Monday, August 13, 2007

European Union member Potrugal. Petiscos and salgados pastries.

Portugal is well worth the trip for those who like authentic foods. There are in all areas of agriculture, species and varieties that have developed over the course of centuries and millennia in harmony with their natural surroundings. The same is true of many of the ways of preparing food such as hum, sausages, cheese, dried fruits and candy, or one of the large range of recipes, all of these are firmly rooted in tradition. There are historical reasons why Portugal still has such a wealth of culinary delights. The country was cut off from the outside world for over 40 years until 1974 when the dictatorship founded by Salazar came to the end. Since Portugal joined the European Union, traditional culinary doesn't changed.


Petiscos are small delicacies that can be compared with Spanish tapas. It is usual to order in cafes, pubs and bars a pratinho, a small plate of them. The portions are usually so generous, that two petiscos will quell the feeling of hunger for hours. Some pubs serve petiscos from 11 in the morning onwards, but the favored time for eating them is in the late afternoon. People go to the tasca, a simple bar, and have a glass of wine from the cask to accompany any of a range of marinaded fish, bean salad, pigs ears, actopus, fried or roasted pieces of meat and fish.


In contrast, salgados, salty pastries with spicy filling and are eaten as snacks throughout the day, from brealfast time through to midnight. They are made with choux or puff pastry, battered or sometimes left plain. the fillings are made out of fish, meat, sausages and sellfish mixed with potatoes and vegetables and seasoned with herbs and pepper. Salgados are either oven-baked or deep-fried.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Kalakuko Fish and Meat in a Loaf.

Today I'm going to post about another European Union member Finland. Although they have had the terrain, climate and history of their country against them, the Finns have succeeded in developing ( Nokia company) and preserving a society with high standard of living.
The most famous Finnish pasty, the kalakukko or kalakuko, comes from the province of Sovo in Central Finland. The name means "fish cock". You can find stalls selling kalakuko in all markets and all bakers sell kalakukko like a specialty. Because the pasty looks like a round loaf, it is possible to buy one by mistake. Many people have set out with the intention of buying a loaf of bread and have gone with kalakuko.



  • 1 kg rye flour
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 1/2 kg vendace or perch
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 g fatty pork
  • 150 g bacon
  • 1 bunch dill, washed

Mix flour, salt and butter with 1 liter of water . Leave a side. Prepare the fish for cooking (scale, gut and remove head and tail). Wash, dry with kitchen paper and season with salt. If you using one large fish instead of several smaller ones, cut the fish into 5 cm wide pieces.
Cut the pork into thin stripes, dice the bacon and chop the dill. Sprinkle a work place with flour and roll out the dough on it an oval shape. layer the fish and the meat in the middle, covering them with bacon and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the outside of the dough with water and close over the filling, pressing down firmly. Smooth the top with wetted hands and sprinkle with rye flour. bake in the oven 250C until the top gets some color. Then wrap in aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 5-6 hours at low temperature 150C. Baste occasionally with pork fat. Leave to cool after baking and cut like bread into thick slices to serve. Kalakuko is eaten hot or cold with butter and accompanied by cold milk or buttermilk.

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