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Time Out Mercado da Ribeira

Eat at Lisbon's Artisanal Food Hub
Near the Tagus River is Time Out Mercado da Ribeira, a former 13th-century fish market that now houses an almanac of Lisbon’s artisanal food purveyors. Multigenerational vendors serve such Portuguese specialties as conserved Atlantic octopus and ginjinha (a popular local wild-cherry liqueur).

This appeared in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue.
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A Market Experience
Across from the Cais do Sodre railroad station in Lisbon, is the Mercado da Ribeiro - the market. The building, topped with a Moorish-style dome, and with an iron interior, is a beautiful, historic structure built around 1882. It has been operating for over 100 years. It usually opens at 5:00 am and winds down about 13:00,14:00. Best to check with the hotel desk about the hours.

The market had a huge selection of fresh meats, fresh seafood, Portuguese spices, yummy pastries, stunning flower stalls, and more on the ground floor. The upper level is now a cultural center offering local and national handicrafts, and historic books, and leaflets.

The market was well run. I loved hearing the clerks call out the prices and specials of the day. I was told by one fishmonger that the chefs of many of Lisbon's top restaurants shopped there early each day for their kitchens.

I bought some fresh crusty barley bread and some soft Portuguese mountain (Serra) cheese - a delicious snack- and munched as I wandered the stalls downstairs and up to the upper level where I bought some kitchen towels and pot holders with the Portuguese rooster.

The smells, tastes, sounds, and sights were a treat that I remember well.

If you go, make sure you go before 10:00am. (The earlier, the better). After that, the market quiets down and you miss the excitement and heart of the Mercado.
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The Best Chocolate Cake in the World
This scrumptious dessert invented and trade-marked by Lisbon chef Carlos Lopes Bras is a must-try when in Portugal. Made without flour or baking powder, this is ecstasy on a plate!

Three layers of meringue are joined by a sinful chocolate mousse, and the whole thing is topped with a deep chocolate glaze. The crisp meringue provides a toothsome crunch that enhances the smooth chocolate goodness, rather than dominating.

I first tasted O Melhor Bolo de Chocolate do Mundo, as it is known in Portuguese, in Lisbon's Ribeira Market food court, but it is widely available in shops and restaurants across Portugal. The Best Chocolate Cake in the World is also sold in shops in Brazil, Madrid and New York City.
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