My memories of Portugal are quite distant. I went there only for a day and only visited Lisbon – this was when I was 12 and had gone to Spain on an international Youth Festival organised by RangPuhar. What I do remember is this:
1. Going to Portugal was an optional trip and only 5 of the other youth were going – I was the youngest with the rest being in their twenties but I insisted they take me along even though I was on my last few Pesetas for the trip
2. The only thing I do remember about my day trip to Portugal is St. George’s Castle and the food! This was the first time I had ever had a seafood pizza and I fell in love.
What the two memories above represent continues to be my philosophy and motivation in life – food and travel. Don’t get me a car or a phone as I’d rather go visit a new city instead and while I love museums and beaches, what I love best about travelling is roaming the streets and exploring the new place through my tummy.
It’s for this reason that I got goosebumps on my skin when I read about the APTECE’s 16 day Food Tour of Portugal through Nelson Carvalheiro’s blog – I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him but am in love with all his photos after I got introduced to his blog by my favourite taster, The Tiny Taster. It sounded like a once-in-a-lifetime thing and you know what they say – you gotta be in so you can win! So, this post is my official entry for the competition and I am hoping that I do win this spectacular opportunity!
Why do I want to win this so badly?
For one, I really want to go because this is a food tour where food would be the focus and I don’t have to pretend to spend hours in a museum (my in-laws are big history buffs) when I’d rather be trying some local codfish or sipping on some Alentejo Red Wine soaking up the sun and the magnificent views that Portugal has to offer. I’ve always explored cities through their food – be it going to Ferg’s burger in Queestown, having fish n chips in Cape Reinga, chomping on a hot-dog in New York or having buff momo’s in Nepal – because I feel that you’ve only really travelled when you’ve experienced a new culture. And, the easiest way to do that is to bond with someone over a plate of good bhonu (especially seafood).
Another reason I’d like to go on a food tour in Portugal specifically is to further develop my background on Parsi cuisine. Parsi food is heavily influenced by ‘aapri Queen Elizabeth’ ofcourse but also by the Portuguese. Our use of cane vinegar and our preference for having everything ‘Khattu-Mithu’ or sweet and sour is a direct influence of Parsis living in such close proximity to the Portuguese when they first migrated to India. The Parsi Pork Vindaloo is a big hit in the #Bawa household and I’d love to go to Lisbon and try the Pork Vindalho there to understand what so inspired our ancestors. Aside from filling up my tummy, learning more about Portuguese food would inspire me to try more variations of traditional Parsi dishes and take this blog – and therefore your experience as a reader – to a new level.
Finally, in addition to having a startup where I can feed people Parsi food, it’s always been my dream to travel and write about my food travel stories. In fact, as I write this I have a draft about kiwi food you must try on your honeymoon that I am just working on. Getting this opportunity to go on an exclusive food tour will not only be a long time dream come true but will also help me expand Bawi Bride into the food and travel blog that I’ve been dreaming about for a while.
As you can see, winning the APTECE’s 16 day food tour of Portugal would truly be a special experience for me that I could share with you all. Ofcourse it helps that I’d get to learn where to eat the best Black Port cured ham, eat charcoal grilled sardines and try the heart warming flavours of Portuguese street food!
Editor’s Update: The winners for the contest have been announced and unfortunately I didn’t get through. A big thank you to you all however for all your support and encouragement!
Saket khanna says
All the very best. You deserve to win!
Nice experience and the way you have captured it inspite of your visit to Portugal years ago! I had loved “Francesinha” – a special Porto delicacy and “pastel de nata”. Though did not try the Porto Wine which is suppose to be really good on a sweeter side. Wish you the very best for winning it and enjoying Portugal!
Khushnuma Wania says
All the best!
I have never had the opportunity to go to Portugal myself, however for those wishing to get a taste of the country closer to home (India) you don’t need to look much further than Palacio do Deao in Quepem, Goa. Restoring the 17th Century home has been a labour of love for the family that reside there. They travelled to Portugal to recreate and restore the architecture, furniture and paintings to exacting detail in order to preserve Portuguese culture and heritage. Their attention for detail has even reached the Goan inspired Portuguese food that they dish out to weary travellers. A must do!
Aparna Bhat says
Portugal is a lovely place with some very unique food. Would love to see your take on it as well as some inspirational cooking thereafter!
Ashish Bhardwaj says
You are the best ! .
I am sure you will win.
Warm regards, Ashish
Sharad Adiga says
All the very best……you do deserve to win. BTW your sali boti pizza recipe is inspired, truly fantastic. Sure the Portuguese & the others will be licking their chops with the Parsi pork vindaloo. Cheers..
All the best!
Zenia Irani says
Loved the post. Hope u get a chance to revisit and make some more memories of Portugal.
You are a brilliant chef! You very much deserve this trip – no one could do justice to food like you! I really hope you win this opportunity 🙂 Look forward to all the exciting stories, recipes, food tips, fun tips and much more…
All the best! I hope you get a chance to fulfill this dream and check it off your to-dos
Wow! Perzen, I wish you all the very best! Your anecdotes make the food stories that much more interesting! Hope to be back to congratulate you, although you are already a winner for all your readers/tasters/followers!
Pradip Singh says
Hello Perzen, your blog/write up is quite interesting. Should you wish to come over and cook in Jaipur, you are welcome to be our guest and visit us at the Royal Heritage Haveli and we would host you too-and call the beautiful ladies of that area to see what you do… Warm regards. Pradip
Perzen PATEL says
Thanks so much for your post and your offer. I would love the opportunity to visit the Royal Heritage Haveli and cook with the locals in Jaipur. Should I drop you an email for us to take this ahead?
Thats nice! Perzen, I wish you all the very best!
Pranav Khanna (@checkfit) says
Nice Post and wishing you get to Portugal !
Bawibride rocks 🙂 This would be a great opportunity for you to extend the blog – hope you get it!
Exploring new places and cultures through your tummy – spoken like a true foodie!! Hope you have a great trip to Portugal and come back with many memories and recipes 🙂 The way you and Bawi Bride has grown in the last year, you already are a winner! Good luck gal.
Good Luck Perzen!! Cant wait to read more about portugese cuisine 🙂 and you cooking some of it!!
Try Boomla Pizza considering fish pizza is a delicacy their, good crispy boomla in between the pita bread n some crispy bacon along with a local sauce.
Good luck to you & many more trips to go
Perzen PATEL says
Wow!!! They have a Boomla Pizza :O – what an absolutely fantastic concept considering I love boomla’s. You have totally inspired me with this comment – am heading to the fish market on Sunday and seeing how I can replicate this at home with some Parsi flavours!
Lovely write up P, makes me want to pack my bags and go myself. Enticing, Salivating read. All the best….remember if you do go, I have a list of things that I want to be brought from there :p
Hey Perzen, you are an Amazing Chef as well an outstanding blogger, we would love to hear more from you, i really hope you win this trip and then bring to us some awesome recipes through your blog. All the best!!
GOOOOOOO bawi!! All the best!!! Muah!!!!…if you win , make sure u shout out SOD off in Portugal ;)..
Good luck perzen. Hope your dream to report from Porugal comes true and sooN!! 🙂
Shernaz Petigara says
Hi Perzen, Hard work, honesty and humility alongwith innovation and dreams in your eyes will take you to your destination always. Proud of them. Lots of love. Mum
I think Bawi Bride is just so incredible. It’s got me a total novice hooked on to cooking. Not merely cooking but cooking well much to my family’s delight.
I wish Perzen all the very best in her expanding the scope and extent of her site and blog
Karthik Iyer says
Perzen, delightful post as always! 🙂 The Food Tour of Portugal seems made for you. The anecdotes are great as always (loved the museum/in-laws bit), and the flavours come through in your writing. All the very best…
Here’s to the next post, from Portugal! 🙂
Perzen, I wish you all the best and hope you win! Cant wait to read about your glorious experiences. Good luck
havovi sethna says
Hi Perzen, U are doing fantastic and am sure u will definitely emerge as a winner. All the best.
That’s beautifully written! That’s what I would call a winning blogpost!
zsofia fodor says
No one deserves to win this more than you! All the best!
Way to gOBawi Bride! All d BEST!
Well done!! and all the best! looking foward to the posts about Portugal!!!
Good luck Perzen! Hope you win 🙂
Katie Jimmy Masani says
Dear Perzen I am so sorry to learn that u did not get thru but there is always next time and as you know failure is a pillar to future success. Jimmy uncle and I wish u the very best in all your endeavours and will pray for your success. Glad to hear about your NZ trip and mom’s pampering
of her only DOLL! How we wish we could visit NZ on an extensive trip but that is a dream and only
Ahura Mazda knows whether it will come true.
Jamshed Bhathenqa says
Sorry you did not win, Perzen. The fun of cooking is the creativity that goes into each preparation and the final masterpiece that the tongue relishes. Good luck next time.