Cabo Verde

Woo hoo! All of the ‘A’ and ‘B’ countries have now been completed and I’m embarking on the excited realm of ‘C’-land.

I remember someone asking me when I started this project, what would happen if a new country entered the UN mid way through. Cabo Verde put this concept to the test; “The Republic of Cabo Verde changed its official name from The Republic of Cape Verde on 24 October 2013 in a request submitted to the Secretary-General by the country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations”. Therefore, rather than starting the Cs with Cambodia, it would be Cabo Verde.

Cabo Verde (it’s Portuguese name) is an archipelago of islands off the coast of West Africa. It is an ex Portuguese colony and Portugal’s influence on Cabo Verdean food was obvious. It was interesting to see similarities with Brazilian food too.

You may have noticed a 3 month Eaternational hiatus since Burundi. I wasn’t overly enthused by Cabo Verdean cuisine. One of the most popular dishes is Cachupa which is a stew of corn, beans and meat. I’m not a huge fan of beans and pulses so many of the recipes I found didn’t enthuse me. I settled on making some treats using coconut which grows in Cabo Verde.

coconut

The first dish I chose was Queijadas de Coca. These intrigued me as I’ve seen similar egg custard tarts in Portugal and in Chinese bakeries. What I didn’t realise was they all share the Portuguese connection; Macau in China was a Portuguese colony. From what I’ve read, the popularity of custards in Portugal came about due to nuns using egg whites to starch their wimples, leaving behind egg yolks. The custard tradition has obviously spread throughout Portugal’s empire.

ingredientsbun

The queijadas de coco were made from 10 eggs, 250g grated coconut and 500g sugar. The ingredients were mixed and then baked for 30 minutes at 180degC. They came out beautifully; the coconut formed a crusty layer on the top and the egg and sugar formed a semi-solid custard at the bottom.

dozen

We also knocked up another coconut based treat called cocada which is a cocnut sweet. It’s just come out of the oven and is chewy and delicious.

sweet

A bit of a cop out for Cabo Verde…. but looking forward to Cambodia!

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