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5 Amazing European Food Adventures for Summer

From culinary treats to wine enthusiasts to local foods, we have put together our list of top food adventures for food and nature lovers.

Europe is full to the brim of exciting foods to try. From the vineyards of Italy to the shellfish on the Wild Atlantic Way, every food tour is unique and bursting with flavours.

Treat yourself to a taste of Europe with these amazing food adventures for summer time.

A Taste of Ireland: Coast to Coast Food Experience
Find yourself rambling along the Wild Atlantic Way to get a taste of the stunning landscapes of Ireland on this 5 day foodie experience. The sheep will greet you as you discover the green landscapes and walk the coastal tracks in some of the most peaceful locations on the Island. Get a taste of the Craic agus Cheoil, stopping into the local pub along the way. This tour is ideal for small groups and we guarantee that you will learn a thing or two from the local foraging experts before you finish.

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Hunting for Truffles in Northern Italy
A perfect combination of romance and luxury, this Italian tour will enlighten your taste palette. Starting in Alba, renowned for it’s world famous white truffles, you will join the local food experts as we hunt for truffles in the lush countryside of Italy. Finish each day with a traditional meal and enjoy a slice of luxury with this unique tour. If you are a pizza, pasta or wine enthusiast than this is the perfect foodie experience for you.

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Wine tasting and Wine Making in the Algarve, Portugal

From breathtaking beaches to walking by the cliff edges, the Algarve is one of our favourite sun soaked locations in Europe. The natural landscape remains relatively untouched and there is a distinct feel of local pride for everything that the region has to offer. Sample the local wines, learn the skills of wine making and taste the famous bacalau.

Discover the delights of the Douro Valley

Northern Portugal is packed full of wonderful foodie treats. On this unique food adventure you will get to taste the grapes, sample the wines and try delicious local cuisine in the famous Douro Valley region.

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A Food Filled adventure in Burgundy, France

On this foodie experience you will team up with local wine and foraging experts. They will teach you how to hunt for truffles and you will have the chance to sample the rich, local wines. Visit the magical city of Dijon int the heart of Burgundy where you can taste the best local dishes in Michelin starred Pre aux Clercs Restaurant. You can also visit the Fontenay Abbey and the spectacular Chateau Ancy-le-Franc. You are in a country rich in history so be sure to soak in the past.

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For more information about any of our food filled adventures please contact one of our travel specialists.

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VINHO VERDE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

WHAT IS THE VINHO VERDE

Often sparkling and always crisp and fresh, the Vinho Verde is one of the most famous wine regions of Portugal. The Vinho Verde wine region starts just below the Portuguese-Spanish border, and extends all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, where it meets with the city of Porto. Dominated by the white grapes, these wines are indigenous to the Northern Portuguese area. These conditions keep the region cool and breezy. The weather and granite soils account for the bracing freshness of the wines.

The region is also fairly wet and rainy, as two rivers run through it, the Douro and Minho. A common misconception is that the “verde” part of the name (meaning “green” and pronounced vaird) refers to the color of the wine or the idea that the wine should be drank young. The name for Vinho Verde comes from Portugals lush green landscapes.

In the northwest corner of Portugal, Vinho Verde is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, mountain ranges to the east and south, and the Minho River to the north. The Douro River runs through the southern tip. These conditions keep the region cool and breezy. The weather and granite soils account for the bracing freshness of the wines.

Most Vinho Verde is a blend of white grapes, all indigenous to Portugal, but there are two predominant grapes that winemakers are starting to see as more interesting than the others: Alvarinho and Loureiro. You may be familiar with Albarinho, a different spelling but essentially still the same grape, from northern Spain. In Spain, Albarinho tends to be somewhat rounder and softer than its Portuguese counterpart. Alvarinho displays tropical aromas and an overall lemony character and is high in acidity; Loureiro is more floral, and also acidic.

THE HISTORY

When the Romans arrived in Portugal around 2000 years ago, people were already making fermented drinks. Wine in Portugal is part of daily life, and many families have a small plot of land where they grow grapes alongside vegetables and citrus trees. All over the Vinho Verde region, you’ll see grapevines hung in the beautiful Pergola style, draped high above where the cool breeze protects them from moisture and mold, arranged in a square around a family or neighborhood garden. In the lush, green, rolling hills of northern Portugal, dotted with the orange rooftops of family households, is the region where Vinho Verde wine is produced. Although there are several origin stories behind its name, including the idea that it is harvested early and should be drunk young, many people in the region suggest that the name comes from the verdant natural setting.

THE WHITE GRAPE VARIETIES

  • Alvarinho
  • Avesso
  • Arinto
  • Azal
  • Batoca
  • Loureiro

VINHO VERDE WITH FOOD

All over Portugal, seafood is the dominant cuisine, particularly the meaty white fish bacalao (cod). One of the most typical regional dishes is creamy rice with hunks of cod or monkfish, or shrimp. White Vinho Verde is high in acidity, which makes it ideal for pairing with all forms of seafood, particularly when complimented by a rich sauce or a coating of fried breadcrumbs; pork and potato dishes are also quite common. The fact is, Vinho Verde is great by itself, but if you are looking for an affordable white wine that’s delicious with light foods and all manners of sea creatures, you’ll definitely have a perfect pairing with this crisp, bright juice.

TASTE TRAILS AND VINHO VERDE EXPERIENCE

Join one of our orchard adventures in the Douro Valley region to learn more about the Vinho Verde. Here are our most popular experiences in Northern Portugal:

Comprised of nine sub-regions in the Douro Valley, each with unique micro-climates but generally dominated by granitic soils, the Vinho Verde wine region starts just below the Portuguese-Spanish border, and extends all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, where it meets with the city of Port (where most Port wine is made). The region is also fairly wet and rainy, as two rivers run through it, the Douro and Minho. In fact, the white wines are generally a pale straw color, and some can age beautifully. Reds and rosés are also produced. But the name for Vinho Verde comes from the region’s environment, which is lush and green.

You may be familiar with Albarinho. In Spain, Albarinho tends to be somewhat rounder and softer than its Portuguese counterpart. Alvarinho displays tropical aromas and an overall lemony character and is high in acidity; Loureiro is more floral, and also acidic.

For more information about this delicious wine known as the Vinho Verde and where we can take you try some please contact one of our travel team.

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7 Must try Foods in Portugal

Would you like to get a taste of the Portuguese cuisine at its best? Everywhere in the world has dishes that connect the people to the land and bring us closer to the culture of a region. Getting a taste for the local flavours with some delicious dishes is one of the top ways to get to know a country and its history. Here are our top 6 must-try foods in Portugal:

Petiscosbacalau-portugal-cod-fish-dish-portuguese-foods

The Portuguese version of the famous Spanish tapas, these mouthwatering bites are the perfect accompliment to a local beer or glass of Vinho Verde on the day by the harbour in Porto. Try the Bolinhos de Bacalhau (mini fish balls), presunto (a local traditional ham), Salada de polvo (octopus salad), Caracóis (tiny snails of the sea).

Caldo Verde

This traditional Portuguese soup translates to green broth and it eaten throughout the year. You will find it as a staple on most restaurants in portugal. When you taste it you will get a real taste of the Portuguese countryside. Often eaten as a starter course this is the perfect way to get a flavour of Portuguese cuisine. The main ingrediants include Kale, onion, garlic, potatoes and chorizo. Here’s a traditional Caldo Verde recipe from Portuguese Insider Tia Maria

Bacalhau

More of a key ingrediant than a dish, Bacalhau is held close in the hearts of all locals in Portugal. Whether grilling it in the summer months or baking it in the winter, this fish is certainly on our list of must-try foods in Portugal.must-try-portuguese-foods-orchards-near-me

Arroz de Tamboril

This dish also known as monkfish rice would be a savoured delicacy in other parts of the world but the readily available fish across the regions of Portugal make this a deliciously accessible meal. It is a traditional dish appreciated by locals. Key ingredients of Arroz de Tamboril includes monkfish, onion, cilantro, garlic, tomato, paprika and pepper.

Sopa de Cação

A heart warming soup filled with delicious vegetables that will fill you to the brim with energy. Yes please! 

Ameijoas a bulhao Pato

Offered in most restaurant along the Atlantic coast of Portugal this is the perfect dish of shellfish on a summers day. Clam are cooked in oil, garlic, cilantro and a dash (or three) of white wine. Being so close to the sea it would be a shame not to sample the delicious seafood. Simply put this is a meal of cockles (clams) in a tasty white wine sauce. The secret is in the picking and the Portuguese shellfish farmers have made an art out of this. An extra benefit is that they are rich in fatty acids containing Omega 3 which has many health benefits.pastel-de-natal-portuguese-food-portugal-orchards-near-me

Pastel De Natal

Last but not least the world famous Portuguese pastry of Pastel de Natal. This custard filled tart will have your mouth watering for days. Crispy on the outside, warm and creamy on the inside. What’s not to love? You will find these in bakeries and restaurants throughout Portugal. Each region has its own twist on the classic dish but all are delightful to eat.

Bom apetite from Portugal!

THE FLAVOURS OF PORTUGAL TOURS

These are just six of the many dishes to sample on your next Portuguese adventure. If you have any must-try foods in Portugal to add to the list please let us know.

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