Portugal, a small country bordering the Atlantic Ocean, over the almost ten centuries of history, has created an extensive gastronomic culture. With the Atlantic and Mediterranean influences as a result of the great navigations, the Portuguese cuisine presents a wide variety that mirrors the landscape, cultural heritage and resources available in each region.
As a Portuguese living in Prague, I have to confess that although I miss the sunsets or the walks on the beach, what I miss most is the Portuguese food. For this reason, and to help you decide which you should try first in case you visit the country, I decided to make a little journey with you through some of the most iconic treats in Portuguese cuisine.
Sardine is one of the most consumed fishes in Portugal, and it’s a typical dish during the big popular festivities like St John in Porto or St Anthony in Lisbon. It’s made on the grill and served with boiled potatoes, peppers and bread.
Feijoada à Transmontana
Originated in Trás-os-Montes, a northern region of Portugal, feijoada à transmontana is one of the most traditional and appreciated dishes around all the country. It’s made with red beans studded with chunks of pork (sometimes including the ears and snout) and vegetables. This dish is a combination of different Portuguese flavours and spices and is a perfect option for a large number of guests.
Cozido à Portuguesa
Cozido à Portuguesa is another dish extremely appreciated around the country. It’s essentially a dish of slowly boiled meats (beef, pork and chicken), different types of sausages, potatoes, cabbages and carrots. Although, depending on the region, the ingredients often change.
Bacalhau à Minhota
Portugal has a great tradition of codfish consumption, having dozens of different dishes. This one has origins in the Minho region, and for me is one of the tastiest ways of eating this fish. Essentially, it’s fried codfish seasoned with pepper and salt, served with fried potatoes, drizzled with a sauce of olive oil, onion, peppers and garlic.
Francesinha or translating to English “little Frenchie” it’s a dish created in Porto during the ’60s by Daniel David da Silva, that returning from France and inspired by the French sandwich croque-monsieur created his version. In a few words, it’s a toasted bread layered with pork/beef, smoked sausage, bacon, ham and topped with a fried egg and cheese. All of those are served with fries and a spicy sauce that differs from place to place.
I could stay here all-day describing Portuguese dishes (we have really many), but I’m getting hungry so it’s better to stop here. Hope you enjoyed this little journey through the Portuguese cuisine, and if you want to try some treats here in Prague, I suggest Oliveira – Wine Tapas Market in Čermákova.
Photo source: Pinterest