Portuguese food is influenced by Mediterranean cuisine and if you ever have the chance to eat something from Portugal, just go for it because you’ll literally fall in love. Portugal is well known for seafood, spicy food, and of course, olive oil. Just think a little about some octopus slathered in olive oil, francesinha sandwiches with chorizo, bacalhau with olive oil, soups made by beans, and maybe some meat, aren’t you already in love with Portuguese food?
This one is very special, it’s originated from Alentejo and it’s basically bread (one day old) mashed with some garlic, coriander, olive oil, some vinegar, and of course, poached eggs. People from Alentejo love this dish because it’s easy to make, you can eat it with other food. And, because most of the locals from Alentejo have farms it’s an easy dish to make in a day when you aren’t in the mood for cooking. You can add seafood, as well.
In Portuguese “feijão” means “beans”, and you will absolutely love this one if you are a bean lover. You toss the beans with beef and pork. This dish is served in Portugal in cold weather when it’s winter and raining.
This is a traditional food originating from Vendas Novas (a small town in the Alentejo region), bifanas are pork sandwiches and you will find them everywhere you go in Portugal. The pork must be marinated in order to be succulent, usually, it’s served with crusty bread. The meat is marinated with different condiments like paprika, garlic, and of course, wine (especially the white one). You can serve this kind of sandwich with soup, fries, whatever you want. You marinate this meat how you like, every Portuguese local has its own way. You can ingredients like lettuce, eggs, tomatoes, you name it.
4-SOPA DA PEDRA
This one has a little story behind it, something like this: there was a monk and he didn’t have anything to eat so he boiled a stone and some locals, passing away, felt sorry for him and they gave him different ingredients like potatoes, meat, beans, etc. He cooked the stone with those ingredients and then removed the stone and today this dish is called ”stone soup”. Now you can cook it how you want, with different ingredients as long as you have your stone. This story is said more because it’s a moral for Portuguese people, basically, it’s very important to share things and help other people.
5-PASTÉIS DE NATA
Honestly, this one is my favorite. It’s an egg custard tart, it has sugar, lemon zest, some cream and looks like gold. It’s like a snack or dessert, you name it.
“Queijo” means cheese and there’s a saying in Portuguese, “pão pãp queijo queijo, which is translated as “bread bread cheese cheese”. It means that one thing is a thing and another thing is another thing. I find it very interesting how Portuguese people love “queijo” this much. This queijada is a traditional food and it originating from Sintra. It’s basically a combination of cheese, eggs, milk, flour, and don’t forget about sugar! It should have a crust on top, this is how you can tell it’s baked properly. You can find these in almost every pastry shop in Portugal.
7-ARROZ DE BACALHAU
Ai meu Deus! This is the first thing you should try if you decide to go to Portugal. It’s a tradition, everybody loves this dish. It’s simple to cook, it’s rice with salt cod and you add onions, garlic, olive oil, of course, tomatoes, vegetables, peppers, white wine of course. I keep saying “of course” because they love white wine and olive oil so much and I find this very interesting. You can cook this dish in many combinations and usually is served as a main course and people from the coast are the ones who love it the most.
8-CANJA DE GALINHA
”Galinha” means chicken, so it’s a chicken soup with garlic, onion, rice or pasta, carrots, beaten egg yolks, lemon juice, some mint leaves, some parsley. You can eat it anytime, no one skips this dish, it doesn’t matter if it’s a wedding or a simple party, you don’t miss canja de galinha.
Portuguese food is simply something incredible, try it as soon as you can, you’ll absolutely fall in love with their traditions!