As the temperature cools down and the colour palette on the streets changes. From September onwards Portugal starts to look more orange. The trees lose their leaves, leaving dry leaves on the ground in the gardens. In autumn, routines change, classes begin for the younger ones and parents start a new routine with their children.
In addition to colours and changes, autumn also brings delicacies, appreciated by many. All of these will help to bring autumn into people’s homes. When autumn arrives, people look for comfort food, leaving aside the fresh fruit of summer.
According to the Mediterranean diet, human beings should eat the products of the season, which means that in autumn they should eat the products that nature offers us this season.
Chestnuts are probably the fruit that appeals most to autumn. It's impossible to think about the season without thinking about Magustos. Chestnuts are a dry fruit, which come from the chestnut tree, rich in vitamins, it is a fruit that is very appreciated at this time of year in Portugal. Bought at the supermarket or on the street, few people do not appreciate this delicacy. They are the ones that mark the beginning of the workday of many street roasters, who guarantee part of their budget to sell chestnuts on city streets. Roasted in front of everyone, customers can buy hot chestnuts roasted in a very special way, which only street roasters know and keep the recipe with great care. At home, they can be made in the oven, just with salt, cooked with fennel, or used in a puree, a soup, or even to accompany a good piece of meat roasted in the oven.
Another fruit that only exists in autumn: the quince. Usually, it is not eaten raw, as the taste is bitter and the pulp is quite rough, making it not pleasant to eat immediately after being picked from the tree. Despite the numerous health benefits, quince is usually consumed in the form of marmalade. Marmalade is nothing less than a quince jam. The fruit is cooked in water and sugar and, when purchased in supermarkets, comes in a rectangular or square shape so that it can be cut into thin slices. It is usually accompanied by cheese, or it can be spread on toast with butter.
The red fruit of the pomegranate has many health benefits. This natural antioxidant is a very versatile fruit. Despite the challenge of peeling it, after tasting it, people forget all the time it took to put the small red segments in the glass. It can be eaten plain, or with a little sugar. However, it is great when mixed in yoghurt at snack time, or even in juice, with antioxidant characteristics that your body will thank you for.
Hated by many, but loved by many others, is the persimmon. The fruit of Asian origin has been part of the Portuguese autumn for several centuries. A peculiar fruit, quite healthy and recommended by nutritionists, when you are on a calorie deficit diet, to lose weight, for example. There are two persimmon variables in Portugal: gnawing and opening, as the people say. The gnawing persimmon can be eaten like an apple, the texture is similar and as the name implies it can be gnawed. Its colour is orange, but it is still as sweet as the opening one. Open persimmon is softer and should be handled and transported with care as it can burst easily. With the persimmon open, the ideal is to eat the pulp with a spoon, the texture can be more gelatinous and reddish, but it will certainly please everyone's palate. But be careful, the persimmon should be eaten quite ripe. By consuming the fruit before it is ripe tannins may be ingested, which can contract the muscles of the mouth for a few seconds.
It is common knowledge that apples can be bought at the supermarket all year round, however, the natural season for apples to grow is autumn. The flavour is already known by everyone and the way of eating it naturally too. However, autumn calls for more cosy and warm food and in this respect, the apple can be a very versatile food. With the particularity of fitting perfectly with the intensity of cinnamon, roasting apples in the oven can be an excellent autumn dessert, or something less Portuguese, with apples and cinnamon it is possible to make a Strudel.
Deeply in love with music and with a guilty pleasure in criminal cases, Bruno G. Santos decided to study Journalism and Communication, hoping to combine both passions into writing. The journalist is also a passionate traveller who likes to write about other cultures and discover the various hidden gems from Portugal and the world. Press card: 8463.