Portugal can be enjoyed in so many ways: the tourism, the nature and the food. They have amazing food! There are endless regional dishes to choose from.
Portuguese cuisine features fresh seafood in coastal areas, as well as sausage, game, meat, rice, bread, olive oil, vegetables, and bacalhau which is preserved salted cod.
Specialties of the cuisine are mouth-watering savoury dishes including feijoada, which is slow cooked stew with beans and meat, bacalhau prepared in a various ways that is traditionally eaten on Good Friday; arroz de marisco which rice with seafood, cozido à portuguesa which is ahearty meat and vegetable stew, and caldo verde which is soup with kale, potatoes, and sausage.
Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal is also renowned for its good food. They have a sweet tooth as they’re known for their sugarcane, molasses, and honey based sweets. The Bolo de Mel is a sweet honey cake, considered to be the region’s oldest cake.
They also have savoury tasting specialty in the form of Espetada which is beef rubbed with seasonings and marinated in Madeira wine, vinegar and olive oil and grilled. In the south of Portugal there are many almond and citrus groves (a legacy of the Moors).
Wheat, grapes, and other crops are cultivated throughout the country. Rice is a common side dish, and Portuguese bread, often freshly baked, is served at nearly every meal.
Staying loyal to their love of savoury, Portugal embraces their rich pastry tradition. Some of the tastiest treats to be found include the famous egg tarts of Lisbon (pastéis de Belém). Other sweets to seek out include the delicate ovos moles from Aveiro and queijadas de Sintra which is a small cheese cakes from Sintra.
Portugal has many wine regions with each producing unique and excellent wines. From the Vinho Verde DOC of the verdant north west, to the hillside cultivated vines of the Douro Valley (where Port wine is produced), to the island of Madeira with its famed fortified wine and the challenging but fruitful volcanic soils of the Azores, wine is an important part of the Portuguese culinary compendium.
Portugal has many cuisines that can cater to your savoury and sweet tooth. They have wonderful dishes for you to choose from and enjoy.
Written by Ian Cross, edited by Kaz Bosali