10 Best Foods To Try In Portugal
Portugal is a country that is very well-known for its exquisite wines and liquors, as well as delicious food! We have put together a list of must try dishes you won’t want to miss! Here are our 10 best foods to try in Portugal!
1. Pastel de Nata
We’ve given the tried and true pastel de nata the number one spot, as this yummy custard tart with it’s crispy delicate pastry filled with a sweet creamy filling can be found at pretty much every cafe in the country, and goes especially well with a dash of cinnamon and of course, the traditional “bica”, or espresso coffee!
A traditional dish from the Algarve, a fish and/or seafood stew prepared in a cataplana (clam shaped pan), hence the name of the dish! If you order a cataplana, you are in for a heavenly mix of fish, seafood, onions, garlic, peppers, tomato and of course fresh herbs! Accompanied by some fresh traditional Portuguese bread and a glass of wine, you’re taste buds will thank you!
3. Cod Fish
Portugal boasts over 100 ways to cook cod, from baked, to boiled, in casseroles and so much more! Firstly, Bacalhau com Natas, which is a creamy cod casserole made with fried potatoes and onions. Bacalhau a Bras is a mix of shredded cod with fried onions and potatoes and egg, sprinkled with some fresh parsley. Grilled cod with baby potatoes is a simple dish, but packed with flavor! Cod can also be made into snacks, the most well known being the Pasteis de Bacalhau (Cod fish Cakes) and the Pataniscas de Bacalhau (Cod Fish Fritters). Both are equally delicious and easy to find at local cafes!
4. Cozido a Portuguesa
A very traditional and hearty boiled dish, much like a stew. It is made with pork and beef meats, as well as a variety of smoked chorizos. Also cooked with the meats are vegetables like potatoes, cabbage, carrots, turnips, collard greens and rice. The delicious meats and chorizos add strong flavors to the remaining ingredients, making this a must try Portuguese dish! Cozido a Portuguesa is a dish from the Beira Region, but can be found anywhere in the country and each region adds their own special twist to this delicious dish!
One of the most iconic dishes in the city of Porto, the Francesinha is a massive sandwich consisting of ham, sausage and steak, covered with cheese, and swimming in a spicy tomato and beer sauce. You’ll normally eat a Francesinha served with fries to help you sop up every little drop of the secret sauce! Though you can find Francesinhas in various regions of Portugal, Porto is the home of this delicacy, so if you get a chance to travel to the north of Portugal, you won’t want to miss out. Oh and don’t forget to order a beer with your Francesinha… it’s the perfect combination!
6. Caldo Verde
The most traditional soup of Portugal! Caldo Verde (Green Broth) is a delightful mix of onions, garlic, potatoes and carrots, that create a creamy puree. Next you add in the finely chopped caldo verde (similar to kale), and add in some spicy chorizo for that extra pop of flavor and color! This yummy soup is best eaten with some crusty bread and a glass of red wine!
7. Sardinhas Assadas (Grilled Sardines)
One of the most popular fish to eat in Portugal from June to September, it is so popular that during the summer months you will find a variety of sardine festivals going on in various parts of the country! These are not your normal canned sardines, but fresh good sized fish that you will not be able to stop yourself from eating! The REAL traditional way to eat them is on top of a slice of crusty bread, this way the bread will soak up the delicious juices! Sardines are normally served with salad and boiled baby potatoes with the skin on. Also, of course best accompanied by a refreshing glass of wine!
8. Ovos Moles
A sweet delicacy from Aveiro in the north of Portugal, but can be found at most bakeries around the country! A creamy mixture of egg yolks and sugar, you can purchase this as a cream, or in the traditional way, with the cream inside rice paper casings shaped as shells, little fish and more fun shapes! A decadent dessert you HAVE to try while in Portugal!
9. Caracois (Snails)
Yes we know, you may be cringing as you are reading the word snails, but trust us, once you try this traditional delicacy, you will be hooked! From May 1st, Portuguese Labor Day, it is snail season! Much smaller than the French escargot, Portuguese snails are cooked in water seasoned with salt, thyme, laurel, olive oil and garlic – this mixture creates an amazing broth for dipping bread! Caracois are served on a dish or platter with toasted bread for dipping in the broth, and we recommend ordering a beer, which is the best way to accompany your snails!
10. Piri Piri Chicken
A tried and true dish, enjoyed by all ages and nationalities, the Piri Piri Chicken is marinated in olive oil, salt, lots of garlic and then thrown on the BBQ grill. It is normally accompanied by a fresh salad, fries and sometimes rice as well! You will also be served piri piri sauce, which is the best part of this dish! If you like spice, you’ll LOVE piri piri! Made with piri piri chillies, olive oil, bay leaves and paprika, it adds an amazing punch to your chicken!
Learn to Cook!
As well as tasting these dishes, Portugal also offers a wide variety of food and wine tours as well as cooking classes! Booking these will give you more information on how the dishes are made and you can take home the recipes to wow your friends and family!