If you consider yourself a foodie, then you should be sure to add Portugal to your list! Food has always been a huge part of Portuguese life. From hearty meals full of pork, seafood, and vegetables, to delectable custard-filled pastries, Portugal will surprise and delight your taste buds at every turn. You will simply fall in love with the fresh ingredients and traditional recipes.
So let’s dive in and explore some of the dishes that you must try on your next trip to Portugal!
This unique dish consists of freshly grilled sardines, and it is a well-known Portuguese comfort food. These delicious, perfectly cooked fish (usually grilled with spine and heads intact) are a highlight of Lisbon’s summer festivals, but they are very popular throughout the other regions of the country. The smoky, crispy skin and white, flaky meat will have you coming back for more!
2. COZIDO À PORTUGUESA
This hearty dish is a traditional Portuguese stew. Though many variations exist throughout the different regions, this boiled stew is considered one of Portugal’s national dishes. The dish generally consists of various vegetables (beans, carrots, potatoes, turnips, cabbages, rice, etc.), meat (chicken, pork, and beef), and smoked sausages. This heavy dish is certain to keep you full for hours on end!
3. BACALHAU À BRÁS
Bacalhau à Brás is one of the most popular dishes in the country. It is made from shreds of salted cod, straw fried potatoes, and onions, all bound together with scrambled egg. It is usually garnished with fresh parsley and black olives to top it off! Though it may sound like an odd combination to us, give it a try — you’ll be surprised!
4. AMEIJOAS À BULHAO PATO
These clams are a fantastic snack or appetizer, especially when paired with an ice-cold beer! There are several different ways to cook these clams: sometimes they are prepared in delicious olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and cilantro, while other times they are cooked in white wine, butter, and herbs. You can’t go wrong either way! And make sure to ask for some bread to soak up all the sauces — you won’t want to leave a single drop in the pan!
This hearty bean stew is made of red and white kidney beans and is generally enhanced with various parts of pork, sausage, and vegetables. You’re also likely to taste cumin, garlic, cloves, and paprika in this delicious and flavorful dish. It’s a perfect stew for those cold winter days!
This is comfort food at its finest! Traditional açorda is a unique dish that consists of day old bread, poached eggs, olive oil, coriander, and water. Açorda originated in Alentejo, a large region composed of farms and vineyards. Because the locals were traditionally farmers and laborers, dishes like açorda became popular for their cheap ingredients. Over time, it became a staple! In some parts of the country, it can also be made with shrimp, cod fish, or wild game.
7. PASTEL DE NATA
A traditional Portuguese custard tart, pastel de nata is a dessert composed of egg custard nestled within a crispy, flaky pastry and topped with a dusting of cinnamon. These tarts are so delicious that their popularity has spread throughout Western Europe and parts of Asia!
Which Portuguese dish are you most excited to try? Come and try them all with us on our next Acanela expedition to the lovely country of Portugal!