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The month of April - O Paparico and The Nature

April of illusions, saints and rebels. Every moment is a new drive, a new challenge. The pulse of the disruptive. The revival of tradition through the compass of contemporaneity. The unusual textures, colours, flavours... and, once again, the fluidity through which they blend together and involve us. The art of eating fine, the taste that gives the skin goosebumps, dilates our pupils and takes us back to the past in a refined and unexpected version.
 
The selection of products was, for these reasons, meticulously designed and historically positioned. This month there are endless curiosities that we want to give you a taste of.
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Easter dictated the choice of the kid as the star product of the month of April. Although it takes different forms of preparation and cooking. From the north to the south of the country, this is the favourite of the Portuguese for this season.
 
Regarding its historical-religious context, for Christians, Easter is the celebration of Life. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ means liberation from death and the passage to eternal life. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," John 1:29,36. This phrase gives meaning to the death of Jesus Christ, as the divine sacrifice provided by God for salvation from the sin of the world. The Christian Easter is referring to the future, it is taken as the symbol of what is yet to come, in full grace. In a more lay and worldly meaning, it represents family unity, with plenty of love and abundant tables.
 
Along with the richness of its own history, the kid has unequalled nutritional qualities. Autochthonous to Portugal, it has DOP and IGP denominations, guaranteeing its authenticity and quality. Its meat is red but has a much lower lipid content than the other meats in the group. It is a high-quality protein food and contains all the essential amino acids. It also has a good amount of vitamin B12, which benefits the organism, and the normal functioning of the nervous and immune systems, as well as reduces tiredness and fatigue. From an ecological footprint perspective, by choosing autochthonous national products, we are also contributing to the maintenance of our genetic heritage, as well as the subsistence of the rural world and preventing the desertification of the country's interior.
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The other product in focus is broad beans. With their undeniable nutritional value, they are also an essential element of a traditional Portuguese dish that has inspired some of the creations in our menus, the famous " Favas com chouriço", (broad beans with chorizo).
 
But before we introduce them historically, let's take a closer look at their nutritional heritage. It is said that they are good friends of the heart and science proves it. Belonging to the pea family, they are an excellent source of protein and fibre, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. They are also high in bioactive compounds and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Broad beans have a distinctive, non-consensual flavour. This makes them a dual product that you either love or hate. Still, they are valued for their versatility, texture and nutritional properties.
 
Broad beans with chorizo are, consensually, from Ribatejo, specifically from Almeirim. Although the line that separates them from being from Estremadura is very thin. The ways of confection are, admittedly, different. In this territorial space, the so-called "Favada à Portuguesa" is the dish with greater prominence. Drinking from this cultural wealth and recreating it is, effectively, a challenge and our greatest passion.
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Crossing the Atlantic with final destination to the Azores. We dive between 200 and 2000 meters deep in search of the sea product highlighted this month in our kitchen. The Royal Crab of the Azores, with the scientific name chaceon affinis, is also known as the deep-sea crab. It can assume a maximum size of up to 20cm and a weight of 2,5kg. However, the average catch size is 13cm. It is a nutritionally rich product, with very fine meat and a fairly sweet flavour. It has a low level of fat present, moderate in protein and high in omega-6.
 
Last but not least, another Azorean product deserves a special mention, the Azorean pineapple. Its history dates back to the 19th century, when it took over the role of the island's most prominent activity, taking the place of the orange, whose production fell when it was devastated by a fungus.
 
Currently, between 700 and 1000 tonnes of pineapple are produced on the island of São Miguel. This fruit also has a PDO denomination, with exclusive production in the referred island. It contains anti-cancer properties and a concentration of bromelain which protects and regulates the body, as well as potentiating the action of antibiotics. The Azores pineapple has endless therapeutic and curative properties, as it contains vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and iron.
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One of its most important particularities is the way it is grown. It maintains its tradition of totally organic and sustainable production, which allows it to harvest a pineapple of unique quality and, undoubtedly, more aromatic and with a substantially lower sugar content. The most commonly used traditional technique is the application of Smoke, which guarantees a homogeneous and planned harvest, allowing the flowering phase of the plant to be induced in a natural way.
 
This product is present in a decisive transition moment in the tasting of our menus, cleanses the palate, ensures some sweetness and freshness and prepares you for an unforgettable end of your journey at O Paparico.
 
We hope this article was as enjoyable for you to read as it was for us to write. See you in Nature in May!