In Portugal, the traces of the presence of the olive tree date back to the Bronze Age, but it was only in the 15th and 16th centuries that its cultivation became widespread throughout the country.
In the first decades of the 21st century, olive oil production in Portugal experienced an unprecedented phase in its history.
The regions of Trás-os-Montes and Alentejo represent the two sides of Portuguese olive growing, at a time when the quality of olive oil has revalued the image of the rural world.
Portugal differs in its olive oils in the regions of Trás-os-Montes, Beira Alta, Beira Baixa, Ribatejo, Norte Alentejano, Alentejano Interior and Moura, where there is the largest national cooperative of olive growers. But how does one distinguish olive oil after all? For the acidity, the aroma, the flavor that can be more fruity, bitter or spicy. Not so much by color, as in the past, so today the tests are done in dark glasses.
Portugal has always depended on imports to have olive oil on its plate. Today it has a level of self-sufficiency that exceeds 150 percent, as a result of the monoculture installed in the Alentejo, with more than three quarters of the national production. Where dry fields or sowing of cereals were once seen, there is now a landscape covered by extensive intensive or even intensive olive groves.
Portugal’s olive oil is of extraordinary quality. Pillar of healthy eating, prince of the Mediterranean diet, is a growing national treasure.
What better than to dip a piece of fresh bread on a plate of olive oil? Or the taste of toast, made from incandescent embers, drizzled with oil instead of butter? What greater pleasure is there than a sliver of cod just out of the oven where you roasted a bed of onion and oil? The Portuguese know that they don’t. Adding to all this, it is one of the central elements of the Mediterranean diet – UNESCO World Heritage and Intangible Humanity since 2013.
Each Portuguese consumes an average of eight liters of oil per year, even less so than Spaniards or Italians, who are not only the biggest consumers, but also the biggest producers.
The word olive comes from the Arabic word azzait, which literally means “olive juice”. From the olive grove, the olives are taken to the mill, where they are cleaned, before being crushed. Then there is the centrifugation that separates the oil from the water and olive pomace. The number of mills evolved in a proportionally opposite way to production. A decade ago, there were close to a thousand mills for a production that barely exceeded 50 thousand tons. Today there are about 500 mills scattered throughout the country. “We have a lot less mills, but the ones that are left are much more effective, more modern, better equipped.”
In Ancient Greece olive trees were venerated as sacred trees and the oil used in cooking, as an ointment or in lighting, and was and is true liquid gold. Now, no one can resist Portuguese olive oil.
The Berlin ball (Bola de Berlim) is a very traditional cake in Portugal, usually sold on the beach.
In fact, there is something German about these balls. The truth is that the basis of this recipe was brought by some German Jewish families who, at the time of World War II, found refuge in Portugal. Germanic lands are better known as “Berlinesa” (Berliner / Berliner Pfannkuchen / Berliner Ballen).
But don’t think that this cake stays true to the original recipe. The filling of a sweet based on red fruits has been replaced by one of the most common and appreciated sweets in Portugal – the egg cream.
This, not to mention the more than many varieties of filling that have appeared in recent years. In addition, Berlinesas are smaller and are usually sprinkled with a finer sugar than that used in Berlin balls.
Over the years during the Second World War, from 1939 to 1945, several thousand refugees fled to Portugal – an officially neutral country – in order to travel to other countries and continents by transatlantic ships. Many German Jewish families, for example, found a temporary shelter in our country – before moving on to a new life, either in the USA or, later, in the newly founded state of Israel. Anyway, during the period they lived here and while waiting for the necessary papers to leave again, these refugees had to work to support families
Many Jews became employees of national companies, such as pastry shops and cafes. For this reason, several of these spaces, especially in Lisbon and Porto, started selling typical Germanic sweets, including the Berlin ball.
Taking into account the size and the round shape (ideal for grabbing with one hand), Berlin balls started to be sold on the street. Later, they arrived at the beaches
600 g of type 55 flour
150 ml of semi-skimmed milk
100 g of sugar
100 g of margarine
30 g of fresh baker’s yeast
½ teaspoon of fine salt
For the cream
500 ml semi-fatty treat
125 g of sugar
75 g of type 55 flour
4 egg yolks
1 lemon peel
½ l vegetable oil (for frying)
1 – In a bowl, place the sifted flour.
2 – In the center, make a hole and add the warm milk, sugar and yeast, stirring with your hands until it dissolves.
3 – Make another hole and add, now, the eggs, the margarine and a pinch of salt.
4 – Wrap and slowly add the flour.
5 – When the dough is homogeneous, knead it on a bench, sprinkled with flour.
6 – Put it back in the bowl and cover with cling film. Let it rise until it doubles in volume.
7 – Divide the dough into 15 equal parts and shape it into a ball shape.
8 – Arrange on a floured tray and let it rise again, until it is twice the size.
9 – Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the sugar, flour and egg yolks, adding a little cold milk. Reserve.
10 – Boil the remaining milk with the lemon peel and pour over the mixture, stirring constantly.
11 – Bring to the heat, until it thickens. Remove, pour into a tray and let cool.
12 – Fry the balls of dough in oil, turn them halfway through the frying and drain.
13 – Pass through sugar, cut the balls in half and fill with the cream.
If you ask a Portuguese what is a typical street food in Portugal, they will answer: a bifana. Now the question is “What’s that?”
In Portugal, you will find a lot of sandwiches whose role it is to provide a quick meal, sometimes with only a bowl of soup to complement. I know for a lot of people a sandwich would be enough, but we like to have more filling meals.
You will know that one of the main sandwiches in the country, enjoyed from north to south, is the bifana. Simply put, it’s a steak sandwich. A pork steak, to be more specific, seasoned with garlic and spices, then put inside a bread roll.
Seems basic enough, doesn’t it?
Yet, everywhere you will try one it will taste different.
And this is the beauty of it! How is it possible that a piece of steak can fit so perfectly in a bread roll and present you with a mix of flavors that will make your taste buds spin?!
In the North of the country, it is usually made with little pieces of steak that have been spiced and seasoned in a big pot with sauce, and it’s usually a bit spicy. The bread is a simple white bread roll, that ends up being moistened with the steak sauce. As you go further south, though, the steak is no longer cut and is instead beat with a mallet, it is mostly garlicky and not spicy at all – instead, they suggest you eat it simple or with mustard. Also, the bread is lightly toasted. And, sadly, there is less sauce as well.
But which one is the original?
It is said that the original one comes from the town of Vendas Novas in Alentejo, in the south of the country.
Anyway it is so typical in Portugal that also Mac Donald had to introduce a Mac Bifana in its menu.
How can you make a Bifana?
- 4 sandwich bread rolls (Portuguese papo seco)
- 1½ lb pork cutlets , sliced very thin
- 5 cloves garlic , chopped
- 2 oz. lard
- ½ cup white wine
- 3 bay leaves
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Pepper , freshly ground
- In a container, place a layer of cutlets and season with salt, pepper, bay leaf, paprika, lemon juice and garlic.
- If necessary, make several layers with all the cutlets, seasoning them the same way at each layer.
- Finally, pour the white wine over the cutlets and marinate for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
- In a large frying pan, hear the lard over medium heat.
- Drain the cutlets and reserve the marinade. Fry them in lard over high heat, turning them constantly.
- Once the cutlets are fried, add the reserved marinade and cook over medium heat until the liquid has evaporated by half.
- Toast the bread loaves.
- Fill each bread with cutlets and drizzle with the remaining sauce.
In the period that celebrates the resurrection of Christ, there is an element common to all tables in Portugal, the Easter folar, a delicious cake in its simplicity whose history and traditions are important to know. With one or more hard-boiled eggs on top, the most popular folar is made from a dry dough with a little bit of cinnamon and makes everyone’s delight, from the smallest to the oldest. You know, for sure, that this is traditionally offered to godchildren on Easter Sunday. The reason? A legend that associates folar with friendship and reconciliation, important values to transmit at any time of the year.
The legend of Easter folar is so old that its date of origin is unknown.
Legend has it that, in a Portuguese village, there lived a young woman named Mariana who had the only desire in life to marry early. She prayed to Santa Catarina so much that her will was fulfilled and soon two suitors appeared: a rich nobleman and a poor farmer, both young and handsome. The young woman again asked Santa Catarina for help in making the right choice.
While concentrating on her prayer, she knocked on the door Amaro, the poor farmer, asking for an answer and setting Palm Sunday as the deadline. A little while later, on that same day, the nobleman appeared to ask him for a decision. Mariana didn’t know what to do.
When Palm Sunday arrived, a neighbor was very distressed to warn Mariana that the nobleman and the farmer had met on the way to her home and that, at that moment, they were fighting a death struggle. Mariana ran to the place where the two were facing each other and it was then that, after asking Santa Catarina for help, Mariana released the name of Amaro, the poor farmer.
On the eve of Easter Sunday, Mariana was tormented, because she had been told that the nobleman would show up on his wedding day to kill Amaro. Mariana prayed to Santa Catarina and the image of Santa, it seems, smiled at her.
The next day, Mariana went to put flowers on the altar of the Saint and, when she arrived home, she noticed that, on the table, there was a big cake with whole eggs, surrounded by flowers, the same ones that Mariana had put on the altar. She ran to Amaro’s house, but found him on the way and he told her that he had also received a similar cake.
Thinking it was the nobleman’s idea, they went to her house to thank her, but he had also received the same type of cake. Mariana was convinced that everything had been the work of Santa Catarina.
Initially called folore, the cake came to be known as folar over time and became a tradition that celebrates friendship and reconciliation. During Christian Easter festivities, godchildren usually bring a bouquet of violets to the baptism godmother on Palm Sunday, and the latter, on Easter Sunday, offers him a folar in return.
You have certainly heard a lot about Madeira wine. Famous in cooking, it is the wine used in the also famous Madeira sauce.
What is Madeira wine?
Madeira Wine is a fortified wine with a high alcohol content. It is aged with heat, and produced in the region with the Denomination of Origin of Madeira from about 5 different types of grapes.
It reaches the market in different levels of sugar from soft to dry, being classified as: Dry, Medium Dry, Medium Sweet or Sweet, all marked by their high levels of acidity.
This sharp acidity is the direct result of its location: an archipelago, just off the northwest coast of Morocco, composed of two inhabited islands – Madeira and Porto Santo, in addition to two of them uninhabited, called Deserta and Selvagem.
All Madeira wine is produced on 500 hectares of volcanic soil, located mainly on the north coast of the island, it is there that the vineyards sway precariously on gravity-defying slopes.
They are true giant stairs and each step, the Portuguese call “poios”. The only way to harvest, of course, is by hand.
For irrigation, on the other hand, water is historically captured from the highest parts of the island (about 1800 meters high) and channeled through 2150 km of artificial channels called “levadas” – many of which date from the 16th century.
Which grape is Madeira wine made from?
About 90% of the total production of Madeira wine is made using the Tinta Negra variety, while the other 10% are divided between Sercial, Boal, Verdelho and Malvasia, and are chosen for the elaboration of fine labels.
The latter give simpler Madeira wines. They are aged on a bed. The so-called “Canteiros” are wooden structures that allow the wine barrels to be as high as possible, closer to the shingles of the warehouses, catching more heat. This happens for at least 2 years.
It is this process that brings unique characteristics and intense and complex aromas to this type of simpler Madeira Wine. They can only be marketed 3 years after the 1st of January of the harvest year.
How to make Madeira wine sauce?
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cup of water
1 cup of dry wine
Salt and pepper
Reserve 5 tablespoons of water to dilute theCorn Starch.
In a medium saucepan, bring the butter to the heat and add the onion and sauté, until it is lightly browned. Add the rest of the water and the meat broth. Add the Worcestershire sauce and mix. Add the previously dissolved the Corn Starch and the wine. Over medium heat, cook, stirring constantly, until boiling. Leave for 4 or 5 minutes or until creamy. Serve while still hot, accompanied by the meat of your choice.
To prevent the wine from spoiling, neutral grape distillates, vinyl alcohol (almost a grape cachaça, were added). This was because in the long sea voyages, the wines were exposed to excessive heat, along with the balance of the sea, they changed their taste. Madeira wine producers discovered this fact when a shipment not accepted by buyers returned to the island after a trip and return. Today this fact has made the product an icon of the place, exactly for this characteristic discovered unintentionally.
Today we take a trip to the demarcated region of Távora-Varosa, in Beira Alta, the oldest in the country, to understand the whole story that exists in the bubbles of wine.
This story begins under the ground and ends at the height of the party, because this is the trip of a bottle of sparkling wine after all. No other drink spends so long in the darkness of a cellar. It is the liquid that seals the importance of ephemeris and that embodies the remarkable events. In recent years, the Portuguese sparkling wine has started to lose the shame of not being champagne and has entered the most brilliant period in its history. New producers have appeared, the oldest are playing cards in international competitions, sales are growing steadily.
Lamego, a land of great nobility that holds a significant place in Portuguese history, was, accordingly, the birthplace oh this wine. Even though the raw material comes from the original Champagne grape varieties, this wine has made its mark as a quintessentially Portuguese product.
It all started in 1898 when the junior rebel commander and his family founded the raposeira cellars. At that time, the owners of the raposeira cellars went on to study in the famous champagne region, and from then on a series of experiments carried out in lamego lands allowed to create the personality of some of the most renowned Portuguese sparkling wines.
On average, five million bottles are produced here annually. The area was demarcated in 1989, there are 3,500 hectares of land, spread over eight counties in Beira – Tarouca, Lamego, Sernancelhe, Moimenta da Beira, Penedono, Tabuaço, São João da Pesqueira and Armamar. Together with Bairrada, it is a region of effervescence par excellence. From here come two icons of national sparkling wine, Raposeira and Murganheira. In the valleys of the Távora and Varosa rivers, two tributaries on the left bank of the Douro, it is clear what is happening today in the national sparkling wine market.
Acácio Laranjo was a textile producer in the region with business in France who one day decided to bring with him a Moët & Chandon winemaker to develop a high quality product. And when you enter the cellars of the company, you immediately see the path that the tycoon wanted to take. Underground, in the 1940s, two hundred meters of corridors were opened with dynamite in the middle of the granite. It is an impressive work, the blue walls of the Murganheira cellars maintain a constant temperature of 12.3 degrees, whether summer or winter.
There are roughly three flavors of sparkling wine: sweet, medium-dry and raw. If Murganheira produces essentially raw products, Raposeira clearly bet on sweets, cheaper and with less risk of error, because liquors are able to rectify any flaw in the product. Founded in 1898, these are the oldest sparkling wine cellars in the country. They are also the biggest center of Portuguese production – and both the dimension and the history are understandable at the first impact.
Távora ‑ Varosa is not the most productive region in the country, but it is the one that produces the most certified sparkling wine, that is, with a designation of origin and quality assurance.
The sauce that coats the clams is prepared with olive oil (of very good quality as it is the star ingredient of the sauce), garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper and sometimes, as is the case here, some dry white wine to bring even more flavor. Then, the juice of lemon juice is drizzled before being served.
The Lisboetas and travelers returning from the Tagus river will speak to you with joy of the infinite pleasure of savoring amêijoas à Bulhão Pato by the sea and finishing the dish with a good bread to soak up the wonderful juice of the clams intimately mixed with the olive oil, garlic and cilantro. An easy and quick recipe for a short lunch break or at the end of the day, at sunset, at the Port of Lisbon.
Many of the emblematic dishes of Portuguese gastronomy are prepared with fish or shellfish. Nothing surprising for a country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and whose capital sits on a bay.
The Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal, enjoys a great reputation for the variety and freshness of its fish, shellfish and crustaceans. It is from this region that comes a large part of the seafood consumed in Portugal, including clams. Some are farmed and others are picked up by mariscadores, shellfish farmers.
In Portugal, the amêijoas are at the heart of many recipes such as cataplana (seafood dish with spices, white wine, tomatoes, etc.) or carne de porco à alentejana (consisting of pork, clams and accompanied by potatoes). And many others.
But today, I decided to feature the recipe of amêijoas à Bulhão Pato. It is named after Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato, a poet, gastronomist and epicurean, who was an important figure in the intellectual and artistic life of Portuguese society in the mid to late nineteenth century. He even participated in a culinary book, “The cook of the cooks” (O Cozinheiro dos Cozinheiros) by Paulo Henrique Plantier, published for the first time in 1870, which offered a chapter of recipes invented and made by famous Portuguese artists of the time.
So this is a nice tribute to this epicurean and lover of good food, that this dish that is so popular still bears his name today, and continues to challenge the curious foodies like us.
Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato – Recipe
Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato are a delicious traditional dish of the city of Lisbon that is prepared with clams coated with a sauce composed of olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and white wine.
- 2 lb fresh clams
- ½ cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic , peeled and sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro finely chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 lemon
- Soak the clams in a large amount of water with the coarse salt for 3 hours. They will desalinate and get rid of the sand they contain. Place in the refrigerator.
- Rinse thoroughly and several times in cold water to completely get rid of sand.
- Use a brush to scrape the shells to remove the last traces of sand as well as any marine residues.
- Pour the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the garlic and cilantro. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes.
- Add the dry white wine and bring to a boil. Add the clams. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook over medium heat until the clams open, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once all the clams are open, place them on the serving dish and let the sauce boil over high heat for 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the clams.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice before eating.
Açorda, is a typical Alentejo dish. It is a gift of the presence of Arabs in our lands. It also seems that açorda is a subsistence dish, probably following food crises. And its arrival is due to its ease of preparation and above all to the simple mixture of basic products. Bread has always been, and still is, a fundamental food.
In Arab times on the peninsula, we found many soups to which crumbled or coarsely sliced bread was added. This seems to be the origin of the açordas. However, almost only in the south of the country we assume the name açorda. This term never appears associated with bread soups that are still made today in Beiras or Trás-os-Montes.
And we have the great variant of açorda, which is no longer soup, and which has become a reference dish in Portugal. In a treatise on Arab cuisine by Ibn Abd al-Ra’uf, açorda is referred to, with the designation Tarid [thari: d] or Tarida, in Arabic, which means migrated bread, to which are added garlic, coriander and hot water.
In consultation with Arabic dictionaries, we also find the term Ath thurdâ, which means soup with bread.
Bread, even today, is a structural element of our food. In the past, bread would have to be consumed in its entirety for its value as a permanent support for consumption. Its application in soup would be a way to use the oldest and driest bread. It would be its full absorption.
In 1876 João da Mata publishes his “Kitchen Art” specially for professionals. Here we find açorda with cod, a Portuguese bread soup and other soups with bread.
But it is with Carlos Bento da Maia, edition of 1904, with the title “Complete Kitchen and Cup Treaty”, that the açordas appear as culinary confection and illustrated with eleven recipes, and doing well the separation of the many soups with bread.
But what is the reality of açordas in Portuguese cuisine? First we have the açorda / soup of which the Açorda Alentejana is the best example. Then the glorification of the açordas as a complete dish and the immense variety of recipes from the Douro, the entire Atlantic coast with fish and seafood, from Beira to Alentejo with cod, and the Alentejo with pork and sausages. We also have the concept of açorda as a garnish, or complement, of which we savor the excellent example with shad and respective roe açorda.
The authentic açorda is made with garlic, small slices of bread from the previous day soaked in very hot water, seasoned with raw oil, garlic, salt, and chopped coriander. There are variations where the açorda is finished with boiled or poached eggs, cod, hake and roasted sardines. Today, food from poor people, açorda is one of the best Portuguese soups.
Today we are going to talk about a delicious Portuguese snack and with a very original story: Os peixinhos da horta
In the 16th century, more specifically in 1543, a Chinese ship with three Portuguese sailors on board, António da Mota, Francisco Zeimoto and António Peixoto, was going to Macau. The meteorological situation, translated into a storm, wanted the ship to move away to the island of southern Japan, Tanegashima. The sailors were the first Europeans to set foot on Japanese soil.
The country was facing a civil war and began to trade with the Portuguese.
In this way, a post was created in the country, where arms, tobacco, soap, wool… and recipes were sold!
In 1639, when our ancestors were banished from Japan, they left an indelible mark on the local cuisine, a recipe for green beans, wrapped in purée and then fried, “our fish from the garden” A preparation that, in the long oceanic crossings, allowed navigators to conserve vegetables for longer periods.
And the thing caught on in Japan, so much so that today it is called tempura.
The term “tempura” originates from the Latin “tempora”, which referred to a period of fasting imposed by the Church.
Catholics were not allowed to eat meat and so the dish came.
By the time “our peixinhos” entered in Japan, they already had a career made in Portuguese territory. However, the origin of this deep-roasted snack in the region of Estremadura, which is simple in confection, is not known, which is an example of creative cuisine based on few ingredients.
A preparation that would replace the fish in periods of dietary restrictions and that will have gone to mint the name precisely to the format similar to that of marine species.
Peixinho da Horta is a dish that serves both as a snack and as a meal.
Basically it is tender green beans fried in a batter, we can make it very crispy and thin or we can make fish from the garden with spoonfuls of batter as if it were a patanisca.
400g of green beans
150g of flour with yeast
1 dl of cold sparkling water
1 c. Of olive oil
Pepper q. B
Clean the green beans, remove the wire and cook it in water seasoned with salt for 5 minutes.
Then drain and let cool.
Prepare the batter.
Pour the flour into a bowl, season with salt and pepper, add the eggs, the oil and the water in a wire, stirring constantly until it is a smooth purée.
Bring to a boil a pan with plenty of oil and let it warm up.
Dip the green beans, one by one, in the batter, let it drain a little, pour in the oil and let it fry until golden brown.
Remove and let drain.
When you’re in Portugal, don’t forget to try traditional snacks. It is eaten by hand, with a fork or spoon, bread on the side and a glass served. Preferably a very cold beer.
And please don’t call them tapas – a Spanish expression, not a Portuguese one. The Portuguese are very proud of their petiscos, because the food is about people – the kind of experience that includes licking your fingers, refreshing your soul with beer, tasting wines and socializing until you say enough.
The Portuguese people are petiscos-lovers, there is nothing to do and whoever takes away this tradition that goes from one or two things to twenty, takes away the good mood. Enlightened Portuguese cooks know perfectly well how good the peixinhos da Horta, fried to perfection, make us happy. Two imperatives just for the Portuguese practice to be fulfilled: table and company. A sweeping flight through the amount that is put on the table, with our eyes on happy harmonies.
The list of snacks can be very long, but let’s try to meet the most famous.
-Caracóis – Lisbon’s snails are undoubtedly something to try in the summer. You will find doses of different sizes in various snack bars, small family restaurants and some cafes
– “Iscas” – pork liver sautéed with garlic and white wine, sometimes you find a version with onions. Usually served with chips or boiled potatoes.
-Fava beans – when the fava season comes, a bowl of this delicacy simply stew is enough to taste well. Whether cooked alone, or enriched with slices of chorizo and other meats, it is a delight.
-Peixinhos da Horta – a vegetarian snack, nothing less than breaded and fried green beans.
-Green eggs – boiled eggs, cut in half, stuffed, breaded and fried. The traditional recipe consists of yolk emulsified with olive oil, vinegar, spices and parsley.
-Sardines – starting in June is the ideal time to enjoy them. It is their time, as they became very fat and, consequently, tastier.
-Pasteis / codfish balls: The small fried codfish cake, made of varying proportions of potato and cod, combined with olive oil and beaten egg, are one of the great glories of Portuguese cuisine. These pastries are either eaten by hand or accompanied with rice. Hot, warm or cold don’t lose their identity.
-Ham: The national smokehouse is an institution and on a well-cut plate of ham we set the conversation and socializing for an entire afternoon.
-Torresmos: Usually made from portions of pork rich in fat and with the main purpose of extracting the fabulous lard that fortunately remains alive in the daily recipe. In no way does it threaten the equally fabulous extra virgin olive oil that we worship in the kitchen and at the table. The crunchy and compact pieces that are extracted are an unavoidable snack
– Cod fish pataniscas: Patanisca is called various preparations nowadays, but when we call it snack here it is the one that fries the thin pieces of cod in egg and batter gains firm structure and is eaten by hand.
-Guambas a guilho: Either we call them prawns al ajillo, like the Spanish, or simply prawns with garlic. We know that corruptions like “guilho” are nonsense that mean nothing and we must be indifferent to them, honoring this snack of fork and bread by celebrating when it comes in the still boiling oil, the aroma of garlic and coriander.
-Cured cheese: The smaller and drier, the cheese from Nisa and Évora slice well and thin, with the flavor concentrated by the slow evaporation of the retained water, while at the same time concentrating the salt. Serpa and Serra da Estrela ones also age very well and lend themselves to snacks for hours on end.
– Cold octopus salad: We like octopus in every way, but chopping the tentacle logs cooked to the point and well drizzled with olive oil is almost transcendental.
-Roasted rice black pudding: A delight that is practically an entire meal, it will have been born between Leiria and Santarém, but today it is a national snack, with the blood sausage of great tradition. It is baked in the oven
-Fried sausage (choriço): Fried sausages are made in clay pots, which drip and smell a little throughout the national territory. It is eaten by a toothpick and is always shared as soon as the fire is extinguished at the table. You need thick sliced wheat bread to impregnate yourself with the oil of the sausage.
-Pica Pau: The pica pau is a dish of very Portuguese origin composed of simple ingredients: fried pork – although it can also be made with beef – and pickles. It can also include olives and chillies. Originally from Ribatejo, the meat of this snack should have a soft texture. Snack is one of the specialties of many taverns in most of the country. Tastier in good company, do not dispense the bread to enjoy the sauce.
-Pregos and bifanas: Bifana is a typical dish originating in Vendas Novas. This snack includes pork stews cooked with garlic and wine. The meat must then be placed on warm bread. They can be seasoned with mustard or hot sauce. This is one of the dishes that are not lacking in popular festivals, particularly in summer, all over the country. The variants are many and can in some cases include cheese and ham or other complements. Similar, it is the prego with beef. Other typical Portuguese snack, like bifana, it is usually seasoned with mustard or hot sauce.
– Alheiras: Alheira or “Jewish chorizo” are the names for a sausage with a history of more than 500 years. Originating in Trás-os-Montes is a dish that the Portuguese eat at any time of the year as a snack or as a main dish. It is a classic of Portuguese gastronomy, in particular the Mirandela version.
– Pipis: “There are gizzards and pipis”. It is read on the doors and windows of dozens of taverns, cafes and restaurants in the capital and across the country. Pipis are bits of chicken stewed in a rich tomato, onion and garlic sauce.
Stewed gizzards: Stewed gizzards are a delicacy that is based on a small stew of onion and tomato to which are added chicken or duck gizzards.
And what is your favorite?