Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beautiful Food Stores in Portugal

Portugal - Passion
These two words, and worlds, go together.
Portuguese people put passion not only into what they do but also in their way of living.
There's also a strong sense of respect in anything that regards them and others.
This is probably why art there is so special: pottery, ceramics, their "azulejos", porcelain, crystal, paintings, fado music, museums, their Palaces which are so well preserved with their original contents and furniture.
All the former also applies to food which is just another expression of art: their sweets and breads, as well as their food stores and the quality of food being offered: from Porto wine to dried fruit, from vegetables to fish, from canned food to candy and sweets.
Just a pleasure to see and taste.

I'm enclosing pictures that vary
from the coffee shop of the Ceramics Museum in Lisbon with its walls decorated with the authentic azulejos recovered from an old portuguese kitchen,
to the town of Ericeira's beautiful supermarket "La Loja de Amelia",
and next to it the best little hotel in town "Residencial Vinnus",
and also pictures of incredible little shops like La Conserveira de Lisboa where canned fish becomes art,
A Ginjinha the tiny store in downtown Lisbon selling the original Ginjinha liquor which is just unique (made with wild cherries),
or the crowded little food stores in Porto and Lisbon with such nice displays and so full of goodies that oblige you to go in even if you hadn't planned to do so.
I hope I can transmit the feeling with some of my pictures and have you enjoy at least a part of the pleasure I've had visiting this country.

cafeteria of the Museo Nacional de Cerámica in Lisbon

cafeteria of the Museo Nacional de Cerámica in Lisbon

cafeteria of the Museo Nacional de Cerámica in Lisbon

cafeteria of the Museo Nacional de Cerámica in Lisbon

the garden in the Cafeteria of the Museo Nacional de Cerámica in Lisbon

the famous A Ginjinha little store in Lisbon

memorable food stores in Porto (in and out)

memorable food stores in Porto (in and out)

memorable food stores in Porto (in and out)

beautiful window displays

bacalao and more bacalao

beautiful window displays

inside of a store

inside of a store

porto wine, such a variety!



Conseveira de Lisboa's shelfs full of different types of canned fish

Conseveira de Lisboa

Conseveira de Lisboa, beautiful packaging of the cans, real and pure art

Silva & feijó, same street as the Conserveira de Lisboa

Silva & feijó

Silva & feijó

Loja de Amélia in Ericeira, a perfect town 40 minutes north from Lisbon

inside the Loja de Amélia

inside the Loja de Amélia

inside the Loja de Amélia

Loja de Amélia, they even have chocolate with stevia!

inside the Loja de Amélia

Loja de Amélia, great veggies!

Loja de Amélia, great veggies!
Loja de Amélia, great veggies!

Loja de Amélia, great veggies!

Residencial Vinnus in Ericeira, across the street from the Loja de Amélia, your perfect little hotel in town

Residencial Vinnus in Ericeira with a view of the town









Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pastry shops in Portugal - Pastelarias em Portugal



I don't think any other country has as many pastry shops, intended as "patisseries", as Portugal, it's unbelievable. And they sell a lot, and they are good. I've come to compare it to the amount of Pinxo places per square meter in San Sebastián, which is also incredible but it's a well known fact. Nobody had told me about Portugal and their mastering the art of baking breads and sweets.

The most important sweet is Pasteis de Nata (a sort of petit custard tarts) which anyone that has been to Lisbon, I would think and hope, has tried the original ones called Pasties de Belém at the Confeitaria de Belém. They are served warm just brought out of the oven, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of powdered sugar and they're ready to eat!  In the Confeitaria de Belém there are many rooms, used as sitting areas, you'll see in the pictures or visit their web site, the "visit" button is well done and gives you a good idea of what I'm trying to describe. Pasties de Belém cost 1 euro and 5 cents each.  If my counting isn't wrong, the place has sitting space for about 1000 people. I think they sell at least 300 pasteis every hour and they are open 13 hours a day Monday through Friday, 4 hours on Saturdays and 4 on Sundays, just do some math and the numbers speak for themselves. It's also true that their secret recipe is special, it just happens to be better than the others. I tried some good ones in other places as well, never as good as Belem's, I must admit it. When after standing in line at the cashier your turn arrives and you ask for just 1 pastei de nata and then you go to the counter and order it and eat it, you just have to go back on line to ask for 2 more! So now you know and if you go to the Confeitaria de Belém, ask for 3 pasteis de nata from the very beginning...

Portuguese people have a sweet tooth and they are often during the day in the confeitarias eating pasteis and having a cup of coffee. Also breakfast is mainly eaten at the pastry shops. As everything in Portugal, prices are affordable therefore local people can enjoy this part of their own culture.
The Portuguese sweets are made mainly with a lot of egg yolks, that's what makes them so good. This all started at the convents, in fact they are called "doces conventuais". No mistery that the Confeitaria de Belém is just next to the huge Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery).

Of course Portuguese sweets are liver-dangerous therefore I had to be very careful, every time I would over do it my gallbladder called for clemency. And so did the scale, in fact I had to drastically reduce sweets after Portugal otherwise I would have had to change my entire wardrobe.

I am posting some pictures for you to enjoy!

Confeitaria de Belém, in Belém, 20 minutes east from Lisbon, on the coast line
coming into the store from the street, and of course, the Portuguese "azulejos" covering the walls
inside the Confeitaria de Belém 
inside the Confeitaria de Belém 
inside the Confeitaria de Belém 
inside the Confeitaria de Belém 
this is the production area
here are the pasteis de nata just out of the oven and ready to go to the public
an original Pastei de Belém
here you can see the inside, I bit it!
other confeitarias
in Lisbon

my favorite confeitaria in Porto: Pastelaria Ribeiro

inside Pastelaria Ribeiro in Rua José Falcao, just a block away from Carmelitas
inside Pastelaria Ribeiro

Pastelaria Ribeiro's window
The Majestic Cafe in Porto: inside (upper picture) outside (lower picture)
Majestic's furniture
guess who... at the Majestic
The Torreja and the art of serving Tea at the Majestic Café in Porto

a pastelaria in Coimbra, breakfast was just too good

here I am, having breakfast
from here on, just many windows with sweets, breads and more sweets