My husband grew up in a part of New Jersey that was primarily very nice Italian and Portuguese families. He has wonderful memories of the neighborhood. His best friend from childhood, who he is still friend with now, is Portuguese. He’s also been able to maintain relationships with some of the girls from the neighborhood, although he swears that while growing up they wouldn’t give him the time of day. He was in the “friend” category of guys, not someone they’d think about as a potential beau. Hmmm…..I find this very hard to believe, especially since I find him quite attractive. He says he’s glad that I didn’t know him during the awkward/nerdy years. I guess we all have those, right?
I’ve met and socialized with some of his old neighborhood friends whom he keeps in touch with. It hasn’t been often as all are married with children and are extremely busy. However, about a year or so ago, we were invited to one of his friend’s homes for dinner while his parents were also here visiting from Portugal. Let me tell you….YUUUUUUMMMMEEEEE! I really enjoyed the food. One dish in particular stuck with me and it was the lovely fruit salad served along with the other desserts. I’d never tasted fruit salad like that and ended up having about 3 small bowls of it.
A few weeks later, I was still thinking of that fruit salad and had Frank reach out to his friend’s wife to ask her mother-in-law for the recipe. I know…I know….I couldn’t stop thinking about fruit salad? I was told that it’s just fruit with a little sugar and some sweet wine. That’s all I got. Needless to say, I searched for Portuguese fruit salads everywhere, but they really didn’t say anything different from what I’d been told. So, here it is…..fruit, a sprinkling of sugar, a drizzle of Madeira wine. Prepare it at least two hours before serving so that the flavors can combine and when serving, scoop down to the bottom so any fruit and wine juices go into each serving. That’s it and it’s deeelish. I tried to use the same fruit that I’d had that night, except the grapes because they seemed kinda mushy at the store. Hate mushy grapes! Now that I think about it, she also used bananas in her salad which I’ll add the next time too. I used apples, mangos, cherries, oranges and strawberries. I say use whatever you want though. I’m sure it will all be good.
Here’s the printable.
- Large bowl of your favorite fruit, cut up into same sized pieces
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. sugar
- ¼ to ½ cups of Madeira wine
- Cut up your fruit into same sized pieces. (I used 2 apples, 1 orange, 1 mango, 1 small bag of cherries, 1 container of strawberries)
- Sprinkle on the sugar and gently stir the fruit.
- Drizzle on the wine and stir the fruit again.
- Let the fruit sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving, turning the fruit every 30 minutes.