23rd August, 2005 The sachet said Portuguese Chicken Seasoning. But where was I to get a Portuguese chicken? View large

Dear Sir,

Somewhat magically, a trial sachet of your Portuguese Chicken Seasoning appeared in my letterbox recently. Thank you.

“Wacko! ” said I at the time. “Now what I need is a Portuguese chicken. ”

You would be surprised how thin on the ground Portuguese Chickens are around here. The lady at the supermarket was sympathetic but unhelpful. The local butcher offered Scotch fillet as his contribution to ethnic eating in Burwood but, alas, no Portuguese chicken.

The pet shop was singularly unhelpful and quite unreasonably reluctant to sell me anything destined for the barbeque. Even a Siberian hamster; initially the assistant swore it was renowned in the Azores as “Lisbon mock chook” but, on hearing my reasons to purchase the surprisingly unfeathered creature, he recanted.

A call to Quarantine exploring the possibility of a little entrepreneurship in filling a recently discovered niche in the market with pedigree imported Iberian fowl seemed to cause a flutter out of proportion to the size of the bird.

So, what to do? I went back to the butcher and he said that I was in luck, he had found some Portuguese Chicken sausages. I took them home, rolled them in the spices, threw them on the barbeque and downed them with half a tankard of my best flagon port.

Tasted a bit like pork.

Yours slightly ruffled,

J Cosmo Newbery.