Walking along the streets of Lisbon, I was enchanted by the profusion of olive trees. It is definitely an olive oil country, and I bought this lovely bottle of olive oil for less than 2 euros. It tasted good poured on ham, cheese and bread, as well as slathered on my skin (though caution, olive oil may cause irritation to delicate skin). At the hip restaurant Hemingway’s in Estoril, I had olive oil from the other end of the price spectrum, which tasted very green and strong. Some house-guests brought these couple of bottles of glamorous olive oil which I drizzled liberally on salads.
So for the past week, limited by the small galley on the boat, we have been eating simply prepared fresh foods. We ate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, picked up on our early bicycle ride along the shores. And not missing flavoured stuff a bit – why add curry powder and other heavy spices when the natural produces are exploding with flavour?
I read an article today about the decline of the Mediterranean diet in the face of junk food fad. The writer (rightly) lamented that people are eating processed fast food whilst the countryside has fruits and vegetables that are rotting because of cheap imports. And the exodus to fast food culture is not about money either – local fruits and vegetables are dirt-cheap, so to speak. It is more of a social problem and education gap, to bring tourists into local tables instead of eating buffet in international hotels. After all, why travel to a beautiful, rich country and eat bland food that one could anywhere in the world? Apart from obesity and a whole host of other health problems, eating processed food is also detrimental to the environment. There are many pieces of research that shows Mediterranean food is good for you – my Spanish mother-in-law used to make me drink neat olive oil (yuks) when I was pregnant and maybe that attributed to my lack of stretch marks?
Just to tempt you, here’s a classic Mediterranean cuisine, eaten with friends and loved ones out in Nature. And as we are affected by the food we eat, I strongly urge you to try it
Hello (Ola!) from my small galley on the Med ❤
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