Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dining in Azores: Part 2">

At left is blood sausage over pineapple from the restaurant just above where the ferry comes into Porto in Faial. Bacon with french fries and salad from that same spot is at right. Here pork follows seafood as the main subject of this second of a two part post regarding dining in the Azores.

Blood sausage is quite popular in the Azores. I've enjoyed it prepared several ways in the US and liked it here the most. Size of the and crispness accounted for their appeal. Serving blood sausage atop pineapple works well. Pineapples along with passion fruit are bountiful in the Azores.

The Azores is the first place I've ever seen "bacon" listed as an entree on a menu or served in slices a half inch thick. Not to be confused with pork belly, from which bacon is made, it arrived cooked through but hardly crisp. We were served bacon other places---on Pico---at breakfast, where it was undercooked by U.S. standards, but sliced thin. Normally, I like my bacon crisp, but when this thick, let it be juicy.

As for the salad and french fries, what you see is what you get. Nowhere during our visit, did I observe a dinner salad any more creative than the combination of a couple lettuce leaves with a bit of tomato and some shredded carrot. Potatoes are ubiquitous in the Azores, and based on our experience, better served boiled and mashed.

Here are a couple other culinary observations from Pico and Faial: All meat and seafood are cooked well done. Pastries are phenomenal, and not once did we partake of a beverage that came with ice.