There’s so much more to Portuguese cuisine than Baccalaureate (snow fish)! Join us on a food tour around the country as we explore some of Portugal’s most delicious and traditional dishes, from fried pilchard and algebras (Portuguese sausage) to Phapsinhas (ham bread) and internationally famous pastéis de Belém (Belem cake). Grab a seat at the table and get ready to explore the Best Portuguese cuisine:
FAVORITE CLASSIC PORTUGAL
Salted cod, known locally as BacalhauIt is the star ingredient in many local dishes. Apparently, there are 365 ways to cook cod, with a different recipe for each day of the year!
Interesting facts: Almost all cod consumed in Portugal is imported from Norway and Iceland. Salted cod first became popular in Portugal during the Age of Discovery because it was able to make long transatlantic voyages.
Pastéis de Belém
These creamy little cakes are a real treat! Although you can find this delicious dessert in cafes all over Portugal, only Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém yes original recipe and they keep it under lock and key. Traditionally, these cream puffs are served warm, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.
ALHEIRA FROM MIRANDELA
areas of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro known for producing the best meat sausage in the country. Alheiras are usually made with chicken, bread, olive oil, lard, garlic, and paprika, but the recipe tends to vary from region to region.
These sausages are served grilled or baked in the oven with a side dish of vegetables, eggs, or fries.
Interesting facts: Portuguese Jews invented this pork-free sausage during the time of the Inquisition. Pretend to eat a food that is forbidden to Jews, allowing many to disguise themselves as “New Christians”.
Francesinha is a sandwich filled with meat (sausage, ham, steak or grilled pork loin), topped with cheese and a special chili beer sauce. This bread is especially popular around the city Porto.
If you can handle large portions, choose the “special” Francesinha, served with fried eggs and potatoes.
Interesting facts: There are several theories as to the origin of this dish, but if you ask the locals, they will probably tell you that Portuguese immigrant Daniel David Silva created Francesinha after returning from France ( hence the name) – he wanted to create his own French version of Toast using local products.
OVOS Mole FROM AVEIRO
Head to the city of Aveiro to try some Ovos Moles (aka egg yolk candies), desserts with a rich filling! This delicacy comes in different shapes and sizes, but the end result is the same: greasy, delicious, and sweet!
Interesting facts: Ovos Moles was first made in the nineteenth century by the convent nuns of Aveiro.
PORLS FROM BAIRRADA
Bairrada is known for making the best roast pork. In fact, this dish is so popular with the locals that it has been chosen as one of the 7 culinary wonders of Portugal. If you love meat, this dish is definitely for you.
LISBON AND THE VALVE OF TAGUS
When entering Lisbon, try the sardines! Like salted cod, the Portuguese cannot eat enough of this fish. They even have traditional festivals called “pilchardwhere they dance, sing and eat sardines.
If you’re not really sure which dish to choose, you can’t go wrong with grilled sardines.
QUIJADA DE SINTRA
Just a few kilometers from Lisbon, you’ll find the romantic village of Sintra, where they make some of the best desserts in the country. “Queijadas” (delicious pies made with fresh cheese, sugar, eggs, flour and cinnamon) and “Travesseiros” (almond puffs) are two local specialties you must try!
ALENTEJO AND ALGARVE
In Alentejo, pancakes are king! Prepared with coriander, garlic, olive oil, water, salt, eggs and crushed bread, Açorda is a popular local dish often served with boiled fish. Just mouth!
“cataplana” is a typical pot commonly used in Portuguese cuisine to cook fish, seafood, poultry, game and vegetables, and is often compared to the Spanish paella, the pan. Chinese or Moroccan tajine.
And because we wanted to end this food tour on a sweet note, we kept the best for last – the fig “cheese”! This Algarve-made specialty is a dried fruit dessert made with figs, almonds, aspen, fennel, lemon, cocoa and spices (and no cheese!). Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?