The Most Delicious Portuguese Dishes

From the mountains in the north to the rolling hills and plains of the south, Portugal offers a wide range of culinary delights. If you’re in to good food, Portugal needs to be next on your trip list.

Portugal was once a colonial empire, and one of the longest lasting. It’s no surprise that the influences of its former colonies, Goa, Macau, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, to name a few, can be seen and felt everywhere, even in its food. This is why Portugal is on our delicious radar today. Let’s dive into some of the best Portuguese food you should taste when here.

Terylene Sandwich (Double Joy)

If you think this is a quick meal fix on the go, think again. This sandwich takes 24 hours to prepare. It has roasted pork loin and smoked ham. The ham is cured for 20 hours with a mix of wine, tomatoes, rosemary, garlic, and chili peppers. After the meats are roasted for hours, they come together in a double bun, where the remaining juices melt right into the bread.

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)

The most traditional of Portuguese soups is a very simple one, made of onions, potatoes and kale, cooked with garlic and olive oil. Nothing says winter comfort food like a good serving of caldo verde in a pot. This soup would normally be served with a slice of linguica (typical smoked pork sausage) and cornbread. You can modify these dish a little to suit your personal taste. Dip it and enjoy!

Chicken Piri-Piri (African Twist)

One of the most popular Portuguese dishes in Australia. However, did you know that its origin is long way away from the shores of Portugal. During the Age of Exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese explorers traveled through coastal Africa and discovered many new spices. One of the spices was a small spicy chili pepper known as Piri-Piri, or African Devil. You may be familiar with the popular chain, Nando’s, originally from South Africa, with Portuguese and Mozambique inspiration. Nando’s, has spread chicken peri-peri globally. Interestingly, you’ll not find Nando’s in Portugal, you’ll have to get your chicken at local churrascarias, Piri-Piri chicken restaurants.

Polvo à la Lagareiro (Traditional Seafood Dish)

Portuguese cuisine is famous for its delicious seafood. Beyond bacalhau or codfish and sardines, octopus or Polvo à la lagareiro is another popular seafood dish loved by the Portuguese. It’s a famous octopus dish that you will find across the entire country and includes a generous serving of Portuguese olive oil. Delicious! For this dish, the octopus is typically served with boiled potatoes. Then both the potatoes and the octopus are baked and roasted.

Caracóis (Snail Snack)

Forget the fancy butter and parsley-smothered escargot of the French, delicious too, but not what Portugugal is known for. Here, snails are cooked in large emounts and served in bowls brimming with mounds of the slugs for everyone to share as a favorite Petisco – a snack of sorts. Some slurp out the slimy suckers while others pull them out with toothpicks. Whatever the strategy, eating snails here associates with relaxation, an easy and effortless moment of tasty conviviality, only made better with tall glasses of ice-cold beer.

Pastel de nata (Celebrity Cakes)

You might be familiar with these delicious cakes already – they are Portugal’s most famous cake, and probably best cake as well. It originates from Lisbon, and was originally invented by monks at Jerónimos Monastery. Traditionally, the tarts are made using milk, egg, sugar, cinnamon – as opposed to nutmeg used in the British custard version – and vanilla, held together in a puff-pastry casing. But aside from that basic formula, the ins and outs are top-secret among the top pastel de nata cooks. Make sure you indulge in pastel de nata whenever you are in Portugal.

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