After a visit to our "fish department" it should be clear to everyone: we have a passion for sardines! Some may call it a little whimsy, but the worship of this fish takes on completely different dimensions in other countries!
For example in Lisbon: the Festa de Santo António is celebrated there every year on June 12th. This is a holiday in honor of Saint Antonio, the patron saint of Lisbon, when the whole city comes out and sardines are grilled and eaten 24 hours a day in the colorfully decorated streets. A true paradise for us... and it goes without saying that we really wanted to be there this year!
The background is that Saint Antonio did not have much success with his sermons at first - nobody listened to him. And so, frustrated, he walked to shore and preached his sermon out on the waves. Lo and behold: his words did not remain unheard. A shoal of sardines listened to him intently. Since then, these small fish have been closely linked to his person as symbols.
The first days in Lisbon were like a rush of colors, smells, flavors, music and exuberance. All the streets were decorated with colorful garlands, there were barbecue stands and laid tables everywhere, where happy people ate and drank, people wore funny sardine hats and this year's sardine design competition winners were on display everywhere. We brought a paper copy of each, so they can now be admired here too!
This year's winning sardines
We stopped at what felt like every second grill stand and enjoyed this wonderfully simple and natural delicacy. One to five sardines a day per person were already included and even Rosalie, our youngest, has found pleasure in the grilled sardines!
But the sardine is not only found on mobile and temporary facilities: in Lisbon there are numerous shops, restaurants and bars dedicated exclusively to the sale of canned fish all year round. The Conserveira de Lisboa has long been known, with whom we have been working for several years and from whom we stock sardines , tuna , mackerel and the famous bacalhao . We visited her and took a few funny photos with the heavily pregnant Selma, our contact person from the very beginning.
We also made a detour to the famous Sol e Pesca , which now has a more solid competitor on the posh Praça do Comércio: the Can the Can . Originally "just" a blog about canned fish, it has developed into a real business that has now found its headquarters in a really nice, bright restaurant that opened this year.
After a few days full of sardines, however, we finally felt like doing something else and it was a good thing that we had already made an appointment with Maria João Brissos, the representative of the Conserveira Santa Catarina , from whom we got the fantastic tuna fish Obtain fillets from the Azores. She and her husband had a small stand in the delicatessen hall at an agricultural fair in Santarem, an hour north of Lisbon. There we visited her and she presented us with the latest, partly award-winning, variations: Caril (curry), Pimenta (an Azorean type of pepper), Alecrim (rosemary), Majericao (basil) and Poejo (pennyroyal). She gave us curry, rosemary, allspice and mint and we ate them that same evening at home in our beautiful apartment. As you would expect, they all tasted fantastic and we look forward to presenting them to you in our store and online shop very soon. The order is already out!
We undertook a second small excursion on the penultimate day of our trip, namely to the Alentejo, east of Lisbon. There we visited the winemaker Luis Louro and Inês Capão, the oenologist, on the Adega do Monte Branco . The Adega is located near Estremoz, a small picturesque village near Evora. It is beautifully situated in a slightly hilly area covered with vineyards. The many panoramic windows of the modern facility make clever use of this beautiful location and so we had the great pleasure of tasting all the Adega wines (old and new vintages) in front of this stunning view.
Luis and Inês let us taste the new vintages of Alento wines, as well as the red and white Reserva, as well as the red Monte Branco, the most prestigious wine in the range.
Once again we are amazed by the beautiful balance of these wines, their full-bodiedness and freshness. In any case, our cooperation is secured and we are already looking forward to the next delivery!
Over an informal lunch prepared by Luis' mother, we left the business behind, chatted animatedly about all sorts of things, invited each other to revisit (Luis might make it to Berlin one day, we'll let you know of course!) and drank a fantastic baga .
Inspired by great experiences, encounters and impressions, we returned to Berlin after a full week and already know: we'll be back next year!