Ruth: José, our host at the The Tropical Fruit Garden, says that he does go to the store for a few things like sugar, salt and paper napkins, but otherwise he is almost self sufficient. We have been enjoying eating all he has been provided us from his small farm. We cook goose eggs for breakfast because, we have learned, they have the best flavour fried. We have also discovered that the best way to eat a fresh avocado is drenched in lime juice and sprinkled with sugar. Our biggest decisions are around whether to eat a tangerine, orange, mandarin or sweet lemon.  Cooking from his garden has been so much fun that we have invited him to join us for a couple of dinners. He never comes empty handed. In addition to his homemade rosé wine, he prepared quail eggs as an appetizer, served with a sauce of hot chillis, garlic, parsley and vinegar.  His garden really is, as the name suggests, a tropical fruit garden. In addition to loads of citrus he also grows papayas, avocados, three varieties of bananas, coffee, and an exquisite tropical fruit called cherimoya.  After the recent storms his papaya trees lost their leaves, preventing the fruit from ripening properly. I offered to make green papaya salad using what was available in the garden and it worked out very well. 

We have had such a lovely stay with him, and it is hosts like José and Adelina that will keep us returning. Ok, it is also the price. We have been consistently paying about 30€ for accommodation each night. We have always had a kitchen, and some of the properties are large homes with several bedrooms.  José has assured us that he would offer us the suite in his house for an extended stay at a very reasonable rent.  Off season, the Azores are a very affordable place to visit. 

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