Portugal is quite a multi-faceted country and although facing challenges when it comes to its economy and employment, the diverse economy has been stabilising since the economic crisis in 2008. (Read more)
One of the growing industries is tourism. In 2016, “The National Tourism Board revealed that double-digit growth has been recorded throughout the country, both in terms of occupation and revenue, and that the trend is expected to continue, if not improve, with the peak summer season. Luís Araújo, head of the national tourism board, said the outlook for the future is “very positive” and predicts a further boost to figures during high season.” (Read more)
And it is easy to understand why. The exceptional tourism offering has developed around the wine culture, beautiful countryside and unique charm of the authentic cuisine. But there are more. The Portuguese government have implemented a strategy. “Beyond the reinforcement of international relations with important source countries, its Portugal 2020 programme will focus on the overall reinforcement of Portugal’s competitiveness and general visibility. The funds provided by the Portugal 2020 strategic plan will help national and regional tourism entities to better promote the country’s touristic offer, efforts that should continue to boost the number of arrivals.” (Read more)
When you have the natural resources and a strategic approach, you are halfway to success. That, and the fact that the romantic picture of small boats coming into the harbour and street vendors selling grilled sardines is not only true in brochures, should make tourism in Portugal a real success.
And this is also why one cannot spend your time in Portugal behind a keyboard!
Inspired by the Portuguese sardines – that are of course fresh and succulent and nothing like those canned ones we get elsewhere in the world – I would like to share a recipe for Grilled Sardines from My Portuguese Feast by Mimi Jardim, a living legend of Portuguese cooking.
Remember, with their robust flavour, it is better to serve sardines with a hearty red wine. (Read more)
Grilled Sardines (Sardinha Assada)
Enough for 4
Thoroughly wash 4 – 6 sardines, but do not scale or gut.
Sprinkle with coarse salt and place in layers on a tray for 1 hour.
Tilt the tray for the brine to run off, but do not shake off the excess salt before grilling.
Place the sardines in a hinged grill and close the latch.
Place the grill over a charcoal fire when the coals are covered with ash. Grill the sardines on both sides until they are golden, 5 – 6 minutes on each side.
Serve with a fresh and simple Algarve salad of green, red and yellow peppers, semi-ripe tomatoes, chopped onion and crushed garlic.
Mimi’s salad dressing of 100 ml olive oil, 25 ml red wine vinegar, dried oregano and salt and pepper will conclude this simple, but delicious meal.