35. Cape Verde: Octopus Stew

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On a tiny dot in the Atlantic Ocean close to the African Continent you can find  a little paradise called Cape Verde. It is the kind of place that pops on your mind when you think about the word vacation or sunny. I once had a friend who had a house in Cape Verde and he came back all time with these amazing stories and pictures! It is really complicated to say to which continent Cape Verde belongs. Geographically you would say Africa, nonetheless, Cape Verde enjoys a per capita income that is higher than that of many continental African nations. It has sought closer economic ties with the US, EU and Portugal (Cape Verde is a former Portuguese colony). Cape Verdes main income is tourism, unfortunately the tourist ain’t doing the rich marine life any good, the population of humpback whales and turtles  had already diminished severely. cape verd So here are some things you probably didn’t know about Cape Verde:

  • There is one goat for every two people on the islands.
  • It is said that after 20 years of continuous drinking of the locally produced grogue, that it could make you blind. (That must be some strong stuff)
  • Each of the islands, from Sal to São Vicente, celebrates the festival of Carnaval.
  • It is illegal to capture turtles between June and February.
  • The beach near Morre Negro is renowned for attracting dolphins and whales who beach themselves. Their remains can be seen along that area of coast. (Please do not take your kids here, they will be traumatized for life not only by the smell, but save yourself a few hours of hysterical crying because there are DEAD DOLPHINS! I can’t think of anything more upsetting to a 4 year old girl!)

So Cape Verde does not have a rich cuisine to say the least I really really had to make an effort to find a suitable recipe! So I hope you like it, I certainly did! I served it with rice and green beans. It is a great quick and tasty weeknight meal!

Octopusstew Ingredients: 2 lbs. octopus or squid or both, 2 bay leaves , 3 tablespoons of oil , 2 tomatoes or l tablespoon of tomato paste, 2 cloves of garlic , l onion, 1 small red chili (seeds removed), half a lemon

Wash and cut octopus into small pieces. Place octopus in a pot with two bay leaves and 3 tablespoons of oil. Heat on medium. Allow octopus to cook for approximately 20 minutes. Add tomatoes, cloves of garlic, diced onion and hot pepper. Heat on medium low until stew-like. Stir occasionally. Serve and squeeze lemon over it for an extra touch.

According to the wonder called google this is supposed to be the national Cape Verdian music and dance.


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