Though Portuguese are known for their love for codfish, bacalhau, and the 1001 ways to prepare it, in reality, the Portuguese cuisine has much more to offer.
Arroz de Marisco - A rich seafood rice.
Sardinha Assada - Charcol barbecued Sardines
Sardines, hot coal salt and “presto”!. In Portugal, sardines are eaten along with either both boiled potatoes or a slice of bread with a twist of good olive oil. They go perfectly well with a roasted paprika salad.
Leitão da Bairrada - Bairrada region style roasted pig.
Pastéis de Belém - A rich egg custard pie
A smoked sausage made from mashed bread, meats, and greases (oil and pork). These were traditionally prepared at the beginning of the coldest months as a way to preserve food during the harsh winters.
The preparation itself was quite an important event as families would gather for the pig’s slaughter and prepare all the sausages, hams and other smoked pieces together.
Its believed that these were initially created as a way for the Jews to escape from the 13th century Inquisition as all over Portugal was common for families to consume products made essentially from pork meat. As Jews couldn’t eat pork they were easily identified, therefore they disguised themselves by creating Alheiras, stuffing them with other kinds of meat like poultry or lamb and smoking them like any other kind of pork sausege.
The Alheiras are mostly made from pork but it’s possible to find new kinds made from game, poultry, and even cod.
Queijo da Serra da Estrela - Serra da Estrela cheese
Serra da Estrela cheese has been made for centuries by shepherds in Portugal’s highest mountains, Serra da Estrela, in the Beiras region. This cheese is produced from goat cheese and entirely hand-made.
Its usually served by opening a hole at the top and spread its interior on bread just like you would normally do with butter.
Caldo Verde - A unique Portuguese kale soup
A thick soup made from mashed potatoes and very thinly sliced kale usually served with piece chorizo and a pinch of olive oil. The tradition dictates that this is the best companion of a true Fado’s night.
Image credits: 7 Portuguese Gastronomical Marvels.