Influenced by its geographical location and its rich history, Portuguese cuisine is some of the best in the world. We recommend trying a few of our favorite foods from Portugal the next time you visit!
Chouriço is a smoked sausage dish that comes in many forms. You can find chouriço flavored at different intensities, from mild to very spicy. These dishes are traditionally prepared in the fall and winter in a ritual-like fashion. It has a smokier flavor than its Spanish chorizo counterpart but contains less herbs and spices, which allows for the more natural flavor to come out. Chouriço can be eaten hot or cold depending on your preference!
Sardinhas grelhadas is one of the more popular dishes in Portugal, especially during the summer festivals. These sardines are coated in olive oil and salt before they are grilled over charcoal. Most people eat them whole over a slice of bread, which soaks up the flavorful juices, but, as with most famous Portuguese foods, there are other variations to enjoy as well. Some common side dishes include boiled potatoes, salads or vegetables.
Bacalhau, simply put, is dried and salted cod. This method of cooking dates back centuries. The cod is caught and stored in vats of salt to dry it out and prevent it from spoiling. This method allows for it to be shipped around the world. When preparing the cod to eat, it must first be soaked in water to rehydrate the meat. This dish is popularly served à bras (with eggs), fried as fish cakes, served in salads or oven-baked with cabbage and carrots.
Pastel de nata
Pastel de nata is a Portuguese egg tart filled with custard. The dish originates from 16th century Lisbon where nuns made the sweets in their convents, and it is now one of the most famous foods from Portugal. Traditionally served with a cup of coffee, pastel de nata is a delight that you shouldn’t miss.
Cozido à Portuguesa
Cozido à Portuguesa is a slow-boiled, one-pot meal that consists of a cheaper cut of beef, chicken or pork; pig ears and feet; a number of vegetables including cabbage, potatoes, carrots and turnips; and a variety of sausage, including chouriço and morcelo. Some regional variations of cozido à Portuguesa include the addition of mint (from Algarve), pumpkin or sweet potatoes (from Madeira). Fun fact: This dish is cooked near the volcanic hot springs in the Azores islands. It’s a great dish to eat during the winter months to keep you warm.
Peixinhos da horta
Peixinhos da horta are green beans that have been coated in a layer of flour and deep fried in oil. While this dish is traditionally prepared with green beans, you might find other vegetables used, such as sweet potatoes or peppers. The name literally translates to “little fishes from the garden” due to their colorful appearance. The Portuguese introduced this dish to the Japanese in the 16th century, where it served as the inspiration for their staple dish, tempura.
Tripas à moda do Porto
Tripas à moda do Porto is a traditional dish from Porto that is not for the faint of heart. It’s a stew of butter beans, peppery chouriço, pigs ears and calves feet, as well as tripe, the chewy white lining of a cow’s stomach. If you’re about to try this dish, get it with rice on the side! This dish was invented as a way to make use of the leftover tripe after ranchers donated the good portions of their livestock to Henry the Navigator to feed his troops on their journey to Africa in the 15th century.
Bifanas are Portuguese sandwiches consisting of thinly cut pork slices stuffed in a light, crunchy roll. The pork is marinated in garlic, spices and white wine to give it its juicy flavor before being sautéed or fried in lard. Traditionally a snack food, bifanas are good at any time of the day and can be found in most cafés or snack bars. However, if you’re planning a night out on the town, we recommend pairing it with an ice-cold beer!
Have you tried any of these foods from Portugal? Which ones are you excited to try? Share this blog post and let us know your thoughts! #TravelWithTenon
Written by Senior Sales Coordinator, Leah Schilling
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