Portugal is a beautiful country which if you haven’t already visited you should definitely pop high up on your list. With its 3000 hours of sunshine per year, 850 kms of stunning sandy beaches and its diverse landscape from beach to city to a rugged mountainous extension of the Iberian Peninsula in the North. But what about the food? Well the food is really great and reason enough alone to visit Portugal. Our favourite five dishes are below.
1.Pasteis de Nata
This delicious little egg pastry tart is one of the best known foods to come out of Portugal, originating in the 19th century from a group of monks living in Belem. Pastéis de nata, or pastéis de Belém is the region from which they first came from and Nata is the cream in the pastry.
Gorgeous little things and definitely worth a try if you pay a visit to Portugal.
2.Cheese & Charcuterie plates
Next to add to your food list if you visit Portugal are the simply delicious cheese and charcuterie plates on offer. Portugal really do these well and each region has its own take on these plates but you’ll always get olives and bread with your selection. A glass of wine on the side won’t go a miss either!
Bacalhau really is one of Portugal’s most treasured dishes and if you visit Portugal it would be wrong not to sample. Bacalhau is what we would call cod and in Portugal they have many diverse ways of cooking this fish; by boiling it, barbecuing, baking, frying and so on. The fish is actually not caught in the area but in fact in the colder water of Iceland, Norway and Newfoundland in Canada.
The Portuguese love for Bacalhau dates back to times when sailors travelled the world and relied on fish as their main source of food.
Bacalhau are often salted and dried before selling and you’ll find many a market and shop with boxes of these, which helps to preserve the fish.
4.Alheira de Mirandela
With the Atlantic ocean on your doorstep it would be a crime to not make great sushi. If you visit Portugal you will quickly learn that they do amazing justice to this dish with many sushi restaurants scattered around.
If you fancy trying something a bit special in the world of sushi then head for Sushi Design at Farol Design Hotel in Cascais where the chef uses ingredients and presentation skills to give a whole new take on sushi, and it is divine.
Another tried and tested place to eat Sushi if you do visit Portugal is Atira-te ao Rio, a little restaurant located alongside the river with tables and chairs illuminated by torches on the water’s edge. This place has some of the best sunset views along the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge, aside from the sublime sushi.
Whilst you tuck into your delightful Portuguese cuisine you won’t be blamed for fancying a nice glass of something on the side, Portugal’s most famous tipple is Port and so it would be rude not to sample!
Head to Porto to learn about all things Port where you can jump on tasting sessions and discover your preferences. Port is produced from grapes in the demarcated Douro region which has a microclimate that is great for grapes, olives and almond production.
Head for Solar do Vinho do Porto inside the Ludovic Palace in Lisbon to sample Port and learn about the drink from extremely knowledgeable waiters in these plush, old fashioned smoking room style surroundings.
If you fancy something a little more relaxed then head for Enoteca Chafariz de Vinho, found at the end of a small road set into part of the old aqueduct that used to supply drinking water to Lisbon. This is a fascinating location for a nice glass of Port and if you visit Portugal you must pay it a visit.
All of this food talk has my taste buds tingling, if you visit Portugal then enjoy the sunshine and sample the local cuisine aplenty. You may need to pack some lose clothing for the journey home to give your expanding waistline some breathing space!
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