Portuguese Food and Delicacies
You’re Guaranteed To Have The Ultimate Foodie Experience In Portugal.
When visiting Portugal you will find that Portuguese food is the biggest passion. You’ll quickly notice that typical Portuguese food is enjoyed with gusto and once you start eating, you’ll see why.
Staples include bread, cheese, pork, fish and wine. And you’ll also see plenty of spicy grilled chicken, seafood, olives, olive oil, and enough sweet pastries to keep you sampling for weeks.
Probably not the best place to start a diet, typical Portuguese food is rich, hearty, and meant to be enjoyed free from the constraints of a calorie-restricted eating regime.
Here are our top 10 must try Portuguese Dishes…
1) Pasteis de Nata / Pastel de Nata
Known as one of Portugal’s Seven Wonders of Gastronomy the Pastéis de Nata (Custard tart) is one of the country’s most popular sweet treat since before the 18th Century.
The original recipe was owned by the monastery in Lisbon until its closure in 1834. The recipe was then sold to the sugar refinery, whose owners in 1837 opened the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém. The descendants own the business to this day.
Since its opening, the original recipe of the pastel de nata is kept in a secret room. It is the most popular place to buy pastéis de nata and sells over 20,000 pastéis de nata a day. These tasty treats can be found in any cafe or food establishment
2) Bola de Berlim / Bolinha
The Portuguese answer to the doughnut. These ones, of course, feature an egg custard. The crème pâtissière, which fills the centre, is made with a generous amount of egg yolks resulting in a rich and luscious filling. Who loves hearing “Olhà bolinha!” on the beach? We do! Portugal’s number-one beach snack!
3) Sardinhas grelhadas
Sardine season in Portugal is from May to October and is extremely healthy and popular with the Portuguese. The best grilled sardines are deemed to come from the Algarve Region and there are lots of Sardine festivals through out the Algarve and during the first 10 days of August the most popular one is in Portimão.
4) Arroz de Marisco
Seafood Rice is a traditional and delicious dish. Comprising of a variety of shellfish, peppers, wine, tomatoes, herbs and rice this dish was voted a one of the 7 wonders o Portuguese gastronomy in 2011. Unlike the Spanish Paella, this dish isn’t completely reduced and is often described as a thick seafood rice stew.
5) Polvo à lagareiro
If you love octopus, you’ll be glad to know that the Portuguese have perfected the art of making it both flavourful and tender. The octopus is first boiled then baked in the oven with garlic and potatoes. Finished with a healthy dose of olive oil, this Portuguese dish is a real treat. Often served on Christmas Eve.
6) Bacalhau à brás
Salted cod is typical Portuguese food. “Brás” style is among the most popular though, and with good reason. The shredded cod is sautéed in a pan with plenty of onions and straw fried potatoes. Finished with beaten eggs that cook through in the pan, topped with parsley and black olives. Typical Portuguese food at its best.
7) Chicken Piri Piri
Millions of us across the globe adore that iconic spicy piri-piri taste. But did you know, the recipe was originally founded by the Portuguese? Portuguese explorers happened across a very spicy species of chili while exploring the tropical forests of Mozambique.
Its intense, spicy flavor was soon a hallmark of many Portuguese foods. These foods then spread across the Portuguese Empire. Today, piri-piri sauce fuses the chilis with a range of delicious ingredients. These include zesty lemon, peppers, garlic, and paprika, among others. With piri-piri glaze across the charred skin of a smokey chicken leg and a side of crispy fries, you get a zingy, spicy flavor few chicken dishes can match up to.
8) Cataplana de Marisco
Known as Fish and seafood Stew “Cataplana” in Portuguese describes a pan that can open and close like a clam. It also refers to dishes that are cooked in the metal vessel. This Algarve dish includes all you love in a seafood feast! Made with prawns, mussels, clams, fish, tomatoes, onions, olive oil, peppers, and white wine.
9) Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato
Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato (clams in white wine) originates in the Estremadura region. It is simply lots of clams cooked in white wine, oil, coriander, lemon, and garlic. The success of this dish depends on the quality of the clams; therefore, they are chosen carefully. This wonderful dish, usually served with bread to dip in the sauce.
10) Porco Preto
Black Pork is a common kind of domestic pig found in Portugal. This meat is on a whole new level compared to that normal pork. Due to the fat amount, it never gets dry and is more flavourful than any other pork! With many cooking methods, a famous one is Porco Preto com Molho de Alho, (black pork in garlic).