“Rabo de boi e alheira” is the tidbit that will represent Portugal this Wednesday in the V World Tapas Championship in Valladolid. It will be in this city in Spain that 14 Michelin stars and other experts choose what is the best snack in the world. The author of the Portuguese proposal is Manuel Sánchez Noya, from the Restaurant Vintage Douro Lamego, chef Galician who arrived in Portugal fascinated by its gastronomy. It would only be a few months, it’s been 17 years. “I live in the area of Lamego and Vila Real, in the Douro, and I tried to make the tapa with typical products of the region”, explains the chef to the DN.
Among the ingredients are PDO Maronesa meat, Mirandela sausage, Churra sheep’s cheese, Armamar apple, Trasmontano figs and Port wine.
“I chose this cover with the World Cup in mind, to enhance the Douro region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site”, says the chef. All ingredients have been chosen with care and some for a good cause. “The Churra sheep are in danger of extinction, let’s see if they can turn the situation around using their cheese,” said Manuel Sánchez Noya. Armamar apple “gives freshness to the tapa and the dried figs, cuts the fat of the ox”, he adds. And it’s all about a slightly spicy tender dough, creation of the chef.
“We are going to try to eat everything in two bites so that we can fill our mouths and give power to our products”. The meat, with a Port wine reduction, is heated immediately and the rest of the ingredients are served cold.
Manuel Sánchez Noya was the winner of the first National Tapas Contest of the Portuguese Tourism Schools Network, which took place on 29 September. O chef Galician believes the chances of winning in this international event in which Portugal is the guest country.
“This competition is good for promoting and promoting Portuguese products. At the international level there is talk of cod and little else, but we have other interesting things”, economical.
The 16 finalists were selected from 38 candidates and those chosen were preceded by Argentina, Panama, Chile, United States, Canada, Spain, Ecuador, Mexico, France, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, India, Japan, UAE and Ukraine. Portugal will be represented on the jury with the presence of the chef executive Ricardo Costa, from The Yeatman restaurant, in Porto, which has two Michelin stars.
The ambassador of Portugal to Spain, João Mira Gomes, visited last Monday the inauguration of the National Contest of Pinchos de Valladolid, from which the Spanish representative for next year’s international competition leaves. As he recalled, “the tapa is increasingly important in Portuguese gastronomy. For Portugal, gastronomy is an important point to strengthen tourism”.
This event is being a first experience for Portugal, which is already thinking of having a greater presence next year. The national tourism schools are present with a stand where you can taste cheeses, oils, sweets, cream pastries… In 2022, “we are going to try to translate the Portuguese presence into the presence of national gourmet companies”, advances to DN Maria de Lurdes Vale, Director of Tourism of Portugal in Spain.
“Portugal can show its gastronomy. The tapas of the competition will be present in many restaurants in Valladolid and it is a way to expand our products, it remains in the city’s history”, competent the responsible. Furthermore, “it is an event that attracts a lot of people, outside of big cities like Madrid or Barcelona”, he adds.