I’m of Portuguese heritage, and I’ve always wanted to visit both the mainland and the Azores – the islands off the coast of Portugal. The Azores are only a four-hour flight from Boston, so they are a great way to experience European culture with a shorter flight. Last week, I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite local restaurants, Blue Ginger, to learn more about the Azores and sample some Azorian cuisine. Blue Ginger’s chef, Ming Tsai, of the PBS show Simply Ming, had recently visited the Azores to film an episode of his show, and talked to us about the experience. Here’s a video I took of his discussion:
We also had the opportunity to sample some food from the Azores – make by a visiting chef as well as Chef Tsai. We tried several soups, as well as a meat dish and a fish dish, and I loved all of them. We also tried several fabulous desserts. I didn’t realize that there were so many cows in the Azores, which produce great beef, cheese, and (apparently, ice cream).
There was also a mixologist on hand, sampling some of the the best drinks of the Azores. While I initially tried a delicious sparkling wine drink with mint, I quickly switched to a non-alcoholic green tea drink with honey which was one of the best ice teas I’ve tasted. Green tea is also grown in the Azores, which surprised me. They were also sampling several wines, which are produced in small batches on the islands.
Based upon Ming Tsai’s description of the islands, I definitely want to visit and have added the Azores to my family vacation bucket list. It looks like a fabulous place to visit, and the food that I tried was delicious.
Disclosure: I attended this tasting event at no cost. All opinions are my own.