6.10.2014

A Food Tour in Lisbon: Grapes & Bites

 
In preparation for my trip to Portugal last summer, I diligently studied up on vinho verde. I use the term "study" loosely, but it made a great afterwork apertif. Vinho verde, literally "green wine", is the term used to describe young wine. It has just a hint of effervescence to it and a low alcohol content, making it the perfect wine to enjoy after a sweltering summer day.

I wanted to learn more about the food and wine history of Portugal so I decided to take a private food history tour of Lisbon, through the tour company Your Friend in Lisbon. In addition to learning local history and sampling specialties (including ginjinha, caracois-- otherwise known as garden snails, and the satisfyingly decadent pastel de nata), my affable guide Alex closed up our tour with a fabulous offering at Grapes & Bites in the Bairro Alto district. 

The friendly owners brought out two boards of amazing meats including pata negra and one with roasted pepper swirls. I tried local cheeses, nuts, and sauces (including an addictive pepper jam, which sadly didn't make it through airport security). Alongside this smorgasboard, I was treated to several different olive oils, fresh olives, and of course, a vinho verde tasting. 
At the end, they brought me a glass of port, though I had my doubts since I don't like dessert wines. Although sweet, it wasn't overly so and it had a smooth finish and a lot of depth- you might even call me a converted port fan. 

If you find yourself in Lisbon this summer, I highly recommend this informative and interactive tour-- it was the best money I spent while in Lisbon. 

6.07.2014

Junibacken: Children's Museum in Stockholm

When in Stockholm, you might skip over the children's museum in favor of something a bit more grown-up. You'd be mistaken. Junibacken was one of my favorite sites in Stockholm. Perhaps it has to do with my Peter Pan syndrome or affinity for Pippi Longstocking but nevertheless, I highly recommend Junibacken for people of all ages. As I walked up to the entrance, I couldn't help but be amazed by the orderly line of strollers outside. No one seemed too concerned about theft and they were organized in a perfect row. Inside, the museum was filled with gleeful young children and fatigued parents yet I felt no shame in being there. An admission ticket includes a ride on the "story train," an enjoyable experience into a Swedish literary wonderland. It's a magical journey through orchards, snowy villages, and larger than life scenes.



The other highlight of the museum is the replica of Pippi Longstocking's house. Head on over to the museum and transport yourself back in time, if only for a day.  

Junibacken is located at Gal√§rvarvsv√§gen 8, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden