Wednesday 28 February 2018

The Douro Boys Part 2 – A Lunch at Quinta do Vallado

Producer: Quinta do Vallado

“Have you tried this before?” asks João, our host at Quinta do Vallado. “It’s alheira, a very traditional type of Portuguese food created by Jewish communities that fled central Europe into the Douro Superior. The main diet in northern Portugal is chorizo, made with pork, but of course the Jewish community could not eat pork, so they made a smaller, thinner sausage out of bread and game meats – usually birds like partridge.” The texture is dense and the flavour mildly spicy. It goes down a treat with the refreshing white wine João has laid out for us, along with a huge basket of bread and olive oil made from trees growing on the property itself. The olive oil produced in the Douro, João explains, is naturally flavourful and low in acidity, making it suitable for bread but wasted when used as salad dressing. For lunch we have been seated at the outdoor patio, where a canopy of leaves creates dappled shadows over our table and provides welcome shade from the sun’s radiance.