Mediterranean flavor earns its essence by three basic elements of the cuisine, the olive, the wheat and the grape.
The Portuguese cuisine has many influences from Mediterranean culture, and from the time of colonial possessions. Its richness and diversity are some of the reasons that made the Portuguese gastronomy a secret so well kept. Its one of our greatest heritages.
A Fresh Sea Breeze
Portugal is one of the major consumers of seafood in Europe and in the World. Our extensive coast provides an almost inexhaustible source of fresh fish that supplies the various markets extended throughout the coastal region. The markets offering a daily show of the freshest products, allow restaurants to fill their menus with quality and freshness, which is difficult to guarantee in other countries.
Served with boiled potatoes and roasted peppers, the sardine is one of the most popular fishes in Portugal. One of our cheapest fishes that, at the same time, is the main element in many gourmet dishes.
Bacalhau is one of the most popular presences in the Portuguese cuisine. People say that “it is always close to the Portuguese soul”. It is present in more than 365 recipes, from cod cakes to simply boiled.
A Little Bit of Olive Oil Please!
When we sit at a typical Portuguese table, we never miss the bread basket and the bottle of olive oil. As for the bread, we’ll talk about it further on, for now, we want to explain why you can’t miss the olive oil on the table of any Portuguese family.
From Alentejo to Trás-os-Montes, from the boiled potatoes to the simple saute that starts any cooking, it’s the most common ingredient and the one without it no one can pass.
No wonder that the bronze medal went to Oliveira da Serra oil on the World’s Best Olive Oils awards in New York.
The union in cuisine
When we speak of simply Portuguese dishes, there is one that is transversal to the whole territory, from the Interior to the Islands. The Cozido. With a variety of beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, turnips, chorizo, this is the basic ingredients, with soft changes in the form of cooking.
Creamy, peppery or smelly?
The ancient life style, based on agriculture and cattle breeding is very present in our gastronomy. Cheese is the perfect example of that.
In 2009 Wine Spectator and Vanity Fair organized a tasting event, in which the PDO Yellow Beira Baixa Cheese was considered the world’s greatest!
A Fork of Rice
About the fish consumption, Portugal only got the silver medal, but the gold medal in the consumption of rice in Europe, is clearly of the Portuguese. You can do the whole meal only with rice dishes. Starting with the Canja de Arroz, passing to the Arroz de Marisco, and finishing with the most traditional Arroz Doce as dessert.
Tascas? The informal restaurant
In each city, we can find that restaurant that is more traditional, that small tasca, that serves the most typical dishes with very nice prices! Mostly currently rehabilitated, many of them have taken the best from the past with all the comfort and elegance of the present.
One more Glass Please!
Already referred as another “Merveilleux“!
Since full-bodied red wines to fruity whites, the variety of vine is an incredible result of the vast wine regions in Portugal.
Get your Forks and Knives ready! Welcome the Meat!
Let’s call it concentrated… This country concentrates all that is good! Because, not only the fish is very well represented by the Portuguese cuisine, but also the meat will undoubtedly make your mouth water.
In Portugal, you can taste the crunchy Leitão da Bairrada, the flavorsome meat of roast kid, the boar, or the deer and hare, in the hunting season.
And for dessert…
When we talk about the Portuguese pastry, the pastéis de nata are always a reference, but Portuguese pastry goes far beyond the simple pastel de nata.
The Portuguese pastry was originated in the convent kitchens. It’s for this reason that many of the sweets are called convent sweets, like the nun’s belly or the sweets of Tentúgal.
Come to Portugal and delight yourself with an amazing gastronomic experience!