August 7, 2015
Chaves to Rebordelo
The best part of everyday is sitting down to lunch at around 1:00, when we have either reached our daily destination or are close to it. I love the riding too, but eating is bliss. Prato do dia or diaria in Portugal is a must. Mid to late morning, either Gord or I mentions to the other how long it is until Prato time. The whole ritual is wonderful. Cracking the ice cold beer and watching Gord have his first sip with a look on his face that could only convey that he has indeed found enlightenment. Then the soup, which is a simple creamed vegetable and adds to the beer in our efforts to rehydrate. Next up: the main course, which usually involves a choice of fish, or meat. What arrives is always a surprise but invariably tasty. We quickly learned some important vocabulary after my plate of gizzards in Guimarães, and another one where a morsel of liver had been slipped in. This is not a dining experience for vegetarians, but most hostels do have shared kitchens if food preparation must be done without slaughter. Dessert is often flan, cake or huge slices of melon. The wonderful event comes to a close with an espresso. And the bill: 5 to 10 euros each, with an increasing trend towards the lesser figure.
Gordon: At our last two lunches I have continued my research into the forms in which bacalhau can be prepared. Yesterday’s offering, a “bacalhau salad” was particularly distinctive. It turned out to be a tepid mixture of raw salt cod strips, boiled potatoes, and chickpeas. It was quite delicious. Today’s bacalhau was a more conventional thick slab of breaded fish. We see bacalhau in the supermarket everyday and it always looks like irregular pieces of building material. It is a mystery how it can be changed into a form indistinguishable from fresh fish.