Wednesday, January 22, 2020

SearchResearch Challenge (1/22/20): Where is this place? Where do the people live?

Every so often a mystery appears... 

... and if you're a SearchResearcher, you have to ask What's going on here?  

Of course, that led us to a tough Challenge last time.  So THIS time, let's follow up with a somewhat simpler set of Challenges.  

Here's what happened to prompt this week's Challenge...  

As I was flying back to North America from southern Europe, I happened to look out the window when we were in the middle of the Atlantic. 

Down below I saw a few islands glinting greenly on the  sea.  Really?  What could be down there?  It was kind of a surprise because it's often cloudy--but I spotted a few islands in the blue.  

Here's where I was at--in the exact center of this image (not a photo, but a satellite composite from Google Earth).  I could see islands below, but didn't know what they were.  Unfortunately, the in-flight tracking system available to the passengers wasn't working on that flight. 

I figured it out later, but I thought this would make a nice Challenge for today.  

1.  From this blue satellite image, can you figure out what island archipelago I was flying over?  

2.  After I found out what the islands are, I did a bit of reading and found that a favorite dish is cozido, which has an unusual method of cooking.  What is that cooking method?  Are there other countries that also cook with this unusual method?  

3. This island group is pretty small, but the people are famous around the world.  It might seem an obvious question, but where do most people from these islands live?  

Have fun with these.  It shouldn't take long, and I found the answers pretty surprising.  

Be sure to let us know how you found out.  

Search on!  


  1. After many months of trying to post a comment to the many challenges, I'm hoping that this one actually works.

    I started with question 2 and narrowed down the ocean search a bit. I looked for the 3 tipped star shape to locate and confirm where it was.

    Then I went back to my first query and added that place to find the special cooking method.

    For the last question, I'm relying on the emigration information from Wikipedia, as I'm excited to see if this comment goes through.

    Almost forgot here is my search path

  2. Replies
    1. Well, in fact I knew instantly the answers to all three questions. :)

      As several other readers/contributors have already found, "cozido" is the generic term for the Portuguese dish (it's in fact known here as "cozido à Portuguesa", ie "Portuguese stew", because "cozido" is also an adjective meaning simply "boiled"); "cozido das Furnas", made in and onlyl in Furnas, São Miguel, is indeed a specialty, not only for being cooked underground but specifically for smelling like hydrogen sulfide and tasting accordingly. Let me describe this odor with the help of Wikipedia: "odor of rotten eggs and contributes to the odor of flatulence." Do not be deterred by my description of "tasting accordingly" though, for this is in fact an amazing sensorial experience, similar to the dissonance you have when you experience the weird but wonderful smell and taste of truffles, or that of oysters for those who like them, for example. I can't refrain from recommending "cozido das Furnas" if you ever visit the island of São Miguel!

    2. Atlantis if you search the image through Google Image Search, in fact. But accurately Azores if you instead Bing or Yandex it.

  3. I did a quick search using "cozido" as a clue. I only knew before the Challenge the cocido madrileño.

    My searches started with Q2 becacuse the world could give me the answer.

    I tried [cozido dish islands]

    The Azorean Cozido – An Island Dish

    On the misty Azores archipelago, locals dine on a totally unique dish: cozido das Furnas, a meat stew buried underground and cooked using natural heat.

    The Cozido cooking method is underground with the help of heat from active volcanoes. I wonder now, Dr. Russell. Your Q2 is cooking with help of volcanoes or cooking underground. If the latest, in Mexico, as well as in Hawaii and New Zealand if I remember well cook food underground. I think you asking the first, so I need to SRS. I also trying to remember which country in Europe cooks similar. You left food (with geothermal heat) and a day later the dish is ready. I saw this on a TV Show

    With [geothermal heat cooking dishes]

    Why Cook Over an Icelandic Geyser? Because You Can

    The land of fire and ice – Geothermal cooking and hot spring delights Iceland

    Q1: Autonomous Region of the Azores (Região Autónoma dos Açores) and also learned that there are two autonomous regions: Azores and Madeira ( I know about this because it is where Cristiano Ronaldo was born)

    I'm sure RR Luis Miguel will have lots of fun and also will be with more data and knowledge to share on this Challenge

    1. Having a lot of fun indeed. :)

      The main knowledge I may add is that, contrary to what I believed and already wrote here (my answer to remmij), I actually did NOT know the answer to the 3rd question off hand.

      I have found some recent population and emigration data, and my immediate thought ("Where do most people from the Azores live? The USA, specifically Massachussets!") is not correct today.

    2. Interesting... I didn't try that. Now I have to check it! Thanks for the pointer.

    3. Searched with [Azoreans inmigration]

      Azorean Diaspora Can’t Resist the Powerful Pull of Home Diaspora was a new word for me.

      Also interesting the links about Azorean Emigration and Immigration given by Azorean government.

      Then tried with [Azores unknown fact]

      There are a lot of links with less and more facts. All of them very interesting.
      An example

      *Each of three branches of its government is located on a different island.

      *When measured from their base at the bottom of the ocean to their peaks, the Azores are actually some of the tallest mountains on the planet.

      *Faial Island is known as the “blue island” due to the vast number of hydrangeas present.

      *The Azores were detailed on a The Catalan Atlas drawn and written in 1375, but the islands were officially “discovered” in in 1431 by Gonçalo Velho Cabral. São Miguel was first settled in 1444, under the command of Cabral – at the site of modern-day Povoação.

      *The United States maintains a NATO air base on the island of Terceira.

      With those facts, searched for more information about [The Catalan Atlas] also new for me and [ Hydrangeas Azores]

      Why hydrangeas and the Azores are inextricably linked

      Interesting: "The soil on this island is acidic with a pH value of 5.5 to 5.2, and it's high in aluminum — both of which make the flowers extra blue." Also a Lilac island.

      "While hydrangeas aren't native to the Azores, historians believe the plant arrived in the U.S. courtesy of immigrants from the Azores. In the mid-1900s, nearly a quarter of a million Azoreans (many of them fishermen) came to U.S."

      I'm not sure this is true (Azores and hydrangeas in the U.S., so searched [Hydrangeas history in the united states and also [Hydrangeas history]

      First result says: "The hydrangea was first cultivated in Japan, but ancient hydrangea fossils dating back to 40-65 million years ago have been discovered in North America." Source:Blog

      Hydrangeas in North America

      "Documents show that in 1792, George Washington planted a native hydrangea, H. arborescens, on the bowling green at Mount Vernon...Who was William Bartram? He was the son of John Bartram, and together, the Bartrams are remembered as perhaps the earliest and greatest American naturalists and botanists.

      Just with this information, I'm sure you, Dr. Russell, will have more fun and things to read and learn about Hydrangeas (Hortencia in Spanish) and maybe get more ideas for more future SRS Challenges.

    4. Some loose considerations:

      "[…] a Luso-American, or a Portuguese-American, is not a Portuguese person, but an American with Portuguese
      ethnicity." ("An Immigrant in America Yes, But Not an Emigrant in My Own Country!", in New and Old Routes of Portuguese Emigration, p. 259.)

      Population born in Portugal and living in the USA, 2018: 178,500. (Emigração Portuguesa: Relatório Estatístico 2019, chart 2.37, p. 254.)

      Some other links that might be of interest:

      Observatório da Emigração (in English and Portuguese)
      Portuguese Emigration Factbook 2018
      OEm Estados Unidos da América
      Envelhecimento na RAA e na diáspora
      Nº de Emigrantes açorianos, por destino e por ano (1960-2018)

  4. 1) This was easy. There are not that many islands in the Mid-Atlantic - especially that would be flown over from Europe to the USA. The Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores and these are the most likely. A quick check on Google Maps showed this was the location.

    2) Cozido is a slow-cooked stew made of offal type meat, beans, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and other vegetables served as a meal in one - soup first, then beans and potatoes and lastly meat and veg. It's a national dish of Portugal (source Wikipedia) and also available in Portuguese speaking nations such as Brazil and Angola. A similar dish - Cocido - is common for Spanish speaking nations. The long-cooking stew is also common among Orthodox Jews who don't cook on the Sabbath. Although some differences (e.g. use of Pork) exist the slow-cooking is similar - as are beans, carrots, meat and potatoes and a similar spice (paprika for the Jewish Cholent) and a red pepper paste for Cozido. (Didn't need to search for Cholent. Just reading about Cozido made me hungry for Cholent).

    3) The most populous island is the largest, São Miguel (56%) followed by Terceira (23%) - the third largest.

    There's a list of famous Azoreans at
    There are also lists of famous visitors - which included Mark Twain who described his visit in "The Innocents Abroad".

    I thought the most interesting item was the links to Columbus. He stopped off on the way back (and apparently some of his crew were detained as suspect pirates). Columbus was also the brother-in-law of a governor of Graciosa island in the Azores (who was married to Columbus's wife's sister). There are rumours he was told about (possibly in person in an earlier visit) of driftwood that floated into the Azores from the West - indicating land further West, and even two non-European bodies that were washed ashore on Flores island. and Apparently this was one reason why Columbus presumed that India was on the other side of the ocean, and he used it to justify funding for his trip that discovered America.

    1. This will teach me not to read full articles. Looking at other answers, I realised the unusual cooking technique wasn't the slow cooking (which I recognise is not THAT unusual - although still not standard). It was using volcanic heat to cook the food. So to satisfy my curiosity I went back and did searches for volcano cooking, geothermal cooking - and also cooking underground. Using volcanos and geothermal sources aren't common - as accessible volcanos and safe access to geysers, etc. aren't common. However there is a restaurant in Lanzarote - in the Canary Islands - that specialises in using volcanic heat. - and many other references and reviews.

      There's a restaurant in Iceland that seems similar - and another described here with more on the tradition of cooking bread this way.

      Apart from that it's mostly one-off daredevils rather than regular custom. In fact suggestions on how to cook with lava in Hawaii at!00vuvaC4rjAmTofq1yOkebaqK838rjnanseqIgCBudvKOe20anEYa2mTQAdoebebvobrTrnan2 conclude with why this would not be a regular tradition.

      There is a cooking method being used in Uganda using volcanic rocks - to save use of wood. However that won't count as the rocks are just heated up in the normal sort of way - they retain heat.

      So underground cooking. That's more common. There's a Rajastani, India recipe for lamb that traditionally was cooked in underground ovens. There's also a restaurant in Mexico that uses an oven built in the earth -
      Cooking underground was also a native Australian (Aborigine) technique:

  5. 1. Islands (plural) on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, went to Google Earth rotate to the Ridge and traced along until I found some islands: Azores.

    2. Google search on "cozido" to Wikipedia "cocido": "a traditional stew eaten as a main dish in Spain, Portugal, Brazil and other Hispanophone and Lusophone countries." "The basic method of preparation involves slow cooking over a low heat." Nothing that unusual, except for "In São Miguel Island, Açores, meaty cozido known as cozido das Furnas is cooked underground for four to five hours, with the natural heat from the volcanic activities." Which is pretty awesome.

    3. Google search on "Azores emigration" then reviewed that section on the Wikipedia article on the Azores. Following up on the footnotes, found Santos, Azoreans to California: A History of Migration and Settlement (1995) at The emigration discussion in Section III implies that most emigrants from the Azores came to the United States, unlike mainland Portuguese who largely stayed in Europe.


  6. Thats The Azores. Portuguese: Região Autónoma dos Açores. Found by Goo Earth and buzzing over to where it says North Atlantic Ocean in both images. Ha!

    Do most Azoreans live live on the islands or other places. So [azorean diaspora] leads to these useful sites.

    In which we learn: It is has been estimated that the Azorean population in the diaspora is three times larger than the resident population on the islands estimated at 250,000. The majority of the Azoreans living outside the archipelago have settled in mainland Portugal, the United States, Canada and Brazil.
    According to the Canadian 2011 Census, there were 429,850 Canadians who claimed full or partial Portuguese ancestry. Most Portuguese Canadians are of Azorean descent living in Ontario 282,865 (69%), followed by Quebec 57,445 (14%) and British Columbia 34,660 (8%)
    We began our journey on San Miguel, largest of the islands. There are about a quarter of a million people in all the Azores and nearly half of them live here [on San Miguel]. And of those, 63,000 live in its capital city Ponta Delgado

    Fresnostatenews form 2019 has this tidbit:
    Previous Next
    The Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute will present a lecture “Azorean Diaspora, the Migration to the Americas” by Paulo César Câmara Teves, the director of Azorean communities for the Azores government. The community is invited to the free event at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at the University Business Center.ssed it.

    Why have so many people left the islands? "Island Diaries" [I always want to call it Island Dairies" tv show visited there recently and the explanation is that there is virtually no opportunity for advancement or even employment. So they follow the job/school lines.

    What do they eat at home in Azores or Canada: Cozido à portuguesa or Portuguese boiled dinner is a type of cozido, traditional Portuguese stew. Numerous regional variations exist throughout Portugal. Just a meat stew. Loads of authentic type recipes available you know where. Youtube for one. However .. . The secret being the sulfer infused volcanic water swirling aroung the pot.

    I can think of many places where this could be cooked several in western Canada; and Japan; and New Zealand; Indonesis, Italy, of course Iceland, and Jellystone Park in your country. Cheers jon tu

  7. It was great having an easy challenge! The way Anne and I worked this was to start with the dish you mentioned. We found out it was Portuguese so then we searched for Portugual islands atlantic which gave us the answer of the Azores. To find the answer to the last question we read the Wikipedia entry on the Azores. We found that many people from the Azores settled in Mass and Rhode Island. We think they went there originally because of the fishing industry. Some of those people eventually moved west and some settled in Hawaii and others in northern California. Sounds like a beautiful place. Neither Anne nor I knew of the connection to Rhode Island and Mass.