Portuguese Treasure

One of the really great things about being a food and drink photographer is that you have absolute carte blanche to collect any and all items of kitchen paraphernalia that you might come across. Even if an item has no immediate use you can always argue that it will definitely be invaluable as a prop in some as yet unspecified photo shoot! These magpie like tendencies go into overdrive as soon as I find myself in a foreign country and the size of my suitcase combined with the pitiful weight allowance that we are granted these days are the only things which keep my collecting within, what others might call, reasonable proportions. Without doubt the most interesting and possibly cryptic thing that I brought back from my recent trip to Lisbon can be seen in the following photographs. I know what it is called but I wonder if you do? And, if so do you know how it should be used? Despite numerous searches on Google and perhaps because of my almost total lack of Portuguese I only have the vaguest idea as to how it should be used!


Suggestions please?

p.s. the cockerel is not a clue, or at least I don’t think it is!

11 thoughts on “Portuguese Treasure

    • Yes it would probably work well as a tea strainer if the tea was a large leaf one and you were making tea for a small army! The sphere is around 14cm (5.5 inches) in diameter, roughly the size of a bomb in a Peter Sellers Clouseau movie and packed next to 6 cans of sardines overlaid with the cables from my phone and tablet chargers it must have looked quite suspicious when x-rayed at the airport!

  1. The name of that tool is Caçarola (in Portuguese). It is used to cook rice, vegetables or any other thing at the same time with other ingredients, preventing them to mix with each other.
    For example, in Cozido à Portuguesa (Portuguese Stew), where the meat, the chouriço (Portuguese sausages), the vegetables and the rice are all boiled together, but the rice is cooked inside the caçarola, which allows it to have an interesting flavour at the end.
    Is this helpful? 😉

    • Marlinz, Many thanks for this! The name that I have for the pan is Esfera Arroz – which is just a description of what it is i.e. a rice sphere/ball, while caçarola would seem to be a very broad term for all sorts of cooking vessels and saucepans and casseroles especially. Either way I must try using it soon if I can find a pan large enough for it otherwise there is a risk that it will end up being converted into a hanging plant container! While in Lisbon last month I actually had Cozido a Portuguesa at Confeitaria Cistér opposite the science museum / botanic garden entrance called What a meal and a great cafe! Best regards, Keith

  2. Pingback: Portuguese Treasure Revisited | Brunch at Goodies

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