Pastéis de Tentúgal: Portuguese Pastries, Convent Creations

Pastéis de Tentúgal

For the pastry-lovers out there, I present… Pastéis de Tentúgal, flaky pastry with sweet egg filling, another original handiwork by the nuns of Portugal centuries ago. For the story of its history and how it is made, I refer you to a post by Salt of Portugal titled Silent Inspiration.

Pastéis de Tentúgal

As of 2013, Pastel de Tentúgal became one of about 120 IGP (indicações geográficas protegidas) Portuguese products — PGI (protected geographical indication) in English — certified by the European Union Commission for Agriculture and Rural Development. It took around six years for the local confectioners’ association to complete the certification process, but it now means that products carrying the name Pastel de Tentúgal can only be made by producers in Tentúgal in a very specific way, protecting the tradition with quality control measures. In an age when food insecurity often makes the headlines, I’m sure the Carmelite nuns would be pleased to know their recipes have not been diluted by the mass market and can’t be mimicked (legally). If you can’t make it to Tentúgal or thereabouts to buy direct from the source, you can still find Pastéis de Tentúgal sold elsewhere in Portugal — but make sure it says Pastéis de Tentúgal IGP on the box with the producer, just like you see here.

Needless to say, pairs well with strong Portuguese coffee!

August 29, 2015
Album: Portugal [Summer 2015]

Zucchini Rolls, by Cruioso

Zucchini Rolls, by Cruioso (1)

The lowly zucchini (or courgette, depending on your linguistic bent) doesn’t usually get much limelight or fanfare in the social media kitchen, but look — a whole post devoted to the fashionista zucchini. Here it is, gussied up with herbs, bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and a secret recipe filling. Bet you didn’t even recognize it!

(These first three pictures were taken after the poor zucchini rolls were carted around in a backpack for hours in summer heat until picnic time, but the last two were shot today in a more optimal state.)

A friend in Porto is the creator of these edible works of art. She specializes in raw vegan gluten-free food that is also free of soy, corn, rice, and sugar. I’ve been eating the zucchini rolls, buckwheat crackers, and seed pâtés on several occasions now, and also sampled the vegan ice cream and the spicy fig truffles. Everything I’ve tried has been very flavourful, which is always top-of-mind once ___-free is mentioned.

Check out the website to find out more about the ingredients, the nutrition behind the food, the wide variety of food available to a raw vegan gluten-free diet, and where to find it in Porto:

CRUIOSO raw curious health & nutrition

Here’s to healthy eating!

Zucchini Rolls, by Cruioso (2)

Zucchini Rolls, by Cruioso (3)

Zucchini Rolls, by Cruioso

Zucchini Rolls, by Cruioso

August 8/29, 2015
Album: Portugal [Summer 2015]

Flashback Friday: Peso Da Régua

Peso da Régua, Portugal (17)

For this Flashback Friday, I wanted to dip into the archives from a year ago to our Linha Do Douro rail trip and fill out the album with more Peso Da Régua photos. If you’re touring the Douro Valley from Porto, you will no doubt pass through Régua (as it’s known to the locals) since it has long been a major junction for rail, road, and boat. We pass through Régua every time we visit the home village because it’s part of the shortest route, and any other crossing would be a major detour (already the drive is more than two hours, and Paulo says it took around six before the highways were built!). Each time in the past year we’ve been by reminds me to post more pictures of it.

As much as I’ve passed through Régua, crossed the bridges, walked along the river, and eaten in its restaurants, I have yet to experience three of the top attractions in the city: Museu do Douro, take a river boat tour, or the historic steam train from Régua to Tua. I would venture to say most of the locals haven’t either, but I do actually plan on doing those three activities at some point. I’ve heard good things about all of them, but I want to avoid the high season and the rest takes some planning — for example, the historic train only runs June to October. The Museu do Douro sounds perfect for a rainy day, and for a river boat tour I’d aim for the spring (June is very lush and green).

Other posts from the Linha Do Douro rail trip:

Linha Do Douro Scenic Railway Trip: Videoclips – August 23, 2014
Azulejos Along The Douro Railway – August 25, 2014
Postcards From The Douro Valley – January 21, 2015

You can find the album here: Linha do Douro Scenic Railway Trip (2014)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (13)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (22)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (2)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (3)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (4)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (1)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (5)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (6)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (7)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (8)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (9)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (10)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (11)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (12)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (14)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (15)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (16)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (18)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (19)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (20)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (21)

Peso da Régua, Portugal (23)

Peso da Régua, Portugal

Peso da Régua, Portugal (25)

August 23, 2014
Album: Linha do Douro Scenic Railway Trip (2014)