THE AZORES

The Day - Sound & Country - - FRONT PAGE -

Mod­ern sailors head­ing south from New Eng­land, bound for South Amer­ica and Cape Horn— the route of all East Coast, Pa­cific-bound ships be­fore the open­ing of the Panama Canal — typ­i­cally make their first land­falls in Ber­muda or the Caribbean. But ac­cord­ing to Betsy Beach, an in­ter­preter at the Mys­tic Sea­port who spe­cial­izes in food his­tory, whale ships first headed east, call­ing at Por­tu­gal’s Azores, or the Cape Verde is­lands, be­fore head­ing south to the Horn or con­tin­u­ing east, to the Cape of Good Hope.

“This was where you would lose crew, gain crew, and pro­vi­sion with lots of re­ally nice, fresh food,” said Beach.

Nel­son Ha­ley, a har­pooner on board theMor­gan, may have had the courage to look squarely into mon­strous eyes of spermwhales on the high seas, but he and his ship­mates cow­ered at the sheer amount of gar­lic served up in a dish of stew they tried dur­ing their first lib­erty call in Fayal, Azores, ac­cord­ing to “Whale Hunt: The Nar­ra­tive of a Voy­age by Nel­son C. Ha­ley, Har­pooner in the Ship CharlesW. Mor­gan, 1849-1853” (pub­lished by the Sea­port 1948).

“First one then an­other stopped at the first mouth­ful,” he re­ported. The pro­pri­etor brought round a sec­ond, toned-down batch, and wisely filled and re-filled their wine glasses with a lib­eral hand, a ges­ture which Ha­ley re­called helped them “worry down” the gar­licky stew.

Oliver got the fol­low­ing recipe from Rose Hirsch, daugh­ter ofMaria Goulart Ca­ma­cho, who was born in Fayal in 1901 and em­i­grated to Stonington in 1918. Feel free to add as much gar­lic as you can stand!

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