Portugal is one of Europe’s least understood cuisines, fused with influences from its colonial past, it has a fascinating culinary history.
Economical, approachable, simplistically delicious, Portuguese cuisine has a unique style due to its Isolation from the rest of Europe and its proximity to the sea. In this episode Bobby Chinn travels to Portugal to experience the Portuguese love for fish, sweets, and a cuisine where NOTHING is wasted.
Beginning his journey in Lisbon, Bobby starts his culinary adventure by going in search of the famous salted cod shops that hold Portugal’s treasured ‘Bacalhau’, dried and salted cod. Fish in Portugal is of the highest quality.
The long coast that hits the Atlantic Ocean gives way to some of the best seafood in Europe. Though Portuguese cuisine may be simplistic with ingredients, they have a large variety of herbs and spices that came to Europe through Portugal during the Age of Discovery.
Bobby gets his first taste of Portuguese cooking with Chef Cordeiro of Portugal’s ‘Top Chef´, when he learns how to cook Portuguese rice, a dish with a variety of seafood, fresh vegetables, and aromatic herbs and spices.
The spices used in Portuguese cuisine have a long history as the motivation for Portuguese exploration. Bobby visits the tomb of Vasco de Gama where he learns about the famous explorer’s quest for a sea route to India in search of spices.
After their fill of flavourful fish, the Portuguese like to reach for a tasty sweet. Bobby has the same idea when he reaches for a ‘Pasteis de Nata’ a custard tart. Like many pastries in Portugal the two main ingredients in this tart are sugar and egg yolks.
After his exploration of Lisbon, Bobby then travels down to the Southwest coast to try his hand at catching Gooseneck Barnacles. These worm like creatures are a delicacy and take a lot of effort to catch in the waves of the Atlantic sea.
Now in the village of Montemore o Novo located in the beautiful plains of Alentajo, a place full of farms, Bobby starts his day off with a typical farmer’s breakfast: wild pig salame, pork blood sausage, and smoke wild pig ham, a pig lover’s paradise.
Moving inland into the Alentejo, Bobby continues his culinary adventure making the region’s iconic bread dish: Migas. This is peasant food at its best.
Heading to the Beira coast, Bobby stops in the seaside town of Aveiro for some more sweets, and cooks a dessert for the Portuguese National Football team. Then goes on to his final destination, Ilhavo.
In his last challenge of the trip, Bobby enters into a cod cooking competition at a local Cod Festival. Here Bobby is sworn into the Cod brotherhood by the Grand Master, and after tasting some unusual cod delicacies including intestines, heads, and tongues, he finishes by cooking his very own cod dish.
Arroz Malandro (Portugese Seafood Stew)
Tumeric Braised Cod
Portugese Sponge Cake with Almond & Port Mousse (Pao De Lo Ovar)