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The month of March - O Paparico and The Nature

March brings us the arrival of spring and the summer equinox.

It is a month of renewal. The change of time balances the days and nights and begins a new cycle with new energy. And it was with this feeling that we embraced this month at O Paparico!

Every month the products selected are different. Guided by the respect for seasonality and for the mother earth, our cuisine is the stage for the most beautiful transformations and creations. We are entering the season of earthy products such as turnips and greens. Nevertheless, we are going to talk about a product that, in turn, begins its seasonal expiry at this time. And, therefore, we will talk about one of the various food preservation techniques we use, preservation in salt.
 Turnips, turnip greens and turnip tops are all part of the same botanical species, Brassica rapa. What distinguishes them is their own stage of development. They are biennial herbaceous plants and can be used in different ways, the roots - turnip - the young leaves - turnip greens - and the flower stalk - turnip greens.
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The turnip is a root vegetable, which has oblong, rough leaves that are commonly called greens (or turnip greens). This tuber can be found in different shapes and have a uniform or bicoloured colouring, usually white and purple. At the beginning of spring, it is smaller and sweeter, which gives dishes a very aromatic touch. At this stage, they can still be eaten raw, as they are very tasty and even crunchy. They have a characteristic taste, slightly bitter but refreshing at the same time. This makes them easy to combine with other root vegetables or to pair with other strong flavours.
 
Regarding greens, there are a number of advantages in their consumption. This green vegetable is low in calories but has a very high nutritional value. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, copper, vitamins A, B9, C, E, K and also contains a lot of fibre, which helps control glucose in the blood. Its bioactive components improve the functioning of the body and prevent various types of diseases. Turnip greens have a bitter taste, but once cooked they are extremely tasty. Some people eat them raw, steamed, boiled or sautéed in the pan and they can also be ingredients in soups and broths. Curiosity about them is that they should be eaten when they are still tender and have a light-coloured stalk.
 
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Preserving food by means of solutes such as salt is a traditional preservation process. It is a technique used throughout human history, which has enabled man to preserve and store food to survive periods of scarcity.
 
Brine is a saline and liquid solution, with an extremely high salinity content. It is a process of adding salt, in which the water present in the food binds to its compounds. In other words, the lemon ferments for several weeks at a controlled temperature, which causes lactic fermentation. In this way, the action of microorganisms and enzymes that influence the rotting of foodstuffs is avoided. In the specific case of citrus fruits, the conservation technique in brine gives them, besides a saline and mineral touch, floral notes. At O Paparico we use both peel and liquid brine in preparations, a practice with roots in the Arab cuisine of North Africa.
 
All the products we have mentioned will be present in O Paparico's Menu for March. We invite you to visit us and delight yourself with our creations!