Meet Fernanda and Julio from Cria

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Where should you go on your Solo Portugal Trip?

Porto Covo, Portugal!

Are you ready for dramatic views, beautiful beaches, and a gorgeous walk along the Costa Vicentina? Porto Covo is a small fishing village with white-washed houses that sit nestled atop a hill overlooking the raging Atlantic Ocean on the Alentejo western coast.

If you go off-season, you will get a taste of “old Portugal” and what it is like to live in a quiet village by the sea. It’s gorgeous!

Fernanda and Julio

Fernanda and Julio

Fernanda and Julio left the corporate world in Rio de Janeiro and moved to Petropolis to open a bakery next to their parent’s restaurant, the Alvorada.

One of their vendors insisted that they meet the baker at the Slow Bakery in Rio and try out their fabulous bread. After a few nudges from the vendor, they went down to Rio to visit the bakery and were highly impressed with its delicious sourdough. Julio decided to stay in Rio to learn more about sourdough bread and fell in love with the process.

Cria Padaria

That is how their sourdough adventures began.

Eventually, Fernanda and Julio moved to Portugal and opened Cria, the artisan bakery in Cascais. Fernanda said it was a challenge to sell sourdough in Portugal because the Portuguese did not know it.

“Well,” said Fernanda, “they thought that they didn’t know sourdough bread until I told them how we made it. They were thrilled to find out that our sourdough bread was very similar to how their grandparents made bread. We only use three ingredients: Water, flour, and salt. Just like their grandparents! And, we use Portuguese heritage flour.”

Cria Bakery thrived. They sold their bread to the restaurants, cafes, and hotels in Lisbon. People were learning more about sourdough bread, and they liked it. Every once in a while, they sold bread locally, but they aimed to work with commerce.

When the pandemic hit Portugal, the country went into lockdown, and they could not sell their bread in Lisbon anymore.

Fernanda said that they were fortunate that many people had heard about their bakery, and there were huge lines of people wanting to buy bread and flour during the first few days of the lockdown. They re-organized their business, and now they sell directly to customers.

focaccia, cria padaria

I was so happy to find this bakery when I moved to Estoril! I have bought several types of bread, and the other day I ate their focaccia with their parent’s tomato chutney. Delicious!

Their bakery also sells other artisan goodies.


Read more about Cria Artesanal’s bread

Links for you

Do you want to learn more about heritage flour, sourdough, slow fermentation and baking bread check out Bread Matters and Real Bread Campaign.

Andrew Whitley founded the Real Bread Campaign to promote a more healthier bread.

Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

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