Foodie Spouse made a delicious Portuguese kale and potato soup for supper recently.
Kidney beans and soy "chorizo" sausage were involved as well. And as I of late have become enamored of Brazil's lime-centered caipirinha drink, I wandered into a traditional American supermarket, Smith's, to quickly grab some citrus, and was soon pondering Portugal's imperial role. (Thank you, Prince Henry the Navigator, for getting things started. )
In 1500 this small European country claimed control over the largest cohesive land mass in the "new" world, and stamped Brazil with its quirkily-different-sounding-from-Spanish-yet-similar language, a massive slave trade, and eventually, a mix of people indicative of much mingling among natives, slaves, and Europeans. As well as black beans to die for, selenium-packed B. nuts, and cachaca.
Anyway--There I was, the eve of the Glorious Fourth in a supermarket in America, clutching limes headed for inclusion in a Brazilian drink. No bunting, no flags, maybe 3 flag balloons for sale. Normally, as we all know, a "holiday" makes a store erupt in decorative items in tune with the theme. I do not even want to think ahead to checkers decked out as witches, fold-up Christmas trees, icky yellow candy chicks, and all that. But it struck me as odd that on our nation's holiest of holy days, there was virtually nothing.
But then--what products can one sell that speak INDEPENDENCE? Baby back ribs? Weiners? Flabby white no-food-value hotdog rolls?
Meanwhile, we still have plenty of the soup, inspired by a Cape Cod recipe based on what early visiting Portuguese fishermen from Cape Verde and the Azores were eating. ( Note: this recipe does not contain fish so the fishermen evidently were storing sausage on board, and there were no potatoes growing readily, so...) The ingredients vary---but a spicy sausage is key. As is kale.
So this year at our house, to honor America, we are celebrating the major affront to George III by going Portuguese. Bom dia!
( Tks to this site for kale soup pic--http://www.capecodtoday.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=080)