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This simple dish is one of my best Madeira tradition discoveries. English translation is fried corn. But it has no connection with corn-cob, seeds or popcorn.
Milho Frito is the collection of small cubes prepared from corn-flour and ingredients and fried in deep oil or olive. Crispy outside and soft inside this is a good companion for meat or fishes. I like it very very much with tuna steak.
Written Oct 30, 2006
Azulejos are the painted tiles, which tell a story. Several tiles are combined to a complete motif in a tableau. The colours are mostly blue and white.
Everywhere at Madeira island you can discover these azulejos, at benches, fountains, public buildings, churches. Even in the airport, entering the building, in the corridor from the platform to the luggage hall, the first you see are these striking azulejos.
The art of making and painting tiles came originally from Rome and Byzantium.
Updated Mar 10, 2005
The small village of Camacha is just a few kilometres above the city of Funchal and is known as the Maderian capital of culture being the centre of its willow craft industry.
The village itself is small - two churches one modern, one traditional - so most people just come to see the basket weaving workshop and buy some of its produce in the large touristic shop here. The workshop is in the basement here.
If coming independently here (rather than on a tour) I would recommend the levada walk to the Jasmin Tea House - allow abou 2-3 hours for this.
Written Nov 7, 2003
Well according to my Madeira guidebook to blend in like the locals these hats are the thing to wear. Well I reckon I just look daft ;-0
Don't know why the locals need to wear these hats to keep their ears warm when the climate is warm all year round - would have thought it was more suitable to Tibetans!
Updated Oct 30, 2003
To enjoy the Madeirense favourite weekend activity you must find a suitable arraial, which occur every weekend throughout the summer. Passear means to meander. Arraiais are the place to hangout with a cool Coral beer and maybe eat some chicken or espetada. Nothing really much happens at a arraial but there is plenty of noise and walking about. There are local arraiais, traditional music, live rock bands and municipal bands. Listen out at midday on Saturday and you will hear, and maybe see, the fireworks that announce where the arraial will be held.
Written Sep 30, 2003
Azulejos are Portuguese glazed tiles that are used to decorate places like outside of houses, walls and churches. The one on the picture was taken on a small town market -- on the left they were selling meat and on the right fish. Just keep your eyes open for them!
Written Sep 14, 2003
* The craft was brought over by the Moors already in the eigth century.
* The world 'azulejo' comes from an Arabic word, which means 'small stone'.
* The azulejo on the photo was on the wall of a big fish market in Funchal. It was a great place to visit, so add it to your 'must-see' list when you visit Madeira.
Written Sep 14, 2003
The wine harvest in Madeira takes place over the first weekend in September and it is celebrated with bare-foot wine treading and folk dancing in Estreito de Camara de Lobos. It is a wonderful experience, so watch out for it if you happen to visit Madeira in September. In addition to celebrations in Estreito de Camara de Lobos, you can see special shows, exhibitions and celebrations in Funchal as well, even though you won't see the bare-foot wine treading like you would in Camara de Lobos.
Updated Sep 15, 2003
Writing about great products of Madeira soil (like: wine, liquers, banana or mango) I promised the recipe for home-made Poncha da Madeira.
- one measure of alcohol called "aguardente" which is white wodka made from sugar cane
- a little of sugar cane honey (specific kind of honey, different than 'normal')
- fresh lemon juice nad orange juice (roughly 2-3 lemon to 1 orange measure)
Stir it and stir and stir again....
And you have you own Poncha. Particular proportions are secret of every producer. So you can try and find you own golden mean.
The taste is excellent. You can drink the chilled in the hot-time or 'normal temperature' during the awful autumn.
Updated Oct 28, 2006
The national drink on the island is madeira wine. Madeira wine ows its rich taste to the variety of grapes that is used.
The four importants varieties of Madeira wine have been named after their grape variety:
SERCIAL: amber colored dry madeira wine (seco)
VERDELHO: yellow-brown medium dry madeira wine (meio seco)
BOAL: reddish-brown medium sweet madeira wine (meio doce)
MALMSEY: sweet madeira wine (doce).
Boal is my personal favorite.
Written Apr 29, 2003
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