Praia Fest 2009 Part 3: Meats, Cheeses, and Desserts

We had a chance to enjoy some great dinners over the course of those 10 days. It was certainly an experience that I will remember always. Oh, and there is of course Praia Fest 2010 (oh my, I can't even think that far ahead!).

Now on to the last of the important aspects of the food festival. This is the cheese and meat market. Here you can see the variety of cheese at one of the vendors. We didn't buy any since we are still working on figuring out the kinds. I know when we moved here we were told not eat eat the fresh cheese brought to the table with meals. The reason is that it is unpastureized, making it a food safety issue. I must admit I was rather brave and did try the cheese. It is called quijo fresco and it is a mild goat's cheese. This is however not what is being sold right here. These are hard cheeses, and the fresh cheese I just mentioned is like a soft spread that goes on bread.

Here you can see an assortment of sausages. Yes, lots and lots and lots of sausages. Neither of us tried any. Well, me for the obvious reasons. It was still interesting to observe how the locals eat. There is quite a bit of sausage action here.

Now on to my favorite part of all, sobremesas. One of the first Portugese words I learned, and yes, it means desserts. This is one of the dessert cases featured at Praia Fest. This is the main shape that most of their sweets are in. One of the more popular treats, and the first one I tried on the island are called Dona Amelia's. They are little muffin-like cakes that are shapped just like this. They are almost like bran muffins and you can taste honey in them. They are topped with powdered sugar. Here are many different kinds, not just the Dona Amelia's. The chocolate one with the white dot on top (middle row to the right) was my favorite. this is a chocolate cupcake with vanilla creme filling inside. This is from a local bakery in Angra, so I know where to get one if I need one! In the back row to the left is an oval shaped pastry that has a yellow filling. We tried this too during the 10 days. This was a very light and flaky pastry filled with a custard like creme. This also had powdered sugar. Another tasty treat by this place, which I do not have a photo of, was the chocolate ball rolled in chocolate sprinkles (or jimmies if you must insist on calling them that, yeah, you know who you are!). These were heavenly little fudge balls, fantastic chocolate.

So onto the last of these sweet treats...

These were described to us as a specialty sweet just for this festival occasion. The are filled with a sweet lemon cream. By sweet, I mean ultrasweet. The puff itself tasted just like the pop-overs we ate at a Mexican restaurant in Baltimore. It was really good, but the filling was really sweet for me. I guess I am just really partial to chocolate, although lemon creme is a close second. We just could not pass up trying something that was exclusive to this event.

So that brings me to the end of the 10 day Praia Fest. I can see know what all of the hype was about. This was an amazing experience. Anyone who loves food should certainly give this a try. I am just glad we arrived here in time to be settled in and have a car so we had the freedom to explore this for ourselves. It was an experience I will never forget and it was a good introduction to the local and mainland cuisine.

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