Friday, 31 July 2009

Bogging Juice

Although keenly priced in the conselho (local authority area) of Lajes das Flores at €4.25 a year for an unlimited supply, I don't like drinking tap water. Not because I think it's going to poison me or anything (Carol drinks the stuff by the bath-full with no ill effects), it's just I prefer to drink something else. In this very hot weather, it's important to have something cold in the fridge. I do like sparkling mineral water as long as it's not too - well, "minerally" - and Agua Castello fits this bill admirably:-

(Looking at that picture, I've just noticed it has a gratuitous apostrophe before the A of Agua so presumably it must be pronounced "Huh!-Ag-wa Ca-stello".)

Anyway, the problem with 'Agua Castello is price: even in the cheapest shop in Santa Cruz, each of these wee 25cl bottles is €0.35 bringing it in at a corking €1.40 per litre (considerably more expensive than petrol or even our dry white wine of choice I can tell you) so 'Agua Castello is a luxury and not for common or garden thirst-slaking.

As 'AC is the cheapest mineral water on the market, what was required was some plain ordinary juice - ginger, as it's called in the west of Scotland. So, we were down in the village shop yesterday afternoon perusing the juice shelf and I was just about to pick up a bottle of passionfruit flavoured Sumol (product placed to death in our fave Portuguese soap opera, Morangos com Açucar) at €1.75 for 2 litres when my eye alighted on a bottle of Unipreço (the Portuguese equivalent of Aldi or Lidl) pêssego (peach) flavoured Iced Tea more competitively priced at €0.95 for 2 litres: sold.

At this point, allow me a digression acerca de that peculiarly American drink, iced tea, which we Brits are not really familiar with at all. It reminds me of the funniest query I ever read on a Tripadvisor forum: "My husband and I will be touring Scotland, England for a day this fall and what we want to know is, if you go into a diner in Edinburgh [you can just hear her pronouncing it "Edin-boe-roe"] or Glasgow [rhyming with cow] and the waiter puts a pitcher of iced tea on the table, is it free or are you expected to pay for it and, if so, is it acceptable to say you don't want it?" I kid you not. I don't know what I found more hilarious: the notion of pitchers of iced tea in a "diner" in Edin-boe-roe or that anything might be free in Scotland!

Anyway, back in Fajã Grande, at the counter Linda the padroa says "Yeugh! You're not buying that are you? It's just coloured water and a load of E-numbers, you know!" Undeterred, the purchase is made but right there on the spot Carol immediately christens Unipreço pêssego flavoured Iced Tea "bogging juice" - talk about not giving something a chance! Anyway, we got it home and checked the ingredients on the back:-

Now you don't have to be an emeritus professor of Luso-Iberian Linguistics to tell that the only natural ingredient there is the Água. The last line translates as "Contains a source of fenilalanina". When I googled that, all I got was a Wikipedia page in Spanish which contained such unreassuring sounding words as neurotóxico and hormona adrenocorticotrópica - is drinking bogging juice going to make me grow breasts? And it doesn't exactly look very wholesome either: as you can see from the picture below, it's the colour of dark ...

... whisky (what did you think I meant?) But in actual fact, when it's cold enough it tastes just fine: more apple than peach, I would say, but not a problem. So, with the cold beverages having been taken care of, it was time for another of our classic lunches: tinned frankfurters (Nobre is the brand of choice) on a bun with Dijon mustard:-

All, of course, washed down with lashings of bogging juice.


Kathie said...

I'm with Carol on this one -- I always drink the tap water in the Azores, as well as at home, to no ill effect! BTW, I'm one American who loathes iced tea, but give me a hot cuppa with milk and sugar any day!

RE 'A versus Á in 'Agua Castello: Problems have occurred -- especially in the pre-computer era, which is when I assume 'Agua Castello's logo was designed -- with trying to typeset diacritical marks on capital letters in Portuguese. To wit:

Two colleagues and I are franticallly finishing up translating into English for publication in mid-September (eek!) a slender volume titled "A presença portuguesa na Califórnia" by the esteemed scholar Dr. Eduardo Mayone Dias, Professor Emeritus of Portuguese at the University of California-Los Angeles [UCLA]. One tiny section that's being consigned to the figurative cutting room floor has to do with occasionally embarrassing typesetting results of a rather sophomoric nature that have become the stuff of urban legend. Herewith the banished ¶¶ (on pp. 74-75 in original), translated into English, with explicatory notes:

"Deficiencies in the preparation of many of the journalists and technical shortcomings have led to bizarre situations that have now come to form a notorious part of the anecdotal body of immigration. Impropriety of expression has occasionally caused comical effects. In the 1940s the 'Jornal Português' announced a cooperative of chicken farmers, exhorting readers to prefer 'os ovos dos seus membros' (in this context meaning our members' testicles, not their eggs). Some twenty years later a news story began thusly: 'Um indivíduo que estava numa tasca a empinar copos...' (should have said an individual who was in a tavern hoisting 'um copo,' i.e., a single beverage glass, not 'copos,' in the plural, implying he was getting drunk rather than having a single sociable drink).

"Typographical errors, which obviously also make their ignominious presence felt in high prestige periodicals, from time to time lend a note of unintentional humor to these pages, for example when it was announced that a recently formed political party was not planning to 'hospitalizar' (hospitalize) the President of the Republic (when the intended meaning was not to extend hospitality to him).

"More jolting than that, however, has been the absence of some diacritical marks in capital letters, a problem with which the "Jornal Português," produced by an English-language printer, struggled for many years. Readers less attentive to the lack of a cedilla on the title page were informed of the grant by Germany to Portugal of a certain number of 'AVIÕES DE CACA' (airplanes made of excrement) rather than 'AVIÕES DE CAÇA' (fighter planes). Or even when the lack of a tilde is noted in the word 'mamas' (breasts) instead of 'mamãs' (mothers)."

Kathie said...

P.S. If you don't care to drink maracujã-flavored Sumol on general principles, there's always Kima -- do you get that brand on Flores? I frequently drink it in the Azores because I figure I could've saved a ton of money by staying home if I just wanted to drink American soft drinks (like Coca Cola) there!

Neil King said...

The Portuguese should adopt the French convention which is simply to omit the accents on capitals on the basis that the context usually makes it clear whether fighter plane or excrement plane is intended.

Yes we have Kima here - Kimatherapy, I call it.

Kathie said...

Hmmm, if we dropped our diacritics, we wouldn't be Portuguese any more, now would we?

Are you going down to Fazenda das Lajes for their festa this weekend? If so, please say "Olá" to Gabriela for me.

Gabriela said...

Olá Kathie!

Kathie said...

Olá, Gabriela! Bemvinda ao blogue dos reformados advogados escosseses em Fajã Grande. Que algum dia tu e Carol/Neil conheçam-se...

Gabriela said...

"escoceses na Fajã Grande" pois não?

Kathie said...

Oh, Gabriela -- my bad! Tens toda a razão. Claro que deve ser "advogados ecoceses".

Carol & Neil, Two years ago I collaborated with Florentina Sandy Ventura on the English translations for a bilingual book of poems about Flores -- "ILHA," by Gabriela, with photos by Kristie McLean -- that had its launching at Lajes das Flores' 2007 Festa do Emigrante. Unfortunately I was unable to be there but, thanks to Gabriela's blogging of the event, I was able to enjoy it vicariously.

You can read (in my English translation) re the occasion at:

Ada said...

Ada from Newcastle luvs yer blog.
A cannit wait ter read more!
Haway the lads!

Neil King said...

What does moss pie taste like Kathie? Sounds almost as appetising as bogging juice!

Kathie said...

I've never to my knowledge even laid eyes on moss fritters. But Gabriela has blogged that she's been known to make them at her home in Fazenda das Lajes on special occasions, since they're part of Flores' "património cultural." So, should you happen to strike up her acquaintance and she then someday invites you over for lunch, it's possible she'd whip up a batch for you. Unless, of course, you suddenly recall your old allergy to bryophytes...

Me? I'd rather just have buttermilk flapjacks topped with real butter (and pure maple syrup from just two counties to the east of us), or potato latkes with huge dollops of sour cream, thankyouverymuch.

Respectfully, Your amiga the Picky Eater.