July 20th, 2015
Gordon: Prior to our arrival in Portugal we had read in our guide book that the Portuguese prepare bacalhão (dried, salted codfish) in 365 different ways, one for each day of the year. However, we expected that this was a relic of the past, and that they would be eating Captain Highliner’s fish sticks like the rest of us. How wrong we were. Bacalhão is still hugely popular. Every supermarket has a section devoted to it (just follow your nose) and one of the choices for the dish of the day is usually some manifestation of it. Our second misconception was that we would not like it. This seems probable when you see the ragged, odiferous slabs stacked on the supermarket shelves. However, we have now eaten bacalhão in four wildly different dishes, and they were all delicious.
One of the reasons that I am writing this blog is that my beautiful and talented wife has a new favourite beverage: port wine. It started with a tour and tasting at the Taylor port house at 10 this morning, continued over our midday restaurant meal, and on into the bottle we purchased at a shop this afternoon. And she has been quite democratic with her palate: an inexpensive chip dry, a late bottled ruby, or an aged tawny were all equally happily quaffed. However, we are back on the bikes tomorrow, heading away from Porto, so there is every chance that we can dry Ruth out. If not, I’m afraid that future blogs may be written in rhyming couplets, or possibly set to music, which were among her suggestions this evening.