Tasty Tuesday: European Vacation

26 Mar
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Available Now at Smashwords!

Our new cookbook, Cook Like a Writer by The Book Posse, a.k.a. The Tasty Tuesday Authors, features many of the recipes you’ve enjoyed on our blogs. Best of all, it’s FREE! To order, click HERE.

I recently returned from my first European vacation — a week in Portugal, a week in Spain — and here’s what I’ll miss:

Portugal Spain 2013 542Growing up in Montreal I’m used to good French pastry, but man, in Europe there’s a pastry shop on every corner, and it’s DELICIOUS! We got stopped in our tracks by the Mother of all Croissants — seen here in a Barcelona pastry shop window — the croissant in the center is ‘normal’ sized. I guess in Europe this humungous croissant is their equivalent to the party-sized sub.

The Portugese are famous for their Pastel de Nata, a tart made with egg custard. In the photo on the right I’m enjoying one with my coffee on the streets of Funchal, Madeira. By the end of the week I finally learned how to order my coffee the right way — ‘chin-asa’ — with steamed milk. Then I went to Spain and they looked at me funny. Spain and Portugal are very different, in culture AND language. Go figure. Portugal Spain 2013 403

The Portuguese like to drink shots of cherry liqueur Portugal Spain 2013 070called ‘Ginjinha’, out of little chocolate cups. So of course I had to try some. It’s very good. In Porto (where they make Port) we toured a Port Winery, and tasted three kinds of port — amazing. Brought back two bottles.

We did other things besides eat and drink — we visited castles and monasteries and churches. Good stuff. Everything is Europe is so old, with fascinating architecture.

But I guess I’m ruled by my taste buds. I fell in love with Europe because enjoying a meal or a drink is a big part of their day, and they take it very seriously. They stop working, they sit down and savor the food. Meals can last for hours.

One more thing … they love their meat over there. You better not have any illusions about where this meat comes from, and in case you do, they leave the hooves on … yikes! Portugal Spain 2013 345

In Madeira you can drive up to a roadside wood oven and order up a quick lunch. Our guide sliced off some bay leaf branches (which grow wild in Madeira) and used them as his skewers for the beef. This gave the beef great flavor — along with olive oil and salt. It was really delicious.

Another day we stopped at a little roadside trailer — our version of a ‘Chip Wagon’ and enjoyed churrasco (grilled meat baked inside fresh bread) … the bread over there is amazing too.

Portugal made a bigger impression on me, because a dear friend who we travelled with was born there and could speak the lingo … so besides ordering drinks and coffee and saying ‘thank you’, I also learned how to say cheers:  Saude (Saw-OO-de)!

Please visit my fellow Tasty Tuesday Authors for more deliciousness:

Italian Easter Bread by Selena Robins

6 Responses to “Tasty Tuesday: European Vacation”

  1. kathleenkaskawrites March 26, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    I so enjoyed reading about your vacation, Nancy. I spent the summer of 1978 studying Spanish in Spain when I was in college. That’s when I discovered espresso. I even brought home a machine. It still works. My friend and I returned 20 years later and added Portugal to our travels. To say we ate and drank our way across the Iberian Peninsula is an understatement. We had to buy extra luggage just to bring home wine, sherry, and port. I still have one bottle left. Glad you had a great time.

    • nancyelauzon March 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      I know, eh? The food and drink over there is amazing!

  2. Lafemmeroar March 27, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    I wanna take a bite of that crabby looking croissant …

    • nancyelauzon March 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      It does rather look like a giant lobster, doesn’t it?

  3. Selena Robins Musings March 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    That is some croissant! Did they put chocolate in it and then press it down to have the chocolate melt? That is delicious as well. 🙂


  1. Sweet Delicious Italian Easter Bread | Selena Robins Musings - March 26, 2013

    […] Please stop by and visit Nancy Lauzon’s blog, fellow Cook Like A Writer author as she shares t… […]

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