To commemorate our very own David Leite turning 60 today, we asked him for some of his favorite Portuguese things. In his generous spirit of sharing, he talked us through why he loves each item. Perhaps you’ll not only wish him a happy, happy day but bring a little Portugal home.
Do the wave at dinner
Can’t get to Portugal’s riviera–the Algarve–right now? (Who can?!) You can still entertain as if you have a magnificent veranda overlooking the Atlantic with these iridescent blue wave stoneware ceramic place settings. Pastéis de bacalhau, anyone?
A bit of Portuguesa in every corner
Made in the Porto area of Portugal, these vases are thrown by hand on a potter’s wheel and hand-painted. The blue and white, a traditional color combo, screams Portuguese. Just like guests will be screaming their envy.
A set of spiky goblets
These hand-crafted goblet, made of pressed glass, bear a design that’s more than 100 years old. Translated as “beaks” or “spikes,” bicos are the familiar nubby texture appearing in homes all over Portugal–and the world. Elegante, não é?
A teapot worthy of a queen (and we don’t mean David)
Are you aware that Britain’s obsession with tea is due to the Portuguese?! Catherina of Braganza brought a casket of tea with her to England when she married Charles II. And this elegant teapot, in a quiet shade of Renaissance blue, reminds us how Portugal still holds onto its ritual of tea.
A wok with a wok on top
When David was on the Today Show cooking from a cataplana, Al Roker pointed to the pan and said, “It’s like a wok.” To which David replied, “Yeah. A wok with a wok on top!” The name has stuck around here. It’s the perfect contraption to cook some of Portugal’s most amazing dishes, trapping the wonderful juices of whatever’s within, which go by the same name cataplana.
A luxurious Alentejan wrap
When David and The One traveled through the Alentejo, the great swath of country south of Lisbon, they stayed in a renovated manor house. These plush towels were waiting when they arrived.
An olive dish that’s definitely not the pits
Got olives? Then you’ve got pits, right? This handy dandy little must is a way to keep things pretty and neat. Put several around the room and you’re guaranteed not to find a pit stuffed in between the cushions. (That damn nephew!)
The only fish you’ll want hanging on the wall
Ah, the sardine. One of the most beloved fish in Portugal, right up there with salt cod. There are even festivals devoted to the bony sardinha. And rumor has it that if you visit Lisbon on a June evening, you’ll see The One happily munching on them. This delightful wall hanging is a wink and a nod to that slippery little sucker. (The fish. Not The One.)
One very happy rooster
The Barcelos Rooster, Portugal’s mascot, is recognized around the world as a symbol of happiness and hospitality. Be a beacon of joy at your next family dinner with these hand-painted metal toothpicks perfect for cheese, olives, chouriço, you name it.
All products featured on Leite’s Culinaria are independently selected by our staff.