Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Home away from home: Hotel Estalagem de San Gens, Serpa, May 23

The Hotel Estalagem de San Gens is situated in the elevated zone of Sao Gens, next to the Nossa Senhora da Guadalupe’s Chapel and the Spanish border. It has an excellent strategic location, a dazzling view over the village of Serpa and a natural landscape as far as the eye can see. In the bar and restaurant you can sample local cuisine, such as the famous Serpa cheese, sausages and wine. The hotel has 18 rooms that are uniquely furnished and it is said that the accommodations offer a beautiful view.
Now let's explore the cuisine of Alentejo a bit more - with this excerpt taken from The Alentejo was formerly a major grain producer. Whereas out among the Hispanic oaks and olive trees, large herds of pigs pastured on the open plain. Thus, bread, pork and olive oil form the bases of one of the best-developed regional cuisines of Portugal. Of particular note is the way herbs and spices are deployed to infuse countryside aromas. 
Soup represents a main dish and may be served cold, as in Alentejo gaspacho, or hot with bread an essential feature in game, cod or tomato and sausage soups. The wheat influence continues with the ‘migas’ breadcrumbs that are served with pork, or the stewed lamb bread dish ‘ensopado de borrego’ or in the stewed bread embodying the ‘açorda Alentejana’. Any of these specialities can be found in any self-respecting restaurant in Estremoz, Évora or Beja. Alternatively, opt for a plate of game, highly typical of the Alentejo’s gastronomy, and gain a great insight into quality rural cooking! Over by the coastline, the fish and shellfish come back into play to make their own particular culinary contribution. And the quality of the fish in south-west Alentejo is another high point to this region’s culinary heritage. 

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