15 Sep 2014
I am sad to admit I don’t know much about the history of the Azores, even though I do have a couple books (in English) about them. I have been fascinated, in general, about the influence of the Moors in mainland Portugal. You can see it in the architecture, for sure, but also in the pronunciation of some words (that Arabic-sounding scraping “r”). And there are some phrases like “Ojala,” which means “hopefully” but which almost clearly comes from “Oh, Allah.”
For years I have been fascinated with Moroccan rugs, the cream ones with the criss-cross pattern. It wasn’t until more recently that I realized the pattern is identical to traditional Portuguese rice pudding (arroz doce). I would love to know more about whether there is a connection. Ah…for when I have more time.