Gastronomy

June Creations

Join us on this fascinating journey through the month of June. Warm, festive and colourful, this is how it introduced itself and we - as happy hosts - gave it the honour of one more dance. The holidays and their long weekends, the Popular Saints and their traditional dances, in addition to the countless events that brought thousands of people together in the streets all over the country, were a handful of pleasant and delicious reasons to celebrate it!
 
The June creations at O Paparico are no exception to this rule. We have followed the line of the Portuguese coast and celebrated the women of the sea, through the creation "Canja à Sargaceira". From the land, we are grateful for the Milk Kid and Stewed Broad Beans dish, which makes up a spectacle capable of receiving a standing ovation. Finally, the Creamy Sponge Cake and Elderberry Flower solemnises our attachment to the heritage of conventional pastries.
 
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Canja à Sargaceira was inspired by the ancestral profession of sargassum picking. Mainly carried out by women, this was an activity that, in bygone times, provided a livelihood for countless families. For agricultural purposes, this maritime plant was, at that time, used as fertilizer in the fields, as its natural compounds were extremely beneficial in maintaining the quality of the soils. Today, only the memories of the brave women who dared to defy the sea to harvest its fruit and thus feed the hungry mouths of their children remain from this profession.

The sargassum is at the base of a complex ecosystem that feeds an incredible amount of marine life. The idea of honouring it became a creation that gave body to the sea itself. With every tasting, it was possible to relive those summer mornings, when the smell of wet rock and the sea breeze made one predict a beautiful, warm day, on a superb walk on the sand.
 
This sensation was forever enhanced by the presence of mussels, goose barnacles and seaweed salad, which also gave consistency to the dish. The creation was finished with a broth of dried fish, its dried roe and sargassum. In the memory of this experience remain the salty sea and the waves that refreshed us and enlightened our souls!
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Considered a noble element of Portuguese gastronomy, the kid is the main course in some of the festivities that take place all over the country throughout the year. Sundays, which traditionally consist of family gatherings and abundant tables, make it one of the favourite dishes of this nation that prides itself on eating well.
 
The Milk Kid and Stewed Broad Beans, arose from the will to give tradition a luxurious and fine cradle. In this way, the green elements added the lightness and sensibility that the arrival of summer auspicious. Layer by layer, it is still possible to feel the freshness of this creation...
 
The stewed broad beans and the milk kid are the structural ingredients of the dish. The animal is called this way because it has never been fed on pasture. This fact directly affects the quality of its meat, which is more tender and has a more delicate and elegant flavour. As it was finished with a green oil of wild herbs, the stewed broad beans kept a delicate taste, with much freshness.
 
In the second layer, the crunchiness of the snap peas was evident, lightly sautéed so that its texture would not fade. The wild herbs, such as marujas, pea shoots, chicory, broad bean flower, and blades of raw green asparagus, finished the dish in a happy, summery composition.
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The Creamy Sponge Cake and Elderberry Flower was the culmination of our June anthem to the Portuguese gastronomic legacy. With more incidence in the north, the recipes for this dessert and its derivations are somewhat diversified and much appreciated. Although its origin is unknown, some defend that it comes from a convent.
 
In its production, we have kept the clay mould lined with foil, and a shorter baking time - compared to dry sponge cake - which gives its interior a smooth and creamy consistency. In her fine and delicate vision, and influenced by this new season, the Pastry Chef, Ana Macedo, added to this dessert, an elderflower cream and caramelised pistachio. The unique flavour of the first product, in line with the crunchy texture of the second, make this dessert a piece of heaven to eat with a spoon!