Ebora cerealis

A wonderful place to visit. Portugal has many and diverse customs.

Salt of Portugal


If you’re traveling in Alentejo, follow the advice of ancient travelers and spend some time in Évora. The city is included in the Antonine itinerary and is mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History as Ebora Cerealis in reference to the surrounding fields of cereals.

Évora was occupied by Celts, Gauls, Phoenicians, and Persians. But it was Quintus Sertorius, the general who conquered the city in 80 B.C., that gave Évora its architectural jewel: a Roman temple with elegant corinthian columns. Known as the temple of Diana, it is more likely to have been dedicated to Jupiter.

There’s much to see in Evora: a beautiful basilica, elegant university buildings, and peaceful convents. And the food and wine are great everywhere.  You can choose a restaurant blindfolded and have a wonderful meal. If Pliny was writing today, he might call the city Ebora Delicia.

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The apple of paradise

Portuguese apples… mmmmm

Salt of Portugal


The best apple we’ve ever tried is a Portuguese variety called Bravo de Esmofe. It was discovered two centuries ago in a small Beira-Alta village called Esmofe.

You can find prettier apples, but don’t be fooled by the unassuming look of Bravo de Esmofe. Its taste is a revelation, the perfect combination of sweetness and tartness. And its inside is so full of antioxidants that it makes us feel immortal.

Biting into a Bravo de Esmofe helps us understand Adam’s temptation and makes us wonder whether the village of Esmofe was once the Garden of Eden.

If you visit Portugal in Fall or Winter, don’t miss the chance to try Bravo de Esmofe, an apple that belongs in paradise.

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The glorious food of a rural past

If you have never had a Portuguese country meal, you need to find a way to get to one.

Salt of Portugal

Composit - solar dos amigosWhen you dine at Solar dos Amigos, you take a trip back to a time when people grew their own food, so cooking was informed by a deep knowledge of the ingredients.

We realized that our meal would be extraordinary with the arrival of a small plate of pataniscas (fried codfish) that were wonderfully light and full of flavor. The Portuguese never tire of codfish, so we tried two more codfish preparations. The first was Tiborna, roasted codfish combined with potatoes and olive oil. It is a traditional recipe, but this version shined because the ingredients were pristine and the execution immaculate. The second was codfish campino style, a delicious, airy combination of codfish, cabbage and white beans served inside a baked country bread.

Our first meat dish, fried lamb chops, reminded us of how extraordinary the taste of lamb can be. The grand finale was Cascos à Ribatejo—veal grilled in the huge fireplace…

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8 Grammar Jokes To Start Your Day Off Right

A good way to start a new year.

101 Books

It’s a special breed of person who enjoys a good grammar joke.

And I believe many of you, like me, are fond of them.

So if you keep a copy of Strunk and White on your desk, today’s post is for you.

Here’s 8 pretty darn good grammar jokes. 

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The first sunset

An ancient tradition.

Salt of Portugal

The Romans marked each new year by hammering a nail into the door post of the temple of Jupiter. We prefer to photograph the sunset on the first day of the year, hoping it holds a clue for what the year will bring.

Today, the sun slept all day behind clouds. But at the last moment, it spread its rays and lit the sky, as if to reassure us that there will be many beautiful sunsets in the New Year.  We hope you’ll come to Portugal to share some of these sunsets with us. Happy New Year!

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