Porto, Portugal with Lisa McLaughlin
This week's photos of Food & People is by Lisa Mclaughlin. Below is what Lisa has to say about the photos and her experience of Porto, Portugal.
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal, and gave it's name to not only the famed fortified wine of the region, but also to the country itself.
The graceful city is perched atop a rocky gorge created by the Douro River and combines shabby but beautiful nearly medieval architecture with bright examples of crisp-lined modern architecture. Because Porto is a port city, the cuisine traditionally has global influences with spice from South America and Asia combining with local meat and the abundant seafood. We traveled down the Douro River by boat and stopped off at the Quinta do Seixo, where the vineyards and winemaking facilities of the iconic Sandeman Port house are located, Our visit included getting barefoot and climbing into the wide granite grape-filled vats, called lagares to stomp some grapes ourselves. Only about two percent of Port is still foot-crushed, but it's an important part of the tradition and history and it turns out that feet are particularly good at crushing the skins and fruit without crushing the seeds, which can impart bitterness to the resulting juice. It's very cold underfoot before fermentation begins in the vat and hard work so traditionally the stompers play musical instruments and sing songs to keep themselves entertained.
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