But what I came to see was the Furnas Stew, or Cozido das Furnas, which has been made here for hundreds of years. The word "cozido" simply means cooked or baked. The Stew is cooked underground with geothermal energy. Everyone has their own recipe. Different restaurants cook their stew in different holes in the ground, with a sign on the hole to know which stew goes to which restaurant. The restaurant workers are up around 4 AM to get the stew ready and place it in the ground. There are 2 pots, one for the meat, one for the vegetables. The lid of the pot is not completely sealed but held with a cloth. This is because there is no water added to the pot, the volcanic steam is what gives moisture to the dish. It also adds a slightly smokey flavour to it.
The Cozido das Furnas is pulled out of the ground around noon, so if you want some you have to get to the restaurant by noon. Our tour guide got us to the place the stew is pulled out of the ground in time to see it come out, and then to the restaurant in time to try some. We went to the Miroma Restaurant in Furnas to try it. I'm not a food critic, so when I tell my friends it tasted a little like volcano, they say sorry, I really don't know how volcano tastes, but that's how I describe it. The meat just kind of melts in your mouth and has a bit of a smokey flavour. There was beef, pork, chicken, and blood sausage in the stew we had, although like I say, everyone has their own recipe.
Nearby to where the Cozido das Furnas is cooked in the ground is the hot baths. I only found out after I got home that these are considered to be the fountain of youth. I never did find out the legend of the mermaid at Furnas Lake. I'm sure there must be one. If I find out I will update this blog.
How It's Made
Tea is made from the dried leaves of the plant “Camellia Sinensis”, a small tree of the Theaceae family. All tea comes from this plant and its hybrids. The difference in teas is based on leaf selection and processing. At Chá Gorreana only the top three leaves of the plant are used in tea production. The machinery grades the tea leaves as they are processed. The top leaf is used to make Orange Pekoe, the second leaf for Pekoe, and the third leaf for Broken Leaf tea. I am an Orange Pekoe tea drinker but did not know that it was made from only the top leaves of the plant.
Interestingly, black and green tea are both from the same plant. The difference is that black tea leaves are exposed to air and thus fermented. Our tour guide explained it this way, think of peeling a banana and leaving it exposed to the air, it blackens. Green tea is not left to ferment and is processed differently than the black tea.
I would recommend a trip to this tea plantation on your list of things to do on São Miguel Island.
Great video below with aerial footage showing the size of the plantation.
I had been meaning to browse around at a nearby yard sale held in a barn every weekend, but had never seemed to have the time to do it. This past weekend, having no particular events to be at I decided to check it out. I found a lot of interesting stuff and took a few photos.
It wasn't until I was editing and posting the photos on social media that I started to realize that some of this stuff wasn't of any value to whoever was getting rid of it, but there was some appeal for it out there. The Pharaoh got immediate attention, and the more I look at the photo, the more I think I will go back and see how much they want for it. That would look really good in my office.
The other item that got attention right after I posted the photo was the metal Gone with the Wind movie poster. Although I am not a fan of that movie, that metal poster would look awesome hung up in a room some place instead of sitting in an old barn.
There were also paintings, Two portraits of ladies that were $300, and one of some guy in a military uniform. I could understand someone buying the ladies portraits, they were signed and painted by someone of some degree of fame apparently, but nobody knew who the uniformed gentleman was or who painted him. To me that would be weird to display but what do I know? He did have nice hair though.