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Today is Sunday and our family is only three today, but as promised we set the globe spinning and Rory landed on Cape Verde…Just to the left of it actually, but we said we would go to the nearest place. Somewhere I would love to go and have added it to my dream board. I am told it s very BEA – U – TIFUL…..        Please let me know if you have been.

20151017_211525The Island of Cape Verde is an archipelago of islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Known as the Republic of Cabo Verde, there are 10 volcanic islands which are approximately 300 miles off the West Coast of Africa. The Islands themselves cover a little over 1.5 thousand square miles.

Until the 15th Century Cape Verde was not inhabited then the Portuguese explorers came across the islands and decided to settle. The Islands were perfectly situated for the Atlantic slave trade and the islands grew with great wealth through the 16th and into the 17th century, and they enticed privateers, merchants and pirates. At the end of the 19th century saw the end to slavery but this then led to an economic decline and inhabitants leaving, although Cape Verde did eventually recuperate and became a significant business area and a stop off for ships en route to somewhere else on the globe. In 1951 it was combined as an overseas division of Portugal and then in 1975 the islands eventually became independent after much campaigning and since independence Cape Verde continues to be a steady and to be one of the greatest grown countries in Africa. Cape Verde has approximately 500,000 in its population and are of African descent and mixed European.

The cuisine on Cape Verde is varied and its dry environment and also Portugal’s settlement have influenced its cooking traditions. The Africans, that were part of the slave trade, gave knowledge of cooking the tropical crops, then the Portuguese brought cattle.. Cape Verde was used as a trial place for growing food such as Peppers, Pumpkins and corn also feed sailors from sailing ships passing through. Foods such as bananas, sugar and tropical fruits were relocated from Asia…In Cape Verde there is a profusion of freshly caught seafood including wahoo, bica, tuna and lobster.

The National Dish of Cape Verde is Catchupa – this is anything goes sort of stew with whatever meat/fish and vegetables you have to hand. Locals have been known to make up a pot for all to share by giving a what crop they have and this dish means home for the locals everywhere…

Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors – it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.

Yes we are going to cook this dish today…It will be different for a Sunday and there are only three of us…….There is a difference between Cachupa Rica(Rich) and just Cachupa Pobre (Poor). Rica traditionally was cooked by those who had meat and fish to hand, the dish is more lavish and was generally cooked only by the richer people or could be reserved for those “special occasions” when you wanted to celebrate. We intend to produce the Cachupa Rica 🙂

The recipe says to serve 8-10, so we halved it and just a point worth noting, am not altogether sure we needed half the amount of corn starch needed

20151018_143006The Beef, Pancetta (Bacon) and Linguica sausage (Chorizo) are added to the pan and the oil added and gently cooked for around 5 minutes. I would add here that Ian and I omitted the pigs trotter from this dish. On a couple of recipes I had found said the trotter was optional
The smell of the Chorizo – or the sausage if you could find it – is already amazing. The colour begins to ooze from the Chorizo and begins to flavour the pan.
The potato, onion, garlic, chilli paste (The chill paste – to us – seems mild, so depending on your taste buds, depends how much you add – and bay leaves are added and cooked until soft followed by the white wine….


Whilst the meats are cooking the cornmeal and black eyes peas are put together and brought to the boil.. Please note if you buy black eyed peas in a tin – in my opinion – you do not need to add to the cornmeal to them in a pan – I also don’t think, as mentioned earlier, even halved you need all that is stipulated in the recipe…Please let me know what you think and how you got on

After around 20 minutes the cornmeal and beans are added, adding more water if necessary. The smell of the dish is intensifying is beginning to take shape…

20151018_145739Cabbage and sweet potato added

Remember full recipe can be found in the recipe links page

The colours from the added ingredients are fantastic and the dish is certainly beginning to make me hungry…



20151018_181735The whole combination was delicious and very filling – the pictures don’t show the colours as I would have liked – we served it simply with a crusty loaf…

All Sundays need a dessert, but with some of our fab puds left from our visit to Russia, Rory and I are going to make a local – called a dessert – Coconut Candy. Described as “is a perfect dessert that can be served any time of the day. This dish is made using coconut, sugar and grated lemons”. (We used limes – as the supermarket had run out – can you believe it?)

Rory and I love to cook together and were going to cook this together,  but the stew didn’t take as long as we thought and Rugby was looming…Ian kindly moved to something sweet today as I was on stew duty…..


20151018_15360320151018_201349The coconut candy was easy to put together and looked lovely. It has taken a while to harden, and it has retained some of its moisture which am hoping will disperse as we continue to let it dry out. Very tasty and zingy, certainly can taste the lime that has been added – and totally agree about being able to eat any time…


Family Verdict: Very nice and very filling.. the combination of the different meat flavours were lovely… Any vegetables like parsnip, pumpkin and squash etccould be easily added to this dish.  It would make a great mid week dinner as not at all difficult to prepare and cook.  The Coconut candy is lovely, zingy and moorish…However, you wouldn’t want a lot of it…

Have a great evening – looking forward to sharing with you tomorrow….