On a sunny yet cool Sunday afternoon at my grandparents’, I decided to take my sister for a little stroll around our homeland. What’s the point in venturing around the world when there are so many hidden gems to discover right under your nose?
We began with a visit to the main church of an unassuming town not far way, named Válega. It would be an ordinary church, just like hundreds scattered around the country if it wasn’t for its gorgeous facade! Covered in bright colourful tiles, it depicts
The manor house has 154 chairs! A lot of cleaning needs to be done 😉
One of the things I remember quite fondly while spending my holidays and every other weekend at my grandparents’ was eating fresh fish and seafood! Being from Aveiro has its perks, that’s for sure!
This region of Portugal is intimately connected with the Atlantic and the Ria de Aveiro. A land of fishermen and peixeiras, everywhere you go you have water.
I had some spare time so I headed to this local museum, named COMUR – Museu Municipal, which is a former canned fish factory. The main feature that set this factory apart from others throughout the country, was that canned eel could only be manufactured here!
I got a better sense of the history of the factory and its people, the thorough process to make canned fish, since its inception until it is shipped worldwide. The current factory is located a couple of blocks away and it still produces this unique Portuguese delicacy.
Canned fish (sardines, eel, mussels, tuna, anchovy…) is one of the best gifts you can buy in Portugal. The cans are quite stylish, wrapped in a vintage(ish) paper and inside you’ll find authentic love! Your taste buds will scream for more, that’s for sure! 😉
When you are at your grandparents, in Aveiro, pressing the grapes you collected the day before with your bare feet and you end up realising that instead of wine it looks like you’re making Šaltibarščiai.
For those who are not culinary savvy, especially of Eastern European cuisine, Šaltibarščiai is a traditional soup with its colour being its most striking characteristic – PINK – a result of the use of beets as its main ingredient.
Usually served cold, this soup is perfect for late Spring and Summer in Lithuania.
In my county’s case, I believe that we can enjoy it in late Winter, Spring, Summer and early Autumn, so now we are still in the season to do so.
I’m feeling so generous that I’ll leave here the recipe for you to try:
Lithuanian Šaltibarščiai | 6 servings | Labai easy!
200 g of boiled & cooled beetroot (about 2 medium beets)
100 g of fresh cucumber
6 spring onions or 10 green onion leaves
2 hard-boiled eggs
1.5 litres of kefir
Bunch of fresh dill
Salt to taste
Slice the beetroot & gherkins into fine julienne.
Chop the eggs into small dice.
Chop the scallions or onions leaves into 1 cm pieces.
Finely chop the dill.
Pour the kefir into a large bowl or saucepan and add the chopped ingredients, holding back some of the dill for garnish.
Taste and season salt and additional lemon juice as required.
Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining dill.
Serve it with either boiled potatoes or rye bread (for a lighter lunch).