significant other with handmade bonbons coming all the way from central Portugal these would definitely be a good choice. The person behind these creations is Ana Paula Rocha and you can contact her for further info and ordering using the following email and phones: anpaula_rocha@hotmail.com, +351 963 255 589 or +351 238 601 470.

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Griottines and honey bonbons.

Last but not least, I came across a stall selling both old and new. No, nothing was spoiled or rotten, what I mean is that they, Go-star, had both traditional and not so traditional products. Besides the cheeses, jams and sausages they had some very modern-looking products, which are a sort of bridge between the old world and the new world, using local traditional ingredients and giving them a new look, new uses and a new appeal. This brand in particular is called Penhas Douradas Food and they have plenty of different products, including different types of soft jellies, vinaigrettes, pesto, chutneys, honeys… and I’m sure I’m forgetting something. What makes them so unique? Not only do they have uncommon flavour pairings (like in the fig and olives jam) but they also have a very convenient packaging. The jelly, pesto and vinaigrettes for example come in squeeze bottles (great for decorating dishes and no need to mess around with a spoon); the brittles and the soft jellies come in individually packed morsels (which means no sticky fingers and longer shelf life). I didn’t get to try any of their products at the fair so I went for ‘safe’ choices and bought the nettle pesto (pesto de urtigas) and the porcini vinaigrette (vinagrete de boletus). I’m very happy with these and now I find myself wanting to try more of their products! You might find Go-star at fairs in Portugal but they also sell online and ship products overseas, so that means you can be in sunny England anywhere in the world enjoying a nice beets ketchup.

(Note: At the time of publishing this post Go-star’s website was undergoing some maintenance work, so make sure to check back again later!)

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I’m regretting not having bought the pumpkin soft jellies – sounds very good!

And this finishes the series of posts dedicated to the cheese fair in Oliveira do Hospital earlier this month.

Of all the products that I mentioned here which one would you most like to try?

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9 comments

  1. This food all looks sensational, of course if I’m honest it would be the chocolates, but I may be trying the nettle pesto and non-gm vegetarian sausages to my store cupboard in the near future.

    • The chocolates were very very good! I was really curious about the nettle pesto, as I couldn’t imagine what it would taste like. It doesn’t have the strong taste of basil pesto, but it did a good job with tagliatelle 😉

  2. What do you mean ‘it was ‘easy’ to drink’? If it;s not ‘easy’ – you’re not trying hard enough! I find all the wines in Portugal (even the inexpensive ones) ‘easy’ to drink. Maybe that’s because I’m a professional!

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