If you long to visit Portugal, taste the foods, learn some history, learn about the cuisine, and mingle with the locals, I suggest you pick up a copy of The Portuguese Travel Cookbook. It’s the next best thing to physically traveling there. If you’re planning a trip, take the book along with you because it’s a great guide to plan your journey!
“This book shows you the Portuguese way of saying; I love you through food.” (The Portuguese Travel Cookbook)
Nelson Carvalheiro, the author, is a travel writer, award winning blogger (FITUR 2014/2015) and a photographer. Visit Nelson’s award winning blog nelsoncarvalheiro.com. Visit his webpage to order the cookbook in Portuguese.
The cookbook has won the award the Portuguese Gourmand Winner of World Book Awards 2016, the author tells us; “My love for Portuguese cuisine knows no boundaries or limits, is something that is in my soul, in my skin and in my heart. It is the Portuguese identity that matters the most and something I strive to preserve for future generations.” He also says that since he was a little boy, his favorite hobby is and always has been “eating.”
Like most of us who grew up with the comforting meals made by our Portuguese mother’s, grandmothers, and relatives, the passion for our cuisine is deep in our soul, because it brings back joyous memories of home.
The author put his heart and soul into this cookbook which reflects the love between this man and his beloved country. Nelson and his photographer, Emanuele take us on a journey around Portugal spanning 300 cities, towns and villages from the beaches of Algarve to the mountains of the North. They visited almost 90 restaurants and tasted over 250 dishes. Stunning photography by Emanuele brings us up close to heartwarming simplicity of the old landscape, villages and rusticity of the many faces of Portugal’s inhabitants. It also includes 50 traditional authentic Portuguese dishes from the places he visited.
I read his book these past few weeks while on my vacation on the shore of the Rhode Island, nicknamed; “The Ocean State” which has a vast coastline like Portugal. I sat on my beach chair with my toes digging into soft sand often looking up at the sunny landscape where the ocean meet the clear blue sky. I said to myself, that if I sailed off into that ocean, in a straight horizontal line, I would place my feet on the very distant shores of Portugal. Although the distance between Nelson and I, is far and wide, as I read the book, I felt a bond and a connection to him because we have the same love for the food of Portugal, it’s cultural identity and it’s heritage.
The cookbook took me on a spiritual, inspirational, and educational journey. Reading each page I felt as if was there traveling right alongside him, meeting the locals, listening to the stories from those faces that bring me back to the past. I could and taste the dishes so lovingly prepared by fisherman, farmers, chefs and locals he introduced me to. The familiar names which are so recognizable, the faces in the photographs that remind me of my ancestors and the foods that brought me sweet memories of family, love and home.
Portugal is a part of me. I have often longed to travel the paths which Nelson so lovingly paved for me and this book brings me to the same rustic tables he dined in the forgotten countryside of the north, I can taste the wine from the vineyards that grow in the mountains and valleys of the Douro. I see the Algarve with it’s beautiful beaches, cliffs and amazing seafood dishes. In the Alentejo I taste the wines, savor the rich foods from the land, and listen to the Cante Alentejo, (Alentejo popular singing) from those that love the land and sing about the joys and sorrows of life. Here’s the sample Nelson put in his book below.
“I am indebted to the earth, the earth is in debt to me. the land pays me with life; I pay the earth by dying.”
Although I left Portugal as a young girl, this cookbook made me feel as if I never left. Happy travel to Portugal everyone!
The food and the 50 authentic recipes had me at hello.
The beautiful rustic faces of our heritage remind me of my ancestors.
The spectacular photographs want me to jump on the plane and visit.
The beautiful cities and landscapes bring me to another time in history.
*Contest open to residents of USA and Canada only. Winner will be chosen at random on August 22, 2016.