Food and drink
We believe good food and drink are very important! Here at the Quinta we eat well, grow as much of our own produce as possible and hope to add more animals to the farm in the future. We provide the following (depending on the season of course)
Bacalhau is codfish that has been doused in vast quantities of salt and dried under the Mediterranean's hot sun. This ancient method of preservation means the cod can be stored indefinitely at ambient temperatures, with no bacterial or mould able to grow on the highly saline dried cod fish. The traditional method to salt and dry the cod fish involves the cod cut lengthwise and hung from the caudal fin. To prepare for consumption the Bacalhau cod fish it is soaked in freshwater for a minimum of 24 hours to reduce the levels of salt. The cod is then shredded into one of the numerous dishes or served as sliced stakes. Traditionally there are more than 365 different dishes, one for each day of the year, and the country has a love affair with the pungent smelling fish.
Bacalhau is so ingrained in the Portuguese national psyche that the dish is served as the main celebrational meal at Christmas.
One of the more appetizing Bacalhau dishes is called Bacalhau com Natas (Bacalhau and cream) a rich and creamy potato baked dish. Pasteis de bacalhau is an appetizer or light meal in which the Bacalhau is formed into croquettes. Bacalhau à Brás originated from the Bairro Alto district of Lisbon and combines shredded Bacalhau with thinly cut potatoes bound together by scrambled egg.
Fresh bread available daily
Fresh free range eggs available (with egg collection for kids!)
Fabulous outdoor kitchen with wood fired oven and separate grill where we prepare meals and regularly enjoy the best homemade pizzas ever
Breakfast and evening meal available
Packed lunches supplied
Meat packs for the grill, local pork and chicken etc, we hope to be offering our own homemade sausages soon
Seasonal veg boxes available
homemade jams, pickles and chutneys available as well as salad bags
Fresh farm fruit (Apples, plums, grapes, oranges etc)
Classic food from Central Portugal
We think the food in our region is great, very simple, very traditional and usually very tasty although sometimes with some unlikely combinations. We recommend that you try at least some of the foods from this list when you are out and about.
A green broth soup made with potatoes, onions, Couve Portuguese (famous portuguese cabbage very, very finely shredded) and stock.
One of the most typical dishes of the Serra da Estrela is this famous roasted kid (it can also be made using lamb). What locals say makes the difference is the Kids from the Serrana goat that are pastured on the mountains, it is said to be the tastiest meat in the country. Made with onions, salt, pepper, oil and pinch of nutmeg and red wine. One of my personal favourites.
Pork and Clams Alentejana style
While not strictly from our region this dish is commonly available and delicious. Cubes of pork are cooked together with white clams then mixed with chunks of fried potatoes, chick peas, parsley and olives sometimes pickles are mixed in too. It is very filling!
Tigelada An egg based, cooked pudding, delicious and traditionally served in small earthenware pots.
Arroz Doce (basically sweet rice pudding) And this can be very, very sweet. Usually served cold with a pattern of ground cinnamon on top
Quajada (fresh curd cheese) Really delicious pudding, the slightly salty, very fresh sheep cheese is served topped with either pumpkin jam or carameled walnuts.
There are too many different festivals to list them all but three of our personal favourites are The Serra da Estrella Cheese Festival in Oliveira do Hospital which takes place in late February/March
Also the Pork Festival in Meruge which is normally in November a feast of traditional meats, theatre and some lovely craft stalls.
Then there are the various Chestnut Festivals in November marking Sao Martinho. All great traditional foodie events where you can see, hear, taste and enjoy the traditional foods of Central Portugal.
Vineyards and wine tasting
It would be wrong to mention food and drink without mentioning the wonderful wine found in our region.
The River Dão rises between the mountains in the interior, and forms a narrow valley where vines have been cultivated since the 12th century. The main grape is Touriga Nacional and Dão is considered one of the wine regions with greater appeal since its wines are soft and elegant.
Inland, the River Dão gives its name to a wine region that was the second to be demarcated in Portugal, in 1908. These wines were recognised for their excellence as long ago as the foundation of the Kingdom in the 12th century, when the clergy, particularly the Cistercian monks, promoted agriculture. Grown in granite and schist soils, the vineyards of the Dão are scattered across this mountainous area, which is protected from the Atlantic winds by the Buçaco, Caramulo, Montemuro and Estrela mountains.
The wines have an alcohol content of 12º and age well, even in the bottle. The whites have a citrine colour and fruity aroma and the ruby reds are full-bodied with a velvety consistency, and over time they acquire an accented bouquet. To better appreciate these features, there’s nothing like a visit to the Solar do Vinho do Dão in Viseu, housed in the former Bishop’s Palace of Fontelo, or to the producers’ wineries, which are spread around the municipalities of Viseu, Mangualde, Nelas, Tondela, Sátão, Penalva do Castelo, Santa Comba Dão and Carregal do Sal.