The wine! The pastries! Co-host Anna Van Valin is back from a monthlong adventure in Portugal, and she’s giving us her Top 5 food (and drink!) experiences in this special episode. We get the lowdown on local flavors, hear about dreamy Portuguese “petiscos” from hidden cafés tucked away in ancient walled cities, and find out why some of the cobblestone streets in Lisbon are so darn sticky. Anna also reveals why the best pastries come from convents, some fascinating facts about port wine (did you know there’s four kinds??) and introduces us to the infamous “aguardiente” — also known as “firewater”! But first, co-host Lia Ballentine shares the latest snack news from Yumday, and Anna and Lia announce their first in-person Food Day meetup in Austin, Texas — and you’re invited! Meet Anna and Lia in ATX on November 17th and help celebrate Food Day’s 1st birthday!
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(c) 2021 Van Valin LLC, Yumday Co
EVERY DAY IS A FOOD DAY
Episode 22: "Another Round of Firewater!"
(c) 2021 Van Valin, LLC; YumdayCo
ANNA: Port is fortified aged sweet wine. OK so.
LIA: All right, you want this to be old.
ANNA: You want this to be old.
ANNA: Very, very old. You want dust on the bottle you want like you want it to be old. There's four kinds of port I there's.
LIA: I didn’t Know there were varieties or varietals.
ANNA: Right? Well, I knew there was Tawny and there was like not Tawny.
MX: THEME MUSIC
ANNA: Hi Listeners! From Van Valin Productions & YumDay, welcome to a special episode of Every Day is a Food Day…..
ANNA: I’m your host, Anna Van Valin.
LIA: And I’m your other host, Lia. We’re super excited to bring you this special episode all about our first Food Day Field trip. That’s right, y’all, we’ve gone global.
ANNA: I’ve just gotten back from eating my way through Portugal and I’m going to tell you all about my favorite food experiences there. The pastries, the wine, the cheese -
LIA: And all the fish you ate, right?
LIA: Help us get the word out about the show by sharing it with anyone who likes food, podcasts or both! Be sure to follow the show wherever you get your podcasts and check out the links in the show notes for even more great content and to connect with us online.
MX: THEME MUSIC (end)
LIA: Welcome back, Anna! (01:38)
ANNA: Boa tarde, Lia!
LIA: How are you?
ANNA: Muito bem, obrigada.
LIA: Oh no, are you speaking Portuguese now? Have you gone full “study abroad”?
ANNA: Lia, we have a saying in “Portuguesh”...I’m just kidding. No, but I'm back, had an incredible time and yes, successfully ate my way through the country. It was glorious. So much to talk about with you but I’ve narrowed it down to five things
ANNA: Some are large categories of things but I’ve narrowed it down to five foods and, obviously, beverages.
LIA: Well, of course. Of course.
ANNA: But How are you, Lia?
LIA: I'm doing well doing alright, missed you.
ANNA: I missed you, too. You and Yumday keeping the people well snacked.
LIA: Yes, we are. so exciting stuff. If you head over to Yum Day Co. The website has changed. Yes we have a brand new shopping experience. And we've got more subscription options. So now you can snack little or you can snack a lot and you can choose if you want to get snacks monthly or quarterly. Plus we have more curated boxes for different dietary needs. It's really exciting. Just there's so many snacks that I want to share with you.
ANNA: That's awesome, yeah definitely. Go to yumday.co and check out your snacking options because Lia slingin’ snacks, y'all.
LIA: I'm slingin’em. Day and night yeah, well and Anna you're going to get to come visit Yumday headquarters here pretty soon, right?
ANNA: I am I am. Because you guys: I'm going to visit Lia in Austin and/
LIA: /Oh My God.
ANNA: We will be. We will be in the same place at the same time for the first time since way before we started Food Day since.
LIA: Since The end of February 2020.
ANNA: In the before times.
LIA: Right. who knew. That like a week or two after. We weren't going to get to Come back and see each Other for a long time.
ANNA: I know.
LIA: I remember though when I left like OK, cool, I'll probably be back in LA like you know in another. Few weeks so. I'll see you then.
ANNA: Yeah. Well you were like, yeah, let's do a podcast. But first I want to do this epic cross country trip.
LIA: Oh yeah, that never happened.
ANNA: I'm gonna hit all 50 states in my car in public.
LIA: Yep yeah Nope. Got back home and they. Were like you can never leave.
ANNA: Right? But I think it's pretty freaking awesome that we've done all of. This separated, all of this under basically house arrest, separated by several states. So we're finally going to be in the same place at the same time. And yes, I Fully plan to make a nest of snacks. That's where I'm sleeping, right?
LIA: Yeah Anna, you're just sleeping in a bunch. Of snacks. Your pillows are going to be snacks.
ANNA: I'm assuming you have an inventory suite.
LIA: Of course. Well, you get to taste Test some new snacks. Some people sent me. Some really good Stuff and I can't eat it all on my own, so I'm glad you'll be here. To help me.
ANNA: It's a mercy. Trip. is coming to help me eat the snacks, but we do have to save room. For all of the barbecue, all the brisket. All that everything we're going to eat there.
LIA: Oh yes.
ANNA: The giant Donuts. Oh my God, it's gonna be great.
LIA: Texas sized everything.
ANNA: Everything and if you are in Texas and you want to join us. Yeah, we have an opportunity for you to do so. We're going to have a little meet up on November 17th in Austin. Exact place to be announced.* But if you're anywhere in Texas in the Austin area, we want to meet you, so go to the link in our show notes to the Eventbrite so you can add. Your name and then we have more details.We will send that to you, but. You can meet Lia and I in person.
LIA: I know
ANNA: maybe we'll do some trivia, maybe we'll do some raffling.
LIA: That's right.
ANNA: I don't know. Maybe you guys can pitch episodes to us. Tell us what your favorite foods are. LIA: Yes, we're so excited. I mean we know you guys have been wanting to. Come see us. So here's your chance and just as excited to meet you.
ANNA: But Lia, why did we pick that date? November 17th?
LIA: Because it's our food day birthday guys. Can you believe it?
ANNA: It's our first birthday
LIA: We’re turning one!ANNA: Turning one! It's been one year since we grace you all, yes, so it's a birthday party.
LIA: So it's a birthday party.
ANNA: It's been one year since we grace you all with the knowledge of survival crackers and donut lassies, and we've done so much. We've told so many stories and you've all been a part of it and we just we're we're so grateful. We wanted to celebrate. So again, if you're in the Austin area, hit us up. Check out the link in the show notes and also we'll put it on social media so you can RSVP and you'll get all the deets. It's going to. Be super, super exciting. Maybe we'll tape something and throw it out there for you and we're going to be back with more episodes soon. And if you'd like to support us and help us do that, we have a link on our website and in our show notes where you can buy us. A coffee or several make it recurring. Do it one time and if you want to earmark it and say no ladies have a mimosa. Like we're cool with that,
LIA: yeah, we'll take coffees Or mimosas.
ANNA:True. Support Our brisket habit.
LIA: We love brisket.
ANNA: But our website shownotesorbiasescoffee.com/food day pod. OK, Are you ready to hear about Portugal?
LIA: So ready I, I mean I want to know all there is to know about Portugal. Yes, tell us all about it. And then of course you had some great videos and pictures on Instagram. So for people who want to see visual aids, you can always head over to @Fooddaypod. Find Anna awesome videos from where she stopped what she ate, check out the pictures and you can also catch recordings of our IG live.
ANNA: Yes, thank you to everyone who joined our IG live and ask questions and throw in comments. And yeah, Lee's totally right, pretty much everything that I'm going to talk about. Today we put up some kind of video or picture so you can like really get a visual really be there with me. You have the experience. Taste the food. Step on the sticky ass sidewalk outside the Gijinha places.
LIA: Oh my.
ANNA: So sticky oh. Anyway, so let's get started.
LIA: Let's do it.
MX: MUSIC STING (07:28)
PORTUGAL TOP 5
LIA (08:10): All right, Anna I Guess if we're going to start anywhere, we just need to know landscape. Describe the local food.
LIA: Set, set the table for us.
ANNA: The local food and the keyword there is local was one of my absolute favorite things about Portugal. OK, and we're talking, especially things like petiscos. So…
LIA: Oh, what are petiscos?
ANNA: So Petiscos is a Portuguese word basically for like tapas, charcuteri it is. Snacks y'all. So the cheese, the meat, the bread all day everyday we ate just a big ask platter of cheese, meat and bread, but also the ingredients, the olive oil, the olives, fruit, herbs, spices. What made it so special is that it's all locally grown.
ANNA: pretty much
ANNA: Most things there that you're going to get are from family farms or small. You know small producers nearby.
LIA: That's amazing.
ANNA: And I'll explain why. So first of all, Portugal is very small and very old. All these things I read about their history. It was like, well, first it was the Phoenicians and then it was the Lusitanians and then it was the Romans. And then there were Visigoths. And then there were Moors. And that brings us to the year 700. And you're like wait.
LIA: Wait, we're only at 700.
ANNA: Now wait, that means nothing to me. My concept of time starts around 1492. These are pretty murky till about 1776. I have no touch point for that. Anyway. And very small. So to give you an idea of what I mean. Portugal, the country is about half the size of Florida.
ANNA: Yes, the land mass, the land area of Portugal is about half of Florida./ It’s adorable
LIA: No way. I never thought it was that small,
LIA: That's teeny tiny.
ANNA: It's adorable. LIA: It sounds cute.
ANNA: It's hard for us to wrap our mind around it. 'cause I mean you're in Texas. You can put 10 portugals in Texas.
LIA: Oh my gosh so many.
ANNA: And California. Oh my gosh, I have a litter of. Little Portugals running around. But that means there's no mass production.* Or like factory farming because it's so small physically and there's only 10 million people. The population is only 10 million people.
LIA: Well, that's like LA County, right?
ANNA: Yeah, pretty much the greater Los Angeles area. Yeah, pretty much so. You just don't need it. And also I mean the land is incredible, the weather is incredible, all very very ripe for agriculture, but. You know, that's something that we couldn't possibly do here in the US. There's no way that you could feed 330 million people from sea to shining sea with just factory farms, right? So it's it's super super special, everything is so fresh it tastes so good and they keep their import export taxes pretty high. Oh, which means that it is. Actually easier to get things locally than it is to export them or to bring in foreign products Mm-hmm, right? Wow, so not only am I, I mean yeah I could just eat meat cheese. And bread. Forever every day anyway, but you're literally eating cheese from like over the. And like
LIA: that's so remarkable, I love that.
ANNA: It's so, so delicious and so great.
LIA: Oh my gosh. Well, with all this wonderful local food everywhere like local local, were there any places that stood out to you as you were eating your way across Portugal?
MX: Medieval Music - fade in (11:11)
ANNA: There was one experience that was really was really special actually. So I was in a town called Obidos. Which is again one of these ancient medieval cities, by the way. People, if you want some castle **** I'm like crenelated turrets baby some like ramparts for days.
LIA: Get it.
ANNA: *We get excited about old stuff in America. Like I know we have people from all over the world listening and you have to understand that if you're like West of the Mississippi and you see a building that's over 100 years old, it has a plaque. LIA: Oh yeah, ANNA: it is a landmark. It's probably like a National Monument. We just don't have that. So we get super excited. About an old wall. LIA: I like old things. ANNA: We do like old things.
ANNA: OK just you can go to my personal Instagram it's just @annavanvalin. One of these places was Obidos, which is a medieval town. It's 1200 year Old Town, right, and it's so cute. It's like if a child drew a castle. This is what they draw.
LIA: No way,
MX: Medieval Music - fade out (12:10)
ANNA: yeah, so we were walking around and it was obviously very touristy and we're like where are we going to eat? We gotta eat something and then we see Just like a sign on the ground that I think was, you know it was like taped over like a wet pavement sign. And it just said cafe this way. And so we went up this walkway and there was a house. It was like gorgeous, covered in bougainvillea and again a sign inside cafe this way which looked like somebody just like back door. You know? It's like.
LIA: It's a trick.
ANNA: And we were never heard of again. But you know what? Lia we were hungry and so we were like, yes, Stranger Danger but. I can smell bread in there, so we went in and it was absolutely this man's cottage that he turned into a little cafe.
LIA: Cute, cute again.
ANNA: It was so cute and there was like a big sort of picnic table in the middle with a laminated print out of the food that he had. And then in one corner there was like all these jars of you know different foods and different snacks and spreads and things and And we just went in and he was like, hello, welcome as very very welcoming people and immediately just like handed us a glass of rose. Walking in the door. And and then he had these like petisco groupings on this print out and we were like. Number one please. And he brought out these platters of these meat, cheese. You know olives and stuff, and he knew the people that made. All of them.
LIA: Whoa, like, think about. To be able to know, Oh my cheese came from, yeah, this farmer over here. Yeah, my bread was made by this person. Yeah, down the street.
ANNA: He was like this. This venison comes from my buddy Joao. He he goes out and hunts in this forest and makes his sausage and you know, like the cheese was made from this farm over here and then he was like in the breads from Annabelle. And I was like where's where's Anabella I would? Like to speak to her? Yeah where does she live? And he was literally like, oh, she's on the other. Like 3 streets Over,
LIA: that's amazing.
ANNA: It's not, it's so Special and magical.
LIA: It's like a dream that's like a like a dream meal.
ANNA: Right, But here's the thing. They don't really think so. We had a great conversation with this guy and it turned out that everything in his kitchen slash shop was made in Portugal and he was really trying to create a boutique of and highlight things that were made in Portugal because the fact that everything is locally grown, the people there feel this generalization. That there's an overall kind of vibe and I got that while I was there that they're like kind of provincial and embarrassed by it.
ANNA: that the the the better thing is to have a cheese from France or uh, you know Iberian meat from Spain, not the local stuff that it makes them kind of low class and I don't know. Like I said, provincial.* And we were trying to explain to him that in America you pay out the nose to get anything that is locally made like this is what people pay a fortune for. You know the farm to table organic like anybody from a big country. This is what they want
ANNA: and that's. Something to be Really proud of I thought, but yeah, that was really really special and it was funny 'cause it was this guy's kitchen. So people kept like walking up and then looking in and then like walking away and he was like no you could come in.
LIA: I love that so much.
ANNA: But it was, yeah, but it. Was it was awesome. It was just like literally pick Group 123 or four of a a basket full of locally made grown food. And like one of the places we stayed in a hotel and just you know, the fruit at a hotel buffet, that's like. Sad, sad melon, no flavor.*
LIA: It's like. Water is dirty.
ANNA: There's just chunks, it was. It was banana at some point, right? Best oranges I've ever had in my life.
ANNA: Because they're from are outside.
LIA: Because it's right there.
ANNA: And they don't have to. They don't have to shoot him full of fertilizer and antibiotics and stuff. Because they don't have to feed millions of people. They just have to feed their community. It was so cool, which leads me to the second food #2 that I wanted to talk about and that. Is frango
LIA: Frango baby
ANNA: Frango baby, also known as rotisserie chicken. They are these tiny, tiny little chickens that are so flavorful and it's super simple. They like spatchcock them and then just brine them and then rotate them over a fire.
LIA: And that's it
ANNA: And sometimes they're seasoned with Piri Piri sauce. Pcuteriod theory is a pepper that grows there that's pretty hard to find here, although I think Trader Joe's has a sauce you can find. But yeah, the Frangou was such a great example of local simple food law. I definitely put a video of that up on the Instagram so. You should check that out.
LIA: Oh yes, I love watching the chicken just spin just on the rotisserie.
ANNA: It's had a simple life. It's about to fulfill its destiny. Oh my God, it's so good and Because it's so small When it brined like all the flavor goes, all the. Way through the meat. You know,
LIA: like drooling right now.
ANNA: You know without it like. Like steroid looking piece of chicken and the outside taste good but then by the time you get to the inside and there's not much flavor it was like totally the opposite. My God, oh. I'm getting So hungry
LIA: That's like juicy, tasty, old, salty tangy. The way through. Oh yes, no stop. I'm so hungry.
ANNA: We shouldn't do this at dinnertime.
LIA: I know. OK, so Frangou I'm all about the petiscos.
ANNA: So you know how in Italy there's the limoncello, and in Greece there's ouzo, right? It's like they're liquor of choice. Their like staple liqueur is called "ginjinha”.
LIA: Jing Ginjinha?
ANNA: Yeah Ginjinha
ANNA: So Gina is a traditional liquor made from Morello sour cherries, which are called Ginja's so you can say Jinja for short. But that really means the cherries but Ginjinha.
ANNA: Sugar and aguardiente also known as that firewater
FX: Fire (17:47)
ANNA: Yes, it's pretty much moonshine. It's like just still, it's like wine that's been fermented all the way to the point that it's like a Brandy or a pure spirit.
ANNA: So what I'm saying is pure alcohol.
LIA: I was going to say this sounds very dangerous.
ANNA: If you looked at our Instagram, you saw a video of the chorizo stove the little ceramic yeah dish that you that then had the great over it that you did, right?
LIA: That was very cute.
ANNA: And they put a liquid underneath it and lit it on fire.
ANNA: that's this.
LIA: So the aguardiente is also the fire starter.
ANNA: the yeah the lighter fluid basically. But yes, cherries, sugar and firewater. You can do different twists on it with like cinnamon or cloves. You have more or less sting, and obviously then more or less you ferment, it decides how alcoholic or how sweet it is. We will get to that Later.
LIA: oh OK.
ANNA: you order it one of two ways, com Frutta or sem frutta, which means with or without fruit. Here's a tip if you want to buy Gina or you want to have some Gina, there has to be cherries at the bottom of the bottle.
LIA: OK OK,
ANNA:If there aren't cherries in there, it ain't the real thing. You can order it with cherries in your little shot glass or without cherries in your little shot glass.
LIA: Is one way better than the other?
ANNA: I mean, I like the cherries. The Cherries will knock you out.
LIA: That's true, I can see that, yeah.
ANNA: Yeah 'cause they're where it's getting all the flavor from right? So it's also where like that's like getting to the core. The pit,
FX: Pun Bell (19:19)
ANNA: of the fermentation and the flavor, so that's got a big big zing.
LIA: ah, OK, so you can go cherries or no cherries, right? But if you're hardcore you're going to Get the cherries.
ANNA: You pretty much want the cherries. I Got the cherries yeah.
LIA: Of Course 'cause you're hardcore Anna.
LIA: but something that I noticed in the Video that we posted on the @fooddaypod Instagram, Was the pour of the ginjinha into the shot glasses.
LIA: I've watched that like a zillion times because the person pouring it was so skilled, not a spill, topped it off just right and then would like. Plug the top of the bottle back up after each, pour perfectly
ANNA: right and get 2 perfect cherries out every time, every time.
LIA: How do you do that?
ANNA: I don't know, man, it's just.
LIA: I can’t even pour a normal shot right like It gets everywhere.
ANNA: I spill water on myself every day, no, but there's this big jug. It's heavy 'cause it's got cherries at the bottom.
LIA: Yeah, ANNA: and he's doing these perfect pours thousands of times a day. You should see the lines outside these places and every time he pours against two cherries. Right, even it was amazing to watch perfect.
ANNA: It's interesting 'cause the the places you can get it anywhere, but there are places that only sell it. It's that special that only sell it. Yeah they are the stickiest places in the world because people have been drinking the Gina. And spilling it out.
LIA: Since the Dragon Times.
ANNA: since dragon times. Which for them was like recently out of their entire history, right? But one - Oh damn one thing, if you want to like, level it up. So back in that ancient walled town of Obidos.
ANNA: How they serve it? Chocolate shot glasses
LIA: I like that.
ANNA: So I think I could think about that. It's like a sour cherry liqueur in a dark chocolate shot glass, so you throw it back and crunch on that chocolate.
LIA: That's such a perfect combo.
ANNA: Oh my God, it's so good we. Really thought about like how Could it be possible for us to get some of those chocolate Cups home. But they are not suitcase-friendly.
LIA: I was going to say that might be A little tough.
ANNA: I was like maybe I could go to Michaels and they'll Have little molds.
LIA: You could just start making your own.
ANNA: I could start making my own. That's what everyone is getting for Christmas.
LIA: Hmm, that's a wonderful gift.
ANNA: OK, so do you want to hear about the story behind Ginjinha? Where it came from?
LIA: yeah where, How did people discover this? So yes, please tell me.
ANNA: OK. Yeah, 'cause it's one thing to think. Oh, I can make a juice out of these cherries. It's another thing to go. I'm going to put firewater in it and just leave it for five years and see what happens. So Romans brought ginja trees. The cherry trees to Lisbon when they occupied the area. So that was from 205 BC to the fall of the empire, which is around 400 AD. And you know those years don't mean anything to Me either don't worry. But the recipe came from Igreja de Santo Antonio, which is the Church of Saint Anthony. St Anthony is one of the many patron Saints of Lisbon and Portugal, so many Saints. And that was built in 1730, which that means more to me.
LIA: OK. I know that time. That's a real time.
ANNA: I believe Joel Puffington was alive in 1730, or at least he was Coming up, yeah, yeah that. I can grasp that a little bit more. But at this church there was a monastery per yoosh monasteries. Convents are all over the place here and they started making the liqueur.* The monks. And one day a Friar let the secret recipe slip to a Galician. That means from the north of Spain, but it's more fun to say. Galician businessman named Francisco Espinel. Who stole the secret recipe and opened a shop called A Ginjinha, which is still open. That's the one of the ones that I went to in the video, yeah.
LIA: That’s where you went! Wow, I didn't know it was that old.
ANNA: It's actually built into the back of the church. Yes.
ANNA: if you watch any food travel show. If you watch Bourdain or somebody feed Phil they all go to this place, right? However, a little Gina drama,
LIA: Oh, we like drama.
ANNA: there is another extremely famous Gina place called Gina Sem Rival, and they opened up their shop like 120 years ago right across the street. And do you know what their name means?
ANNA: Ginjinha without rivals, huh?
ANNA: shots fired
ANNA: shots fired.
LIA: That's so bold, to come in after. A Ginjinha and then say sorry guys, yeah nothing can beat ours.
ANNA: I tried them both. Lou liked the Ajania better, but I liked the Sem Rival it had like a zing. Had a kick.
LIA: Yeah, I remember you saying that in the video That there was A little more oomph to that one.
ANNA: More OOMPH. It made its presence known, you know what I’m saying? But one of the things that I loved about the ginia is not just that it's like a kind of commercial thing that everybody knows about. And you know represents the country, but it it also seemed very personal and that every family had their own recipe and made it at home. And we talk about that a lot on food day is How foods Become part of your identity and like Oh my family makes you know mashed potatoes the right way or that kind of thing. Oh man, I didn't mean to bring up mashed potatoes. Oh no, I’ve lost Lia. She’s gone. LIA: Bye! I'm my my I'm looking for potatoes now.
ANNA: Said the magic words.
LIA: mashed potatoes.
ANNA: But you could go literally anywhere to any kind of shop and there would be a jug of Gina and like a plain glass bottle and it would be like €1.00 shot of Gina, it was everywhere,
ANNA: Yeah, so we were in one of these shops and we're just talking about our time in Portugal and We asked this guy, you know we love the Ginjinha like have you ever made it? and I swear to God, you guys. He just reaches under the cash register of his shop and pulls out like a 5 liter glass jug filled with oldass cherries and have like a big like cork in the top that had like murky pink in it and he's like “Oh yeah, I'm making mine right now.”
LIA: So we're like duh. What are you talking About, but
ANNA: I don't let it out of my sight.
LIA: It is a precious thing.
ANNA: It was so great. It was so so great.
LIA: Did you drink? Did you try it?
ANNA: Oh yeah, I tried his. I mean once I mentioned it, he had to give it to us. There was no Way around that .
LIA: It’s Only proper yeah to accept the ginjinha.
ANNA: It was delicious, obviously.
ANNA: So yes, we ended up bringing maybe one or. 2 bottles of Gina home.
LIA: Just a couple, just.
ANNA: One or two. For gifts you know, yeah, yeah.
LIA: For customs reasons, that's just say that's it.
ANNA: That's it, yeah, that's right. It was, it was delicious and it was really exciting to try it because I had Read about it everywhere so that. So that’s Ginjinha.
LIA: OK, and the other thing we have to talk about. That looks so delicious in your pictures. Are the pastries.
ANNA: Oh the pastries. Can you see why I loved this place?
LIA: I mean, it's pretty damn perfect.
ANNA: Over there it's pretty great everybody, even if you're not too interested in Portugal. I hope you are now, or at least interested in all of these food and beverage items I'm talking about.* But yes, pastries are a big deal there pretty much every little town had their own/ Pastel de sintra. Pastel de obidos like had their own vibe of pastry. Well, uh, and a lot of places on the menus at cafes and things it would say convent pastries or like local convent pastries.
LIA: Oh like, yeah it came from from that convent?
ANNA: Yeah, either it came from the local convent'cause there always is 1. Or the convent that used to be there in whatever enormous cathedral that makes up the center of this town. The recipe came from there right and it Was it was Always some combination of like flaky pastry and sweet goo.
LIA: Pastry and goo. That's it.
ANNA: which is like I'm here for it.
LIA: Sign me up.
ANNA: Pastry and Sweet goo.
LIA: but why do they have like? Convent pastries, it seems like an interesting thing to pick, you know. OK guys, you know what we're all going to have our pastries.ANNA: well, there is a reason that I discovered. Spending too much time on the Internet. It is because They used to in olden Days use egg whites to starch their habits. So they're like nuns, habits, their monk robes, things like that. So then they had all these egg yolks leftover and they didn't want to be wasteful, So they started making their own, like signature pastries and selling them as money for the convent. So basically these all started out as like.
LIA: Bake sale
ANNA: They were bake sales fodder. But isn't it interesting that?
LIA: We're all about that sweet goo at the convent.
ANNA: They didn't have much to look forward to. OK, they didn't have a lot of bright spots. All right, Whoopi Goldberg couldn't be sent to every convent.
LIA: I just imagine that it's all sister act all the time.
ANNA: All the time, but definitely Sister Mary Clarence was would have been the one to crack all the eggs and separate the next.
LIA: Oh yeah, she would. So precise too.
ANNA: So precise. She wouldn't have complained. Anyway, there is one pastel that stands above the rest really, yes, and that is the pastel de Nata which is a custard pastry. So we are elevating the sweet goo to custard. Oh oh man, it's so good. It's so like small shallow cups. Of really sweet flaky pastry with custard in the middle and then kind of bruleed on top. It's got like kind of crispy baked. Up up and it is another monk invention of from the monastery Jeronimos in Belem is like a little suburb of Lisbon and it's a beautiful, very cool place. It's also a Marina where all of the ships departed from all the explorers To go find the new world and you know a way to get some spices and gold totally, totally on the up and up, yeah.
ANNA: But the pastel de nata is so, so, so delicious you can find it everywhere. But there is a place called Pasteis de Belem That is said to have the original recipe from the monastery that like only four people know the recipe. They're never allowed to like travel in the same car on the same plane.
LIA: Oh, it's that secret of a recipe.
ANNA: Lest you lose them all. Yeah, that it's a secret recipe so. There's also a video of me eating that, and you put you put icing sugar like powdered sugar on top.
LIA: I was going to ask 'cause you put sugar and cinnamon, on it in the video on top.ANNA: On top yeah.
LIA: Ah, just making it extra sweet.
ANNA: Got to give it that zing, little DIY. yes so pastel de nata a very very famous Portuguese pastry that I ate mmmmm a few of.
LIA: Well, you know you had to try all the Different convent pastries out there.
ANNA: It's true. It's true you don't want to play favorites right with the House of God or something. All right, Lia, now we've gotten to the big the big topic. The big discussion.
LIA: Bring it
ANNA: the thing that we've all been Waiting for.
ANNA: The wine.
LIA: I'm so jealous, so jealous.
ANNA: People./ This is not the place to go if you want to stay on the wagon. This is not the place to spend your dry January. This is also not the place to go if you're trying to do a low carb or a no dairy thing either.
LIA: I was yeah
ANNA: like really. There needs to be like no limits.
LIA: no diets here,
ANNA: no diets here, but the wine, again, it's locally made or made from the north, and it it is so beautiful. It is so so. So so good. So there's two kinds of wine that I am going to highlight today,
ANNA: Are you ready?
ANNA: So the first one is called vinho verde.
LIA: Vinho verde so is that green? Is it a Green wine?
ANNA: It is!
LIA: So it's actually green.
ANNA: It's not actually green, but it's green in a sense that it's very young wine.
LIA: Ah, I was thinking, wait this? It's a green wine.
ANNA: No not like the blue wine, but that one winery tried to sell me. There was like blue like a like a melted bomb pop no.
ANNA: Vinho verde means young wine, so it is meant to be drunk within a year of being made.
LIA: Ah, ANNA: it's not a wine that's meant to age. It's not a wine that's meant to sit around. You're not going to find a 10 year vino verte.It's very, very young.
LIA: That would be bad it seems.
ANNA: It would be that it would not be good. Yeah, it is delicious. It's very light. It's a little espumante so it's got Like a little Bit of fizz oh I like full brute. Or Prosecco or anything. But it's like a little bit of Zing. It's crisp and it's sweet because it's Young it's low in alcohol.
LIA: Still baby there.
ANNA: So this is a little, Little baby wine. It's from the Minho region, which is the northernmost point of Portugal. It's right on the border with Spain.
LIA: Ah, OK,
ANNA: and this is the one that I think you're most likely to find outside of Portugal in stores, but it can't sit on the shelves for too long, or it's not going to be good. So definitely look for this in your bottle shops and then look at what the date is. On it 'cause you really want something from this year. Or maybe the previous year, but If you like white wines, Prosecco, anything espumante like try It is my absolute favorite. Drink it real cold. I love it.
LIA: That sounds so nice and crisp and refreshing.
ANNA: Yeah, I don't have like a huge backstory or like history. Lesson about that I just really like vino verde and I think. You guys should try it, that's.
LIA: Guys, try the vino verde and let us know what you think. ANNA: Also vino verde: Call me. The Vino vert board. LIA: You know there is one out there.
ANNA: you know, there's a board. call me. So last but certainly not least, we're going to go in the total opposite direction of the vino verte and talk about port wine.
LIA: port. I want to know all about port wine.
ANNA: So I had never really had it before I went to Portugal and I don't know that I would have ordered it or like sought it out if it Wasn't their thing. And now I'm obsessed. It's so good, so. Port is fortified aged sweet wine. OK so.
LIA: All right, you want this to be old.
ANNA: You want this to be old.
ANNA: Very, very old. You want dust on the bottle you want like you want it to be old. There's four kinds of port I there's.
LIA: I didn’t Know there were varieties or varietals.
ANNA: Right? Well, I knew there was Tawny and there was like not Tawny.
LIA: Tawny and those other ones.
ANNA: And the others. The dark, darker ones. No, there's there's white port there's rose port.
LIA: wait what?
ANNA: Yes, it's so good, tawny and Ruby.
ANNA: So it's White Rose, a tawny Ruby, and it depends on the kind of grape and sort of how it was fermented and treated OK, which you guys. I'm not going to get I'm not, I can't do it. I don't know enough about it to really tell you, and I feel like this episode would be 6 hours Long if I tried to tell you about all the different Grapes you don't need to know that, just that there's four different kinds. LIA: Four kinds got it.
ANNA: And Port is really supposed to go with food. As an apertif or digestif. so the white and the rozay are aperitif. So before the meal and the tawny and Ruby are digestif. So after the meal?
LIA: Oh, OK. So take with food.
ANNA: Basically, basically yes, it enhances the flavor and blah blah blah, but pretty much you need something in their stomach. LIA: Huh, yeah. OK so port goes with food and then you were saying that it is a fortified age sweet wine. What does fortified mean? I'm just thinking of cereal.
ANNA: *Really 'cause I was thinking of it having like the castle walls like the little town like it's like fortified. Nothing getting in. LIA: It's the it's the Obisos of wine. ANNA: Obidos of DJ digestifs. OK, so it's a little bit complicated and I did do a wine tasting. Actually they called it a degustation. A degustation Which is I mean, the bottom line is I got to drink a lot of port, but there was also like a history, There were maps which was Exciting for me. There was a whole history lesson about it. LIA: Oh I love maps. ANNA: So it's a little bit complicated, but here's what I've gleaned how you get wine is You ferment grapes, and during the fermentation process what happens is that the sugar in the grapes gets converted into alcohol, so there's always like a sugar For alcohol ratio in there right? So the shorter the time of fermentation, the sweeter it's going to be, because there's still a ton of sugar in there that hasn't been fermented and the the less the alcohol content is going to be. LIA: OK. ANNA: So does that make sense? So like a rule of thumb, is the lower the alcohol content, the sweeter the? LIA: Got it.
ANNA: But port she wants it both ways
ANNA: Yeah, she wants She wants to have her Cake and eat it Too best of both worlds. So with port they stop the fermentation process Early, so there's still a ton of sugar in it, but they also want it to be strong. So then they pour in our dear friend, aguardiente.
LIA: No, I was gonna say that aguardiente comes back!ANNA: firewater.
FX: Fire Transition 5 (36:31)
LIA: There's fire water. It’s everywhere.
ANNA: Yes everywhere. Yeah, so it's kind of like a young wine that then gets a make a man. I don't know what the hell that means. So does that make it does that kind Of make sense,
ANNA: It took a While for me to kind of understand why you would extend like we, but it's wine. But you're putting alcohol in it. But also it's sweet. But yeah, so it's really sweet and really strong. Which is what makes it different. That's not how nature intended.
LIA: I never knew that about port, yeah I didn't know much about port to begin. With so this is fascinating.
ANNA: Yeah, that's why they come in tiny tiny cups.
LIA: Yeah, I just thought oh it's it's cute.
ANNA: It's a cute wine.
LIA: Yeah, it's a cute wine. That’s why You drink it in little cups.
ANNA: By the way in this tasting they gave us eight different ports. So man, I don't care how small your cute your little cups are. If somebody gives you 8 of Them wow, it's a bit much.
LIA: Wow, that’s some degustation.
ANNA: It’s a degustation. OK, so port. Is grown in the Duoro Valley, which is in the north. It's east of Porto, which is the second biggest city in Portugal. And the Duoro Valley is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.
LIA: What? ANNA: I'm telling you, this country it old, she old., you should definitely go look at pictures of the Duoro Valley 'cause it is is stunning. It is just. So so beautiful. So that's where a ton of wine is made, including a port. And here's the thing: Only wines from Portugal can be called port. According to the European Union protected designation of origin guidelines.
LIA: That's a mouthful.
ANNA: Yes, but only wines from Portugal are port, so you might see something from France or Australia or New Zealand that's like fortified wine or port like wine. But it ain't Port.
LIA: Interesting, now I'm thinking about I feel like I have seen something that said fortified wine, right? But I'm just like...wine.
ANNA: Like it's just super strong,
LIA: it's just wine.
ANNA: Right, so you know how champagne. You can only call something champagne if it's from the champagne region in France. that came after the Port wine designation.
LIA: Wait so Port was the 1st. To have this type of designation.
ANNA: Yes, the first alcohol.
LIA: Ah huh huh. Learn something new every day.
ANNA: Source of pride. I'm not going to get into the differences between the grapes and the sun, and it hardens the shell of the grape, and so the moisture content, and then the different soils, and then the barrels...* I can't do it, But one thing I want to tell you is. You know how you always see things and it's like a 10 year tawny or like A 20 year Port right, I always thought if you took a 10 year and you let it sit it would become a 15 year or become a 20 year.
LIA: Yeah, I thought. That it just kept, he kept counting, right?
ANNA: You know how old it is? It's just like. Like a human no. A 10 year port will always be a 10 year port because the 10 years is how long it was in the barrel.
LIA: Barrel years.ANNA: Barrel years. It's 10 barrel years. LIA: Oh Now, if it sits outside once it's out of the barrel and in the bottle It's not going to age Anymore, it just it's Done, it's done. It's not going to age Anymore, huh? ANNA: Yeah, so drink it before it gets weird. If you were at a 10 year that you've just been sitting there* so you think it'll be a 20. Year you should probably drink it.LIA: Don't don't wait guys, ANNA: no don't wait. Now if you get something that says a specific year on it. so like if it says 2014, that's something that can age.LIA: Oh, OK, ANNA: but here's the trick. Here's the fanciest stuff. You want to look for a bottle that says LBV. LIA: LBVANNA: LBV yes, which stands for late bottle vintage.LIA: LBV baby ANNA: late bottle vintage and from what I could glean after 8 glasses of port. Basically, the port creators decide that a year is like a banner year.LIA: So they're like this year, yeah, pretty great.ANNA: So this year is a vintage year. And then they hand pick the grapes. That make that That batch of port.LIA: Oh, that is special.ANNA: yeah yeah the late bottle then. So one thing that was interesting is you can get port all over Portugal obviously, but the two brands that I saw the most often and they had their own shops and stuff in Lisbon were called Graham’s and Taylor’s.LIA: That's weird.ANNA: What stands out? To you about grams and Taylors.LIA: I mean, those names don't sound Portuguese at all. To me, they're.
ANNA: No there's no Joao Graham it's there's nothing, there's no Alphonso Taylor it's that's not it. So here's the thing. England and Portugal have a very long, very strong bond. In fact they have, The oldest Alliance in the world.LIA: really? ANNA: yes, they formed the Anglo Portuguese Treaty of 1373, which apparently is a year that happened. ANNA: yes. When Portugal asked England for help because Spain was coming in again.LIA: Oh, they've done that.ANNA: Spain was knocking on the door. They had 30,000 troops. Portugal had like 30 people, so in 1373 they formed this treaty that is still. Enacted to this day.LIA: WowANNA: Isn't it crazy?LIA: That's that's a long ass treaty.
ANNA: I don't know how they keep the magic. Alive how do they keep the spark. LIA: yeah. How do they do it?ANNA: How do you think they read. England is from Mars and Portugal is from Venus. They go on date nights.LIA: Date nights are very important.ANNA: But so they they had a robust trading relationship and. Basically what they would trade is England had a lot of materials so they had a lot of textiles and they had was a lot of ceramics. But guess what they didn't have?LIA: Wine!ANNA: Wine baby So they would trade.*
ANNA: These English companies formed to export the port.LIA: I see.ANNA: Out Of Porto, so grams and Taylors are the oldest brands because they were the first companies, English companies, to actually export. The port that was made in Portugal.LIA: Wow, ANNA:yeah. LIA: Graham’s and Taylors. ANNA: So if you see those. Don't freak out, yeah that.LIA: Yeah cuz I Would be like is this local? I Don't know. Graham’s?ANNA: Right it's still Portuguese wine. It's still port. It's from the Douro valley. That's just the oldest houses that exported the wine.LIA: Wow, yeah I'm going to say that England did pretty well with this trade.ANNA: Right? Here, have some pants.LIA: I'll just take the wine, thanks.ANNA: You, there's some pants and some tea cups. We'll take those barrels. Thank you. Yeah, and I did do this dejone dig a station at a place called, uh. A Camponeza in the town of Coimbra which is, Again, a very Old Town that has one of the oldest universities in the world in. It Coimbra University that may or may not have been the inspiration for Hogwarts. Oh my God, you guys. We'll talk about that later. they wear capes.LIA: You saw the wands.ANNA: There are different faculties. Slash houses with different colors. It was amazing. LIA: Totally Hogwarts. ANNA: It was totally Hogwarts But yeah, it was. It was absolutely wonderful. This man Paolo knew everything there was to know about why you can see pictures of him on Instagram and walked us through this whole thing in his shop. That like is unbelievable unbelievable. There's just thousands of bottles and he knew every single one like I asked a question and he'd reach over and just like. Pick a bottle off a shelf that had 40 bottles on it and just tell Me the whole story. Of that port, it was incredible.
ANNA: Of course, I had no way to verify that anything. in his incredible Shop and I I just have to say that I think the wine tasting any kind of tasting is just. It's the most brilliant business model. It is the ultimate “exit through The gift shop.”LIA: Oh for sure. They got you. ANNA: So those are my top five food experiences in Portugal. And yes, we did have to buy an extra suitcase to bring home all of the bottles and all of the packages and all of the things that we got there. I did end up getting. The chorizo grill, not the pig, shaped one that actually felt.LIA: That might be too much.ANNA: Little bleak. But chorizo Grill, the ginjinha, Yeah, the port. Just the peer to peer. We brought it all home so. LIA: I love it. Oh my gosh Anna, thank you for taking us on this whole journey and adventure with you. It's so much fun to see the photos and the videos made my mouth water and. All these your top five It was incredible. It was awesome to learn about. The local food, the Frango the Ginia. port the wine. Let's go, I want to go Back with you, let's go back.ANNA: Thank you. I hope everybody enjoyed it too. And like you know, more than anything, it was just after. Like we said, a year of house arrest a year and a half of house arrest. It was just so wonderful to go back out in the world and connect with other people and. Go to other places and get a different experience and a different point of view. And again food is the thing that connects us no matter what. UH And so that was just so awesome to be reminded of our mission. And you know, get to eat and drink a whole bunch of stuff and and also I love looking at all. Old old old things 'cause it just reminds me that like this too shall pass. This too shall pass. LIA: That's right. ANNA: That stone bench has been there longer than everyone I know has been alive. LIA: That's incredible. Yeah, the stone the streets. ANNA: The cobblestones, the rocks? LIA: The old rocks. ANNA: Yeah the castles man. LIA:Don't forget guys, you can go to at Anna Vanvalen yeah on Instagra m to see the best castle **** ANNA:Your average you'll ever see. ANNA: Anyway, I don't know how to wrap this up, but well, this is great, thanks. LIA: On that note, I'm starving. ANNA: I'm hungry too. Maybe I'll dig out one of my bottles. Of Gina, I think you. Should me cold fruit ah.
MX: Outro Music
ANNA: Thank you for joining us for this episode of Every Day is a Food Day. We’ll be back with more episodes soon!
LIA: Check out the links in our show notes and connect with us on social media @FoodDayPod to see pictures and videos of what we talked about today. Be sure to follow the show, and before you go, please leave a rating and review!
ANNA: Every Day is a Food Day is a production of Van Valin Productions & Yumday. It is produced & hosted by us, Lia Ballentine & Anna Van Valin. We'll see you next time and maybe we'll see you in Austin.
LIA: Come on down, y'all.ANNA: Hey come on y'all. Put your boots on. Let's do it.