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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Portuguese snacks

On the way back from yet another great meal at Restaurante Cabrita this evening, I was delighted to notice a fartura stand open. These food trucks and trailers pop up around the country during the summertime, and in Lisbon, especially around the festa de Santo António (mid-to-late June). A fartura is more or less the Portuguese answer to funnel cake - they squirt a thick rope of dough into hot grease, and cut the resulting fried spiral into about 8-inch lengths, and dip them in cinnamon sugar. The result: nirvana.

Another great Portuguese snack is the pão com chouriço: slices of chouriço baked into a large roll. The roads around Mafra - perhaps the number one place in Portugal when it comes to bread - are littered with makeshift stands selling them, and they're the best around. But if you don't happen to be driving in the vicinity of Mafra and do happen to be around Lisbon, next best is a mini-chain (two locations that I know of - one on Av. 24 de Julho by the waterfront in Lisbon, and one on the main pedestrian street in Costa da Caparica) called A Merendeira. They make them on the premises in wood-fired ovens, and they're the real deal: great, crusty bread, and tasty slices of chouriço - nothing else necessary.

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