super generic girl

the awesomely average life of a girl like all others


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postcards from ericeira

Heading to Ericeira for a seafood lunch has always kind of been a favourite activity for my parents and something we tend to do pretty much every year, without even planning or thinking about it. Even when I visited Portugal in Christmas in previous years and the weather outside was cold and uninviting, we always made the yearly pilgrimage and sat at the same waterfront restaurant.

This year, I finally got to return there on a summer day (and what a glorious summer day it was!). With me still uber jet lagged, only a couple of days after getting off the plane (well, planes) from the opposite side of the world, we sat at the usual restaurant and then spent the afternoon wandering around the streets and admiring the surfers out in the water.

There isn’t one particular reason as to why we end up going to this place and not somewhere else but rather a mix of little things that add to Ericeira’s coolness factor. It’s a relatively short drive from Lisbon, it gives us the chance to stop in Sobreiro (Mafra) for some amazing pão com chouriço (which we didn’t this time, since we’d just gotten churros and farturas!) and it is one of those nice little fishing villages that has everything going for it: it’s got that small town character, the amazing sea views and amazing food.

And here’s some bonus trivia, which I’ve just learnt, courtesy of the always trustworthy wikipedia: “In 2011 Ericeira was chosen by the WSR to one of the four World Surfing Reserves together with Malibu and Santa Cruz in California and Manly Beach in Australia”.

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Note to self and to others: a list of things to eat in Portugal (WIP)

I’m going to be home in more or less 50 days. By the time I land it will have been 20 months since my last visit which is just ridiculously stupid. I would describe to you how excited I am about going home but then this would turn into a really long blog post full of crazy-happy yays and squees, capital letters and multiple exclamation marks so I’ll save you from that.

Besides all the obvious things that I’m looking forward to (ie, squeezing all my family and friends real hard until they start wishing I’d just bugger off back to NZ so they can breathe normally again), I’m really excited about the food. Yes, the food. After the people, the food is the best thing about my country, hands down. I mean, it’s beyond awesome and no other country can replicate the level of culinary awesomeness that goes on in that little country, I tell you.

So the other day I started writing down all the things I cannot wait to eat when I’m there. Last time I visited, I thought I wouldn’t need a list and ended up forgetting to eat a bunch of delicious stuff that I can’t get here in Kiwiland so this time I decided a list was in order. Then I thought I should put the list on here so that it can serve two purposes: reminding myself of all those things and, just in case someone happens to be planning a trip to Portugal, they don’t act all crazy like I did last time and leave without trying some of this stuff.

Note that this list is a work in progress and I’m sure there are at least 456,550 other things that I’ll think of before I make my way back to the northern hemisphere. Also, apologies in advance for the lack of accents.

  • pao alentejano (without a doubt, the best bread in the world. Even my kiwi agrees that life without that bread is a tough one)
  • cafe delta (best coffee in the world and lalalalalala I can’t hear you if you disagree lalalalalala)
  • gomas vidal (a particular brand of lollies that are super soft and full of flavour. to die for!)
  • tuli creme (sort of like nutella but about a bazillion and a half times better)
  • chocapic (best. cereal. ever.)
  • grilled sardines (one of the advantages of visiting in summer)
  • snails (again, amen to a summer trip for allowing me to enjoy these, after 3 years of visiting in winter and missing out on them)
  • acorda alentejana (with lots of pao alentejano!)
  • morcela de arroz (again, on pao alentejano)
  • pasteis de nata (the tarts that I keep telling everyone I can’t live without)
  • ovos moles (egg overdose. nothing not to like)
  • bolas de berlim (it’s like what in NZ you’d call a donut but giant sized and with heaps of egg cream inside. to consume on the beach, preferably)
  • farturas (a type of fritters… with sugar and cinnamon – deliciousness!)
  • churros com doce de ovo (churros are pretty well known here… except these ones are super-sized and have an egg mix inside that makes them divine!)
  • sumol de ananas (a pineapple fizzy drink that I haven’t found anywhere else)
  • queijo fresco (on pao alentejano!)
  • rol (is it still available? I read it made a comeback but not sure if it was for a limited time only! One of the ice creams made by Ola – the same brand that in NZ is called Streets)
  • tomatada (a dish made of basically tomatos and egg that you eat with, yeah, you guessed it… pao alentejano!)

(to be continued)