Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

A good friend of ours. Paul, arrived this evening to spend one night at home on his way to Portugal. We were friends in Santiago and last saw each other in 2002 before we moved to Dubai. Since then, we’ve been playing tag as he and his wife, Noemi, have moved to the north of Chile in Atacama then to Marrakesh while we were in Dubai and Montreal. Last year, they moved back to the Balearic island of Majorca where his wife is from and we had been planning to meet somewhere since but could never get a plan together. Recently, he was offered a job in Portimao and so he is moving there this weekend with Noemi and their two well-behaved dogs, Zoe and Apacheta. Our son was so excited to have dogs at home and he spent all evening instructing the dogs to “sit” and “stay” and generally trying to be the boss. We had a simple dinner on the terrace and stayed up long into the evening talking and catching up on old times. We couldn’t believe how quickly the last 6 years had gone by and that we hadn’t seen each other in so long.

As the evening ended, I opened the gift Noemi had sent and was pleasantly surprised at all the yummy gourmet goodies she had chosen. She remembered our days in Santiago, cooking and sharing recipes, and had come up with a lovely package of special food items – there was a bottle of the rare and delicious Moroccan Huile d’Argan (Argan olive oil), from the Mercat de Santa CatalinaMallorcan sobrasada (spicy, cured sausage) with a pack of Quely rustic olive oil biscuits to eat it with, a jar of sal d’herbes (herb-flavoured salt), a jar of salsa de magrana agra (pomegranate sauce) and a lovely candle holder with a box of Mariage Frères Thé Interdit incense sticks. I can’t wait to sample these goodies and have a gourmet week of tasting thanks to Noemi and Paul.

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