The first time he took me, I gorged on super-sweet bananas, green figs fresh off the tree, and sun-speckled oranges from my grandparents' small backyard orchard and impressive garden. Sardines, caldo verde (kale and potato soup), blood sausag,e and soft goat cheese graced our plates on a regular basis. Cows teem on the island, and their meat made hamburgers as juicy as an 11-year-old American girl could ask for. I remember once running through the banana trees and turning a corner to find my grandmother calmly sitting and plucking the chickens I had fed that morning. I was getting an education on where food came from years before "farm-to-table" became a stock term for food writers. Economic hardship and physical isolation impose challenges on the Azores, but that same isolation means that offers incredibly unique experiences, too, like slow-cooking big pots of stew with the heat of the volcanic ground, or pulling wild honeysuckle from the side of the road to sip while on a long, meandering drive.