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Apple and Molasses Cake

I started my first chef internship at the bakery of Pestana Palace, Lisbon.

At Pestana, we used to use these huge convection ovens, that you could fit some sort of car in to carry the trays. It was the first time I saw that in my life. On my first trainee day, I was in a dead angle, and I crossed with a girl carrying one of these cars. So, as the gentleman I am, I helped a turning the car. What I didn’t know was that that car had just came out of the oven. I burnt both hands.

At Pestana Palace, the pool was the old lake of the palace and, for that reason, people use to call the Lake House to the pool bar. Every morning we would serve a different cake at the Lake House. In a certain morning, I got the task of baking an apple pie to serve there. When the pie was ready and nicely packed, I took to the Lake House. On my way there, I slipped and fell in the middle of the floor. Me and the apple pie.

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Chocolate 4

Chocolate Sauce

It’s fruit or chocolate

Fruit or chocolate? Fruit topped with chocolate, of course! Why fruit OR chocolate?
As you’re not portuguese, you probably have no ideia what am I talking about. Well, if you don’t speak portuguese but you live in Portugal and you still have no ideia what am I talking about, dude, there’s life beyond Facebook and Instagram.
I know in most asian and south american beaches, you will find these guys walking on the beach with a box and selling pretty much everything, from coconut water, smoothies and natural juices, to açaí bowls, ice cream and even shellfish. But in Portugal we’re quite simple people.

Berliners VS Ice Cream

There are just two types of beach salesmen in Portugal:
– The ones selling ice cream (normally ice cream sandwiches) while screaming out loud “Olha o gelado fresquinho! É de fruta ou chocolate!”, which means “Here is the refreshing ice cream! It’s fruit or chocolate!”. Okay, this is not funny at all in english, but they have a really special way to advertise it portuguese;
– The ones selling berliners (basically a doughnut with no hole, normally filled with crème pâtissière) while screaming out loud “It’s the berliner! With or without filling!”;

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Soy Milk

On my way to school I would feel my belly bloated, I would feel sick and nauseated. I would make weird noises with my nose, like trying to relieve some pressure through the nose. I don’t know how to explain this and don’t even why, but I would feel a bit relieved by doing that. Even nowadays I would do the same.
“Those weird noises again? What now?” – Mom would scold me. Because this was not a single or sporadic episode, no, this struggle would repeat nearly every day.
Mom used to think that my morning sickness was dued to nervousness for going to school. And so did I, but I could never understand why. I actually used to enjoy going to school.
While growing I started hating having breakfast.
It was not until I was 17 or 18 when I realized that the problem was not the breakfast, but what I would have for breakfast.
I was asthmatic for many years and I was submited to a gazillion allergy tests, from cutaneous to blood testing. As far as I know, I don’t have allergies to any food, medicine or animal. The only allergy I’ve always had is to house dust mites. But the truth is that I found out that it was the milk that was ruining my mornings.
I can say I have lactose intolerance… or maybe I’m just not a calf.

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Apple Brownie

Dude, call whatever the heck you want to your food, clothes, music, who cares? I’ll call this cake an apple brownie, just because the texture reminds me of a brownie. This is my blog, I call it whatever the fuck I want. There is nothing wrong with it.

And don’t get me wrong with the text above, there is nothing less honorable on selling food or something else on a trail or RV. But don’t try to sell people the ultimate organic chickpea vegan burger with homemade sourdough bread, freshly squeezed OJ and sweet potato fries for 10€ when it doesn’t worth 5€!!!

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inhame caril

Taro Curry

In the island of São Jorge (St. George), particularly in the fajãs of Calheta, the inhame was, in times, so important for it’s people to thrive, that they were known as inhameiros (the inhame people).

The inhame was, by that time, considered the food of the poor and the slaves. Because of that, it was never submited to the dízimo (a religious christian tax). It was not a pleasent surprise when these guys found out that they would start paying it.

And worse than paying the dízimo, the farmers would even had to carry all the inhame to pay, from the fields to the collecting point. Stuff like wheat, corn or wine would always be taxed and paid in the fields, but the inhame, they would have to pay afterwards.

So, as you can imagine, carrying several kilos of inhame on your back, from the fajãs to the thorp, 500 or 600 meters all the way up, through goat tracks along the cliffs, was just an amazing experience. But giving it away to the crown at the end, was just the cherry on the top of the cake.

Thanks to this brilliant ideia, of course the farmers lost their shit and they went berserk. People died because of taro, just for you to understand how much they did enjoy that shit.

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