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.

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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