We turned the calendar over Memorial Day earlier this week, and–aside from the solemn honor we pay on that day to our fallen heroes–the day also marks the unofficial beginning of summer in the U.S. It might as well be true in Portugal, as well, because the thermometer has crept back up above 28C over the last two days.
Summer means the return of hot afternoons, when a cold beer and a salty snack beckon as you step off the sandy praia–beach–and plunk down on a red (or possibly green) plastic chair promoted by one of the two main beer manufacturers in Portugal, Super Bock or Sagres.
I tend towards a Sagres during the warmer days, as it feels lighter, more crystalized–though as long as it’s cold either will do. My salgado of choice is an empada either filled with shrimp or chicken, and fried into a crisp, doughy delight. A couple of those makes enough of a meal to keep you going until the sun sets…and dinner beckons. And they’re enough of a treat to reward you after a strenuous hike up the stunning cliffs above the beach–or just the strenuous look you take up at those cliffs from your chair in the sand.