De La Espada Factory Canteen

Enlarge image View image of De La Espada Factory Canteen

Portugal is an extraordinarily warm place: there is a real sense of community, and this is reflected in the De La Espada factory canteen. Here, meals are cooked over a wood-burning stove using fresh ingredients, the produce from a neighbour’s plot of land just 200 metres from the factory door— one of the benefits of being in a rural area. Served at long communal tables, lunch always starts with generous pots of soup and locally made bread rolls, before platters overflowing with food are placed on the table, usually consisting of meat, vegetables and potatoes, though on some days, like the one pictured here, traditional Portuguese dish, Bacalhau à Bras is served. This is family style cooking, and like all the best family meals, the platters seem to never empty: as long as you keep eating, the food gets replenished. Fresh fruit follows, then a cup of espresso to finish. This is where our craftspeople go to relax and recharge, to be together and enjoy that most warming of rituals: a shared meal.

Photo credit: Yuki Sugiura