Travelling the unknown is apparently one of the most interesting journeys you should embark before you leave the earthly surroundings. One must not limit himself into the four corners of the home, and should discover the beauty of the world. There are a lot of places to visit, a lot of activities to experience, a lot of people to meet, and a lot of foods to taste. Yes, food will always be part of your travel escapades as it completes your journey in the most fulfilling way. Trying some of the country’s local cuisines helps in appreciating the varying cultures and remarkable traditions of a distinct territory. And if you’re planning to visit the charming country of Portugal, here are some of the delicious Portuguese dishes you must try.
1. Açorda de Marisco
In Portugal, the best way to start your day is to enjoy a succulent bread soup, just like the Acorda. There are two general ways of making this bread soup, but the most in demand— Acorda de Marisco, where the bread is carefully mushed up for a thicker broth and then added with shrimps, garlic, onions and other spices to taste. There’s no need to go outside as you can make this hearty and tasty soup in your home. Just make use of your leftover bread and some ingredients, and there you have it— your homemade Acorda de Marisco.
2. Bacalhau Cozido
Codfish or known as Bacalhau in Portuguese is undeniably one of the most popular foods in the country. This traditional dish is almost used in every occasion, in whatever recipe you can’t think of— from Bacalhau in cream to Bacalahau in salad. Well, it seems that Portuguese are quite obsessed with its rather distinct taste. Every restaurant in town serves this national food, and there are more than a hundred of ways to cook a codfish. Normally, the fish is drenched in water or in milk before cooking. Then, the dish is completed with some potatoes, carrots, onions and eggs. Aside from the appetizing Bacalhau Cozido, other notable Bacalhau cuisines are Bacalhau com Natas and Bacalhau à Brás. Indeed, there may be numerous tasty dishes in the country, but Bacalhau continues to be a staple in Portuguese dining.
3. Caldo Verde
Caldo Verde is downright iconic when it comes to comfort foods in Portugal. It is a very healthy treat you can find in most restaurants and you can prepare at your homes. Yes, this soup is very easy to make as you only need six essential ingredients— olive oil, potato, onion, garlic, kale and chouriço. With these essentials, you can now relish one of the traditional Portuguese soups in a heartbeat. Caldo Verde is always present in every celebration in the country, and this can be served as early as breakfast or as late as supper. The versatility of this dish makes it a crowd-favorite. Enjoy your soup with a cornbread for a more tasty experience.
4. Sardinhas Assadas
Aside from codfish, sardines are also significant in Portugal. The most common way to prepare this seaside treat is to grill them over the charcoal and serve them with some boiled veggies. Sardinas Assadas is not just popular in restaurants, but also on the Portuguese streets. This yummy and healthy option will definitely let you experience a real deal of grilled sardines with delicious side dishes.
A heavy meal ideal for meat lovers, Francesinha is a signature Porto dish that features two breads peppered with steak, sausage, ham, melted Edam and tomato sauce in between. This cuisine is truly not for those light-eaters or even those fainthearted because you will be amazed with the huge serving and the incredible fillings that would downright satisfy your gastronomical cravings.
6. Sapateira Recheada
You may be seeing a normal crab cuisine, but you better think twice because Sapateira Recheada is something you’ve never tasted before. The stone crab is filled with very scrumptious stuffing of crab meat and other distinct spices. The end flavor is just as rich and tasty as it could be. And if you want to experience a more mouthwatering crab indulgence, follow the Portuguese belief of eating crabs during months with letter ‘R’ on them, like November and December. But really, there’s no limit in whatever month you want to relish this delicious crab recipe.
7. Alheira de Mirandela
A classical cusine made out of chouriços is the Alheira de Mirandela— smoked sausages garnished with some healthy side dishes. However, you shouldn’t be fooled about the sausages’ appearance because not all chouriços are made out of pork. Some would stuff chicken, rabbit or dunk instead of pork. To give a little history, religion was a very significant aspect in the creation of this remarkable dish. During the particular period of racial issues in Portugal, Jewish were forced to convert into Christians. However, they were smart enough to let the Portuguese Christian community believe that they were Christians. Thus, they created Alheira de Mirandela— a sausage stuffed with other meats permitted by their religion.
8. Pastel de Belem
These relatively small yet sweet treats will seriously complete your food adventures in Portugal. Pastel de Belen is a hand-sized dessert made of eggs, and then sprinkled with some powdered sugar and cinnamon. This little egg tart can be traced way back during the 17th century, where Catholic nuns developed a delicious delight made out of the egg yolks. The Pastel de Belen recipe has been spread out all over the world, but only Portuguese bakeries and restaurants know how to create such by heart.
9. Torta de Azeitão
Egg-based desserts are common sight on the streets of Portugal. There are a lot of regional varieties, but you will never go wrong with Torta de Azeitão. This sweet delicacy is a rolled spongy cake topped with sweet egg yolk. For sure, all sweet lovers out there will have a hard time stopping themselves from savoring these gorgeous delights.
10. Arroz Doce
Arroz Doce is a popular treat among Portuguese grandmothers. This dessert is made out of three essentials— rice pudding, lemon and cinnamon. The zesty flavor of this dish makes it a top hit during the colder months. It is best to pair your Arroz Doce with a hot cup of coffee or cocoa.
These are just some of the delicious Portuguese dishes you should give a try. Did your favorites make into the cut or have we missed anything?