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Backstreet Lisbon Box


Once the center of a global trading Empire that spanned four continents, Lisbon has a long tradition of stocking its pantry with foods from far and wide. In the traditional grocery stores of Lisbon that still keep the neighborhoods fed, this tradition is alive and well. For this box, we’ve gone shopping in the backstreet shops and sourced some of the finest products that Portugal has to offer, bringing the flavors of Lisbon to your kitchen.

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If Lisbon had a mascot, it would surely be the sardine and Lisboeta love them fresh or preserved in tins. Included in the box is are two excellent examples – one containing sardines in olive oil from the waters off central Portugal, and one with mackerel in tomato sauce from the southern Algarve region – both made by artisanal producers. Also from the Algarve is a bag of precious flor de sal, the first layer of sea salt crystals, harvested by hand near in the Ria Formosa salt pans.

Though 16th-century Portuguese traders are credited with the proliferation of the chili pepper, bringing it in their ships from the Americas to Africa and beyond, these days they grow their peppers in the hot and sunny south of the country, where a bottle of scorching piri piri oil is found on most lunch counters. We’ve included a bottle for you, made with local peppers and olive oil.

From the mountains of northern Portugal, meanwhile, we have a jar of our favorite pumpkin jam, which we’d slather onto a fresh cheese or enjoy, furtively, by the spoonful.

From the verdant Azores islands way out in the middle of the Atlantic, we sourced an organic green tea made by Gorreana, a family business and the oldest tea producer in Europe.

‘Tis always the season for a sugar cane molasses cake from the island of Madeira. Spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, anise, cloves and ginger and packed with nuts, this island speciality will quickly become a staple on your holiday table.

In Lisbon we have a wicked sweet tooth so we couldn’t resist the “chocolate umbrellas” made by the local chocolatier Regina, one of Portugal’s most beloved brands, in business since 1928. These little chocolate treats fire up nostalgia in the hearts of any Lisboeta.

Also included is a Lisbon totebag with a bold logo we designed and a small ceramic statue of St. Anthony, one of the patron saints of Lisbon. If you can’t be with us in person in June, when the city celebrates the festival of St. Anthony by devouring fresh sardines by the ton, then put your St. Anthony in the window, crack open your tin of sardines and enjoy. There’s always next year.

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