So here’s a thing that happens a bunch in Portugal. You’ll head to a restaurant, all excited to try whatever dish they’re known for; you’ve walked a few kilometres to get there, and oh, what’s this? Yeah, they’re closed for the next three weeks. Apparently Portuguese chefs love to shut down for the month of August.
This recently happened to me (for the third or fourth time), and so I was wandering around looking for something to eat. I very quickly (and fortuitously) stumbled on a park that just happened to be hosting the Porto Food Festival.
The most compelling booth featured an older guy expertly dismantling a suckling pig and turning it into tasty-looking sandwiches; I can’t say no to a delicious pork sandwich, so I ordered one.
I’m not 100% certain about this, but I’m pretty sure that this sandwich can grant wishes. That’s how magical it was.
It was so good. The pork was amazingly tender, with the perfect amount of unctuous, melt-in-your-mouth fat. It was perfectly seasoned with just a little bit of salt to bring out the rich, porky flavour; sometimes pork can be a little bland, or if it hasn’t been freshly prepared, can taste a little gamy. This was neither of those things. It just had a really clean, immensely satisfying pork flavour.
They were also ridiculously generous with the crispy bits of skin; usually in a sandwich like this you’ll get a few pieces, but here the crackling was abundant enough that it was practically in every mouthful.
Apparently this booth is run by a restaurant that’s been roasting pork since 1983 called O Zé Pacheco. All it takes is one bite to tell they’ve been at this for many years. It was phenomenal.