A Country small in size,
but giant in flavors
Portuguese gastronomy is one of the major tourist attractions in the country. Its base is in the Atlantic and Mediterranean influences. Fish, bread, olive oil and wine are present in cuisines across the country, giving rise to an infinity of regional dishes from the addition of local, seasonal, fresh and minimally processed ingredients.
In addition, the eating habits of the various peoples who have already lived in Portuguese territory and the products incorporated from the maritime expansion – among others, sugar, spices, beans and potatoes – have created a wealth of flavors recognized all over the world and appreciated by everyone who comes to Portugal.
Truth be told, it is eaten very well in these lands. In big cities or small towns it is easy to find delicious dishes for all tastes and for all budgets. Simple or elaborate sweets, varieties of seafood, delicious wines, abundant fruits and vegetables, all kinds of meats and sausages … Hmmm! It makes your mouth water.
Below is a small sample of the delicacies you can taste in Portugal. A country small in size, but giant in flavors.
Sardines, Cod and Seafood
Fish and seafood are appreciated all over the world and, in a special way, in Portugal. A country that has always had an umbilical relationship with its vast coastline and the first to become a maritime power, Portugal is the largest consumer of fish in Europe and the fourth in the world, with an annual per capita consumption of 60 kg.
Sardines at Brasa, Oleiro or Cascais Fashion? Gomes de Sá Cod, with Cream or Gratin with Vegetables? Shrimp Garlic and Oil? Stuffed squids? Poultry stew? There are countless options to choose from. Come indecisive you too.
Portuguese olive oil is of great quality, is always present at the table and integrates all the dishes. In other times, Portugal was considered the “ugly duckling” among the olive oil producing countries. Lately, it has achieved great results in international competitions and, soon, it should be the biggest reference in modern and efficient olive growing. The region responsible for this achievement is the Alentejo, which concentrates more than 50% of the national production.
For each dish, a wine. And Portugal has many quality wines, to accompany any and every delicacy. Every corner of the country produces excellent wines. The most famous is that of Porto, sweet and strong, which can be enjoyed without any accompaniment – since experts usually refer to it as “meditation wine”.
And there are the table reds from Douro, Alentejo, Lisbon, Setúbal and Dão. The whites of the Algarve and the Vinhos Verdes region. And more delights from Távora, Bairrada, Tejo, Beira, Trás-os-Montes, Azores and Madeira. There are 14 wine regions, where none are less distinguished than the most famous ones. Check out.
Portuguese wines are famous and awarded all over the world. And a place for good wines, for sure, it is a place for good cheeses.
There are so many, from so many regions and so good that it is practically impossible to make a list of “the best”. They can be smooth and creamy, strong and hard, from goat, sheep or cow’s milk, spicy, white or yellow. The best known, ancient and traditional cheese is Serra da Estrela, obtained from raw sheep’s milk.
However, despite the success that Portuguese cheeses make with foreigners, it is very difficult to find these delicacies in other countries. To maintain historical characteristics, it is necessary to be faithful to traditional production methods, which means that many cheeses are not pasteurized, which prevents their export. All the more reason to come to Portugal soon.
Truth be told, it is eaten very well in these lands...
Portuguese sweets have divine roots. Almost all were invented by the nuns in the country’s many convents. After all, what to do with so many egg yolks after the whites were separated to make wafers and to iron the religious clothes? Luckily for us, the sugar from the colonies that came from the colonies from the great navigations was the key to this charade.
Today, in addition to the world famous pastel de nata and rice pudding, delicacies of national reach, each region of the country has a delicious typical sweet: Aveiro soft eggs, Pasteis de Santa Clara (Coimbra), Queijadas and Travesseiro (Sintra), Tentúgal Pastries, Azeitão Pies, Abade de Priscos Pudding (Braga), Brisa do Lis (Leiria), Toucinho do Céu (Trás-os-Montes and Alentejo), Dom Rodrigo (Algarve). Everyone is to eat on their knees.