Sophia’s cookbook

Here is one of the tenets of good cooking no matter what cuisine you are planning to cook.

Salt of Portugal

We spent a wonderful afternoon with Maria Azevedo Coutinho Vasconcelos e Souza, an aristocratic octogenarian who was a close friend of the great poet Sophia de Mello Breyner Andersen.

Sophia liked to eat well and was a great cook. One day, she gave Maria a handwritten cookbook with her favorite recipes. This little book shows Sophia’s attention to detail and joie de vivre.

In the first page, Sophia lays out some general advice:

1 – smell everything before cooking;

2 – use small amounts of salt and pepper; they mask the natural taste of the ingredients;

3 – Salt the fish just before cooking;

4 – Be faithful to the nature and the truth of every flavor.

“This book is a proof of her friendship,” Maria told us, “and friendships like ours are becoming rare because they require an element that is increasingly scarce: time.”

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