Sunday, June 8, 2008

Piri piri starfish - Portugal found!

Recently I celebrated my birthday. I got lots of delicious presents of the food and wine variety as well as books. Piri piri starfish: Portugal found by Tessa Kiros is one of the books I received. I am sure that I will want to relish it from cover to cover but to date I have just been dipping into it randomly and being excited by the taste and place memories that it evokes. It's been decades since I visited Portugal - 1987 to be precise. But it is a place to which I have always wanted to return.

I realize that I know very little about Portuguese cooking. So this book will provide a treasure trove of recipes for me. The beautifully produced book is a pleasure to touch and feel as well as to view the illustrations of place, decorative art and food. After a general introduction, the book is divided into Essential recipes, Petisco plates, Starters and soups, Mains and side plates, and Desserts and cakes. Aside from the browsing and reading, I hope to find lots of recipes to try and cook for people. Thanks Penny and Mark!

The piri piri is a red, plump chilli pepper originating from Portuguese colonies such as Angola and Mozambique but widely used in Portuguese food, such as piri piri oil which is dribbled over many dishes. These chillies are known in some countries as birds eye chillies. The illustration below is from the Wikipedia article and looks very like the chilli plant growing outside my back door ;>).

And for the librarians amongst you: Piri piri starfish: Portugal found was published in 2008 by Murdoch Books, ISBN 9781740459099.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Piri Piri means spicy in Japanese. I wonder if this has something to do with the Portuguese merchant ships that frequented Japan.

Cindy. Lo. said...

Ohhh I learned something new today!

Anonymous said...

Yup. Marc is right. The word did came with Portuguese along with tempura, pan (pao), castilla (かすてら) and such.
We don't have so called "Piripiri sauce" in Japan, but we say "piripiri suru" or "piri-tto suru" when something is spicy.

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