Sunday, February 26, 2012

Portugal Trip: The Food

I have several posts coming this week about my recent Vinho Verde trip.  To start, the food. It was excellent, both at restaurants and at the meals served to us at wineries. Although we had beef one night (in Spain), the focus was very much on seafood and pork, which made me very happy. A few points below and then some images:

• We had salt cod at almost every meal. Many fritters, but also a memorable casserole I sadly did not photograph featuring salt cod, turnip greens, black-eyed peas and bread crumbs. I'll be googling for a recipe.
• Custard: not just the expected individual egg tarts, but also flavored with orange and in cakes.
• Squid and octopus, oh my! Very much highlights at several meals and the star of my favorite meal of the trip.
• Excellent bread, but also many meals served with both excellent rice and roasted potatoes.
• Oranges were growing almost everywhere. Orange juice, along with large quantities of tea, accompanied my breakfast daily.
• Multiple meals were roasted over wood. Made me want to try it in my fireplace at home.
• Ham so good that I wished I could have brought some back to San Francisco with me.  

Not just for show: Pork, rice and potatoes roasting.

Salt cod fritters with rosé and cured pork in the background.
At  Dop in Porto. A silver dollar sized burger.

Scallop, mushroom and egg. Plus a perfectly seasoned salad. Also at Dop. 

Ham at the market in Ponte de Lima

Salt cod, also at the market.

Beans at the market.
My favorite meal of the trip: Octopus and potatoes roasted over a wood fire with lots of olive oil and garlic.

Bakery window.
Bread with the symbol of Guimarães, the 2012 European Capital of Culture 
Oranges were everywhere.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Contador Ban: Two Years

Nothing like a bit of cycling news released immediately following the Superbowl. I have not yet read the decision, but info can be found at Cycling NewsPodium Cafe, The Inner Ring and probably every other cycling site out there. The decision will be discussed and argued about for a long time, but the immediate takeaway seems to be that the ban is backdated, starting from January 1 2011. Contador loses the 2010 Tour & 2011 Giro victories and is out from racing until August 5 2012, with the time deducted for the provisional suspension served. He'll miss this year's Giro, Tour de France and the Olympic competitions, but can return for the Vuelta. This also means that Andy Schleck gets the 2010 Tour win and that Michele Scarponi is the winner of the 2011 Giro.

And in case you have not yet seen it, be sure to read Bonnie Ford's story on the end of the Lance Armstrong case: End of Armstrong Case Raises Questions.

In other cycling related news, I'm still looking for suggestions for either the Wines of the Giro or the Tour de France