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The month of November – O Paparico and Nature

This season brings us smells, colours and flavours and persimmon are one of autumn's favourite fruits.

It is a fruit from Asia, more precisely from China, where it was taken to India and Japan, being cultivated since the 17th century. The national production calendar reports to the months of October and November, entering the month of December. But it's not only persimmon that mankind lives on.

November has arrived and with it the typical Autumn weather - rain and cold. It is still usual to feel the first frosts in the mornings, but also the sun that still warms the "S. Martinho's summer". The lower temperatures and the shorter days, attract to the table the conviviality and the sharing of union.

"outubro lavrar, novembro semear, dezembro nascer" (October to plough, November to sow, December to be born).

"novembro à porta, geada na horta" (November at the door, frost in the vegetable garden).

Autumn asks and nature teaches and shows us that it is time to "slow down”. It is time for recollection and preparation for the next season that is coming - winter.

Nature refers to the phenomena of the physical world that are not man-made objects, and are the various types of living beings, such as plants, animals and things that have spontaneous changes.

Coming from a Latin word, natura means "essential quality" and innate disposition, the course of things and of the universe itself. It is the translation of the Greek word phisys and its meaning refers to the natural way in which plants and animals grow.

"Sou filho do vinho e neto da aguardente" (I am the son of wine and grandson of brandy) is a saying from November; the month of standing water produced with the masses of wine from October's fermentations.

This is nature! More than accompanying nature in products, it is extracting its maximum potential with the recipe that made us what we are.

It has to be related to the time of the weather, the point of the season and the cosy embrace that envelops us in a mix of emotions and reflects the season.

The gastronomic journey begins with a return to the land, where tubers, roots and mushrooms are the main stars, not forgetting the hunting as a preponderant element of this season.

From the hunting we highlight the partridge, whose dish has an interesting history: Partridge à Convento de Alcântara. It is considered by many to be the only example of a Portuguese recipe for haute cuisine. According to Oliveira Bello - gastronome and founder in 1933 of the Portuguese Gastronomy Society - in his book "Culinária Portuguesa" - this is the recipe that Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), the great French chef, mentions in his "Guide de Culinaire".

It is said that this partridge recipe was found by Junot's soldiers when they sacked the convent of Alcântara in Lisbon. The Duchess of Abrantes (Madame Junot), having learnt of the recipe, transcribed it into her memoirs and Escoffier discovered it and put it into his "Guide de Culinaire".

It has to be related to the time of the weather, the point of the season and the cosy embrace that envelops us in a mix of emotions and reflects the season.

The gastronomic journey begins with a return to the land, where tubers, roots and mushrooms are the main stars, not forgetting the hunting as a preponderant element of this season.

From the hunting we highlight the partridge, whose dish has an interesting history: Partridge à Convento de Alcântara. It is considered by many to be the only example of a Portuguese recipe for haute cuisine. According to Oliveira Bello - gastronome and founder in 1933 of the Portuguese Gastronomy Society - in his book "Culinária Portuguesa" - this is the recipe that Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), the great French chef, mentions in his "Guide de Culinaire".

It is said that this partridge recipe was found by Junot's soldiers when they sacked the convent of Alcântara in Lisbon. The Duchess of Abrantes (Madame Junot), having learnt of the recipe, transcribed it into her memoirs and Escoffier discovered it and put it into his "Guide de Culinaire".

Thinking of corn, nothing more comforting than a Crème de Carolo. The famous "papas de carolo", a typical sweet from the Central Region of Portugal, in Beira Interior, was a way to thank the harvests after an offering to Saint Sebastian with this corn dessert. Who, to fight a plague of locusts, decided to offer the "papas de carolo" to the patron saint, whenever his crops were not devoured by the voracious insects.

This way, according to the legend, the locusts destroyed all the cereal fields in the surroundings, but, however, they didn't devour the farmers of Póvoa de Atalaia.

The locusts, far from eating the ears of corn, appeared dead on the portico of the chapel of São Sebastião in this Portuguese village.

It was then that the inhabitants of this area, fulfilled their promise to prepare the typical porridge with their own harvest of this year, to offer it to the patron saint.

 

 

Translated by DeepL

Thinking of corn, nothing more comforting than a Crème de Carolo. The famous "papas de carolo", a typical sweet from the Central Region of Portugal, in Beira Interior, was a way to thank the harvests after an offering to Saint Sebastian with this corn dessert. Who, to fight a plague of locusts, decided to offer the "papas de carolo" to the patron saint, whenever his crops were not devoured by the voracious insects.

This way, according to the legend, the locusts destroyed all the cereal fields in the surroundings, but, however, they didn't devour the farmers of Póvoa de Atalaia.

The locusts, far from eating the ears of corn, appeared dead on the portico of the chapel of São Sebastião in this Portuguese village.

It was then that the inhabitants of this area, fulfilled their promise to prepare the typical porridge with their own harvest of this year, to offer it to the patron saint.

 

 

Translated by DeepL