Lusito Land – aromas and sounds of Portugal part1

Get ready for a sensory overload!

The Lusito Land Festival is the primary fundraiser for the Lusito Portuguese Association for the Challenged. 100% of all funds raised from the Lusito Land Festival go directly into the maintenance and building of the Lusito School for the Challenged in the south of Johannesburg. Currently, the school cares for individuals with Cerebral Palsy, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury and Down’s Syndrome.
For more information, please visit the Lusito Association website at

The Lusito Land Festival takes place every year during the Easter period and runs for about a week.
I went to this festival for the first time about 8 years ago and I have wanted to go back every year since. Something else always came up, but this year we happened to stay home for Easter and thought we would go and indulge. When I say indulge, I mean – we feel like stuffed pigs when we return home. This year because of all the rain, the grounds were like a ‘mud pit’. So we were literally as happy as pigs in …well, MUD. I remember making comments about the fashion trends when we parked the car and everyone walking past was wearing their rain boots. When we approached the gate…I could see why. I wish I had a brought a pair of my own. Nonetheless, it didn’t stop anybody from joining the festivities.

The aroma of grilled sardines and piri-piri chicken wafted through the air and as if hypnotised by it, we followed the aroma straight into the heart of fine Portuguese ‘street food’ so to speak.

The variety of dishes was vast: from the infamous Portuguese “prego” steak roll to a mix of popular Brazilian dishes.
Where to start?

The Espetadas looked so succulent and inviting! For those who are not familiar with these….they are barbequed mega-sized beef skewers.

The sardines were beckoning…
I love freshly grilled sardines with bread.

The prawns….no words!

Also worth a mention is the Piri-Piri Chicken of Mocambiquan origin, also known as Galinha a Cafreal. The simplicity of the marinades is what makes it so special, allowing the natural flavours of the meat to be the stars.
Speaking of stars…while all this delirium of intoxicating aromas was going on, the centrally located stage was graced with non-stop entertainment; Portuguese folk dancing, singers, Latin ballroom dancing and popular South African band, Prime Circle were some of the highlights of the day. I also enjoyed The Muses – an all female rock string quartet. Nothing like good music and good food to add to the memory collection!

Read more… in part 2


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