Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Portuguese Food; New Bedford, Massachusetts

I think Elaine and I have finally been cured of our breathing problems... miraculous recovery through the use of Steroids prescribed by Doctor Jacobs.. a little guy who is a three stooges fan.. but knows what the hell he is doing.  We thoroughly endorse him.

I'm sitting here with Cosi Fan Tutti  playing on my XM radio, as I nibble on a few cashews.  Elaine and I just came back from "swimming" in the Carroll Lutheran Village pool.  First time in over a month.. and we are both "beat"..

The New Yorker magazine for June 29, 2015, has a great food and drink review by Hannah Goldfield.  Her target is Lupulo  (Tables for two) on Sixth Avenue and 29th Street in NYC.  This is a Portuguese restaurant with dinner entrees from $14 to $45.   Hey!  I might be able to afford something there.  But first.... let's talk about Portuguese food:

One of the Chefs here in the Village was of Portuguese extraction and grew up in San Francisco.  Talking to him was fun.. and one day he promised to have Portuguese food night, with Kale Soup, Linguica, and other delicacies.  Before he could do so; however, his boss transferred him back to SF. Damn!

My late wife, Elaine, used to make great Kale soup, even though she was of French Canadian extraction.  One night she asked my daughter, Elizabeth, what she thought of the Kale soup she had just served.   Elizabeth replied: "It was great.. except for that green stuff!"

I can't remember a "high-class" Portuguese restaurant in New Bedford, Massachusetts (my home town)... but there probably was one.   I do remember lots and lots of bars and grills  where one could eat cod and other type fish to be washed down with buckets of Port and Madeira wine.

One of my New Bedford nephews mailed us a lot of Linguica.  I have it in the  freezer and every few weeks I cut off a slab of the sausage and fry it up.   Delicious item for those of us who grew up eating it throughout our formative  years.

Back to Lupulo.. which means "hops" by the way.. and they serve a variety of hopped beverages to wash down some of the Portuguese spices. 

Menu items

Grilled sardines in vinegary peppers.

Fava beans tossed with morels and blood sausage.

Razor-clam and cucumber salad. (You remember.. you picked razor shells on the beach.. but nobody that I know has ever seen a razor-clam alive (or recently deceased.)

Deep-fried salt-cod croquettes.

And Portuguese breads... the greatest gluten gift to mankind.  In New Bedford, it is just as important on Sunday to pick up fresh Portuguese bread .. as it is to get real Jewish bagels in NYC.

May I quote:  "Giant, ruby-red prawns known as carabineros, flown in seasonally from Portugual, are grilled, head on, until they are just cooked, their perfume nearly floral, their flavor lush and buttery. At thirteen dollars per shrimp, their juices must be sopped."

Caracois, meaty little knots of de-shelled snails, in a pool of alhinho, a mix of garlic, paprika and parsley.

And for dessert:  soft, grassy sheep's milk cheese with  a "pouf" of pastry, a "smear" of quince paste, and "scoop" of kaffier-lime sorbet.

Can you handle all this?  I'm sure that you can tell by now that I really miss New Bedford's wonderful Portuguese food.

PS.. I got a DNA reading from Ancestry.Com that indicated that I might have Portuguese blood.  My brother Joe has such a lineage, and perhaps I do too.  Right now I am investigating some possible DNA family matches through Ancestry...


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