According to a report presented by CNN, "Portugal is the best kept foodie secret in Europe" and it gives 10 reasons proving it. Let’s dive in to Portuguese cuisine and find out why this country is such a gastronomical delight.
- Cheese: Serra da Estrela Cheese, Beira Baixa Yellow Cheese, São Jorge Island Cheese, the Terrincho of Trás-os-Montes... the list of quality cheese made in Portugal goes on and on.
- Each cheese, and indeed each Portuguese meal, should be accompanied by either port wine or red wine, delicate specialties made locally according to ancient traditions.
- Fish: The seafood caught off the Portuguese coast is the best in the world. There are fantastic Portuguese markets where you can buy all kinds of fresh fish, or you can get some magnificent barbecue-grilled sea bass or other less popular and unique fish from some of these amazing Portuguese restaurants: São Roque, in Lagos; Restinga, in Alvor; Furnas, in Ericeira; Azenhas do Mar or Adraga Restaurant in Sintra; Ribamar, in Sesimbra; or Dock of Cavacas, in Madeira.
- The olive oil, as in any southern European country, is delicious, and can be used in any dish.
- Portuguese stew is another dish that CNN speaks highly of, with various different types: the stews in the Algarve, with grain and mint; the Alentejo ones with lamb; soft Madeira stews, with sweet potatoes; or the Furnas speciality stew, cooked with natural vapours by putting the put under the ground.
- Cod is Portugal’s biggest love affair, with hundreds of recipes being common all over the country. The best way of cooking it, says CNN, is in fried cod balls, like the Aleixo dumplings in Porto, with small beans. Also famous are the cod à Brás, the lagareiro, roasted cod and corn bread, and Zé-do-Pipo cod.
- Rice dishes: In Portugal, rice is taken to a whole new level, especially in the North, never being just plain but flavoured, mixed with a multitude of ingredients and oven roasted. From duck rice and cabidela rice to sweet rice pudding, the Portuguese rice is absolutely unmissable.
- The American television network also speaks of the Portuguese ham from the Alentejo black pig and the bísaro, both of which are extraordinarily succulent varieties.
- When it comes to fruit, Portugal has a veritable fruit salad it can pull from all corners of the country, with oranges and figs from the Algarve, bananas from Madeira, pineapples from the Azores, melons from the Tejo, cherries from Serra da Gardunha, plums from Elvas and the Bravo Esmolfe apples from Western Portugal.
- Desserts: While the cream pastries are possibly the most famous and always deserving of a special mention, CNN uncovers other delicious Portuguese sweets like Madeira honey cake, fig cake, almond and carob from the Algarve, Tentúgal pastries, and other curiosities like the so-called “bacon from heaven” or the “nun's bellies”.
That’s not all though – the list of foodie pleasures in Portugal goes on and on, with gastronomical treasures hidden in every corner of the country. If you get the chance, hop on a plane to Portugal and fill your belly and your suitcase with all the wonders of this amazing place.
From the original article: cnn.com/travel/article/portugal-food