Monday, March 12, 2012

the goat and the pudding

Nestled in the terraced valley of the Serra do Açor, lies a storybook village of schist and lines of blue. Piódão is a stark contrast to the other Portuguese villages I came across, which were generally a collection of white-walled boxy houses trimmed in yellow or cobalt.

The quiet had a thickness to it, occasionally broken by a voice— human, bird or goat. I was taken by the careful layers schist and slate, the reverence of cobalt, the little hand-made crosses of twigs nailed above doorways. Climbing the narrow passageways between the ancient houses, I felt that familiar longing in my stomach.

We were beckoned to a little restaurant by an emphatic and convincing man, where we became the sole diners. It was decided that I must try the chanfana, a hearty and hygge (I must use the Danish here, as there really isn't an English word to describe the feeling of this dish) clay-pot stew of goat meat and potatoes, a hint of mint, generous in olive oil. This stew was made for bread-dipping, and my goodness, the goat... It just melted.

And the best way to end such perfection? A coffee, some rice pudding, and a few good laughs.


Bora said...

Looks delicious... It is surprizing that one can easily find the same combination in Turkish cuisine: Goat meal = oğlak güveç and the pudding = sütlaç and the coffee :)

szaza said...

It was incredible— so tender.
There are a lot of similarities, you are right! I suppose the yoghurt was missing :)

Ana Oliveira said...

I loooove Piodão :)
Last time I went there I met a man that hadn't been in Lisboa for 40 years and recalled the city as having lots of open space and farms... actually on the same place my parents neigbourhood is today.

Must have been a beautiful Lisboa by then!

And is amazing imagining one living in that tiny village for such a long time, without going to the "Big City"!

szaza said...

Wow, Ana— that's amazing. It's hard to imagine Lisbon with farmland!

Piodão is so lovely.