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!