26 Oct

Escabèche sauce

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Ingredients :

Out of the box :

  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 of a fresh parsley bouquet
  • 4 tablespoons of vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Inside your Lusitan Box Red Edition :

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Preparation :

  • Slice onions and garlic and chop the parsley.
  • Pour olive oil in a pan, together with onions, garlic and the bay leaf.
  • In a bowl, dissolve paprika and pepper in vinegar.
  • Add the vinegar mixture to the onions when they are golden brown.
  • Add the chopped parsley.
  • Leave it to boil for two minutes.

Note :
– In the villages, they used to cook the escabeche sauce to season the fried fish left over from previous meals.
– This sauce goes well with fish, but also with meat (chicken, beef, pork …). The only limit is your imagination.

20 Oct

ADPM – Defense Association of Mértola’s Heritage

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Interview with Patricia Turra, about ADPM, association that produces organic oreganos of Lusitan Box Red Edition.

1. Can you tell us a bit more about the history of your “company”?

ADPM – Defense Association of Mértola’s Heritage, is a public non-profit /Local Development Association, founded in 1980 with the aim of contributing actively to the harmonious development of the Mértola municipality, sustainable conservation, promotion and use of local resources, emphasizing the involvement of local people in the process of improving the conditions and quality of life of communities.
The mission of ADPM has to do primarily with the economic, social and cultural development of the territories in which it operates, sharing strategically with public and private entities, but also with citizens, encouraging active participation in the dynamics of their own local development process.
In order to encourage the practice of sustainable agriculture in the Lower Alentejo, we acquired in 1992, under the European Programme for the Conservation of Nature -life, the Monte do Vento, a property of 192.30 hectares certified in organic production mode by ECOCERT company in 2000 and where you can fin the Center for Studies and environmental awareness since 1996.
The Monte do Vento assert itself as a vital element of activities, in order to study, investigate and demonstrate sustainable and competitive alternatives for management of natural resources, to promote correct use of the territory that has population densities below the average of the region and with high rates of aging and that goes beyond the national average for employed population in agriculture.
The product with the highest economic importance to the property are the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAP), which began to be developed in 1999, through the collection of spontaneous vegetation and currently occupies 0.300ha with about 12 varieties, mainly indigenous. In the Monte do Vento we performe the whole production cycle, from the collection of seeds, the transition to the ground, cutting, drying and packaging.

2. What makes your products special?

Our products are herbal tea “Ervas do Monte”, organically produced, and dried in the sun of Alentejo, which gives that so great color, aroma and taste with aromatic plants from Monte do Vento.

3. What is the relation between your company and the Alentejo region?

A big conexion, once that our propriety is situated inside the Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana, in the Lower Alentejo.

4. Can you give us three words that evoke the best the Alentejo region?

Aromas, flavors, Calm.

5. What is your favorite dish from Alentejo?

In the summer – Um Gaspacho with fried fish
In the winter – A “Cozido of grão” (based on meat and chickpeas)

6. What is your favorite place in Alentejo?

Mértola, for the diversity of knowledges and flavors that it can offer.

19 Oct

Alamal River Club

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Interview with Henrique Henriques, Project Manager of Alamal River Club.

1. Can you tell us a bit more about the history of your “company”?

The history of Alamal River Club is still on the making and still very short. We opened in August 2016, previously it was an ancient facilities of the Pousada do Inatel de Gavião. Last
year has been a lot of work to promote the place. But it has been a rewarding job. Customer’s feedback is very positive and every day we work to improve customer service and try to provide the best experience to those who pass by Alamal. The surrounding landscape is magnificent, so should be the experience we offer.

2. What makes your products special?

The place is special. Being in a river beach which has for horizon a castle and a railway line is something special. Then, the framework of the Quinta do Alamal is also unique providing customers real moments of tranquility and possibility to really relax.

3. What is the relation between your company and the Alentejo region?

We are right on the border between the Alentejo and the Beira Baixa, only the Tagus River separates these two regions. We have a bit of each and like they say here, it is a Different Alentejo.

4. Can you give us three words that evoke the best the Alentejo region?

People, gastronomy and tranquility

5. What is your favorite dish from Alentejo?

The “Açordas”, all the “açordas”. Garlic ones, spinach ones, fish ones. It’s a big identity of gastronomy from Alentejo.

6. What is your favorite place in Alentejo?

Alamal, of course, not just to be the local of Alamal River Club, but for the tranquility it transmits every day when we wake up. I love the Alentejo, where every region have its own charm, and stories, but Alamal is something different …

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In your Lusitan Box Red edition, you will find a discount to stay at Alamal River Club, enjoy the surronding, nature and spend a special time in Alentejo.

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19 Oct

Fair Fruit Portugal and O’zeite olive oil

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Interview with Nídia Pita, Quality Manager at FairFruit Portugal. Producer of O’zeite olive oil, that you can find inside your Lusitan Box Red Edition.

1. Can you tell us a bit more about the history of your “company”?

Fairfruit Group was established in 2014 to bring together different companies and production facilities under one name and promote a common strategy. We are currently present in 6 countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Hungary and Austria).

Fairfruit wants to play a key role in the stone fruits and olive oil market in Europe. Our strategy is based on the sharing of knowledge and expertise, mastery of the supply chain and a strong corporate culture.

Our daily work is based mainly on four pillars :

  • Mixing traditional skills and the latest technical advances in agriculture.
  • Control quality product during transportation.
  • Respect all natural resources.
  • Continuously improve the skills of our employees in good working conditions.

2. What makes your products special?

Our biggest wish is to provide to our customers with healthy, high quality products developed in compliance with our producers and consumers values.

3. What is the relation between your company and the Alentejo region?

Our productions are located in the Alentejo where the climate is conducive to proper development and maturation of the fruit, the soil is rich and there is no shortage of water. All these factors contribute to a high quality product. Also contributing to the development of the region at a social level.

4. Can you give us three words that evoke the best the Alentejo region?

Climate, gastronomy and landscapes

5. What is your favorite dish from Alentejo?

Migas and porc ribs drizzled with olive oil O’zeite Prestige.

6. What is your favorite place in Alentejo?

South-west of Alentejo and Vicentine’s cost (Littoral of Alentejo), because you can see a union between fields landscapes and the sea, as well as the best beaches and the freshest fishes.

Here is a Cod Fish recipe from chef Henrique Sá Pessoa that you can make with O’zeite olive oil, bom apetit!

You can buy O’zeite Olive oil in our online store, or find it inside the Lusitan Box red edition!

28 Sep

Pimentão do Carvalhal (Paprika Alentejano)

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Interview with Hugo Nascimento, owner of the company Pimentão do Carvalhal.

1. Can you tell us a bit more about the history of your “company”?

Company / brand created in 1930. It was then given to the family that preserved it from generation to generation as a traditional quality product.

2. What makes your products special?

The “Pimentão do Carvalhal” is a natural product, a powdered condiment (paprika), reddish in color and sweet in flavor. It is manufactured in the traditional way, based on specifically selected peppers, then dehydrated by drying in traditional wood ovens, to preserve the color and quality of the product.

3. What is the relation between your company and the Alentejo region?

The company is based in Portalegre. Planting and drying is done in land of owners in  Ponte de Sôr region (Portalegre). The Carvalhal crushing plant (Portalegre) gives its name to “Pimentão do Carvalhal.”

4. Can you give us three words that evoke the best the Alentejo region?

The beauty of the Alentejo is very characteristic, you can see the arid Baixo Alentejo (southern Alentejo) and the city of Évora, with its cultural heritage, splendid. And the Alto Alentejo (Portalegre) greener with some wonderfull villages: Marvão, Castelo de Vide, Crato and many others.

5. What is your favorite dish from Alentejo?

Gastronomy is enviable in each region. It is impossible to talk about just a dish, or two or three. The way of cooking is still the most important, like migas for exemple (which you can find in several versions), the Alhada de cação, the cozido à portuguesa (with meat and regional sausages) … .. and of course, as traditional spice it should never miss the Pimentão do Carvalhal.

6. What is your favorite place in Alentejo?

Marvão.

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Alhada de Sardinha, an original recipe to use your Pimentão do Carvalhal.

You can buy the Pimentão do Carvalhal in our online store, or find it in the Lusitan Box red edition!

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23 Sep

Gaspacho à alentejana

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Ingredients :

400 g of bread (preferably a little old)
9 dl of water
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of vinegar
4 tomatoes
½ cucumber
¼ green pepper
Salt
6 ice cubes

Inside your Lusitan Box Red Edition :
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of oregano leaves

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Preparation:

  • Place 2 tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds, in order to remove the skin more easily. Pull the skin from the tomatoes and blend it to obtain a tomato pulp.

  • In a mortar, crush garlic with salt.
  • Add garlic and salt to the tomato pulp and stir it well.
  • Cut the remaining 2 tomatoes, the cucumber and bell pepper into small cubes and add to the mixture.
  • Add the water and stir well.
  • Season with salt, olive oil and vinegar and mix well. Taste the seasoning and adjust to your taste.
  • Add the oregano leaves and put the mix in the fridge.
  • Cut the bread into small cubes.
  • Before serving, add ice to the mixture. Everyone is invited to put bread on his plate before serving.

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Notes:

  • There are many variations of this traditional gaspacho from Alentejo, some with more or less garlic,  vinegar or olive oil, water or tomato juice etc. As you will understand, it depends on the taste of each chef, and on the tradition of each village.

  • Gaspacho is also called “vinagrada”, which comes from the word vinegar of course, because oftenly you can find a very strong taste of vinegar.

  • Normally, gaspacho is eaten with fried horse mackerel, also called “joaquinzinhos” (meaning “small Joaquims”). But you can also use it for smoked ham of an iberian pig for instance – that will match well with this recipe.

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20 Sep

Patalim’s pottery

Patalim Family’s pottery is located in São Pedro do Corval, village of excellence for all clay’s lovers. When we met them, we were just amazed by their work and the way they work, as a family, and keeping the traditional way. With them, we created this unique piece, a spoon rest. Unique in its size, which fits perfectly in your box, and unique by its design that we chose to combien with our red thematic. At the end, it’s simply a beautiful object to give a glow to your kitchen !

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We went to ask some questions to Mister Bruno Barreto, about its art and its region : Alentejo!

1- Can you tell us a bit more about the history of your “company”?

Our company’s history is before everything a family story. Our pottery is more than 200 years old, we have been potters from generation to generation in our family, always, and until now, with the youngest potter from São Pedro do Corval ... Rui Santos !!!

2- What makes your products special?

Our products are special by the way they are made, still by hand, from manufacturing until painting! We are very proud that we have been able to keep it doing this way, all hand made. We have decorative pieces and other utilitarian pieces.


3. What is the relation between your company and the Alentejo region?

Our company is situated in the Alentejo region, where you still can find some good painters, we don’t have so much raw material here, exepting the regional clay, that we mainly use for utilitarian pieces. 

4 Can you give us three words that evoke the best the Alentejo region?

The Alentejo is a source of inspiration, is very welcoming and last word would be craft.

5- What is your favorite dish from Alentejo?

My favorite dish is the “cozido à portuguesa” because it mixes different types of meat that makes it a delicious dish.

6. What is your favorite place in Alentejo?

My favorite place in the Alentejo is the region where I live, the “Alto Alentejo” (High Alentejo), because there are a lot of artists, creativity, imagination and very humble people

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If you like this art and want to learn how to make it, you should know that potters  from Patalim also give workshops, you just need to book in advance of course. You can contact them via facebook or pay them a visit in São Pedro do Corval, it is always a good excuse to visit the city of Monsaraz and its castle overlooking the Alqueva.

Find the creation of Patalim in the online store of Lusitan Box!

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16 Sep

Lusitan Box #1 : All red edition

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For those who have didn’t received yet the first Lusitan Box, we will reveal its content, little by little, here on our blog, but before, we wanted to give you a little overview of this first edition! To start, why red? The answer is quite simple, because we love strawberries, tomatoes, and wine, yes it is that easy.

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 This first box is full of surprises and full of Cacildo, we offer you one cool tote bag with our Compadre Cacildo, a postcard and a sticker to stick in everywhere you want Cacildo to be (send us photos of your Cacildo!). As you can notice, this summer Cacildo took advantage of aquatic resources of the Alentejo, both Alqueva lake and Vicentina Coast.

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We prepared you a traditional regional menu, with full recipes inside your box, so that you can use the products of this first edition. Of course, you can also make your own recipes! Feel free to share with us photos of your recipes and products Lusitan Box! Send them to contact@lusitanbox.com or share them with us on Facebook & Instagram!

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In this box we offer two promotionnal offers for you to use in Alentejo, you can discover a fantastic hotel in the northern Alentejo and practice paddle surf on Alqueva Lake.

Order your red edition box now or subscribe to receive our next boxes every 3 months!

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01 Sep

Welcome

Welcome to LUSITAN BLOG,

Here we will provide informations about products and producers you will find in our box.  In this blog, you can also follow our recipes, videos, tips, places to visit and much more …

Lusitan Box is a box to receive at home which will allow you to discover the flavors of Portugal every three months. And meet with the portuguese culture through local products, recipes, crafts and many other surprises.

The adventure started in June 2016, after a crowdfunding successfully funded for our Alentejo Magic Box. For various reasons the project has become Lusitan Box, with this new name, we will show you the best of Portugal. To order your Lusitan Box check our website:

www.lusitanbox.com

To contact us, to share content, to start a possible partnership, or just give us your feedback: contact@lusitanbox.com

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