A Beginner’s Guide to Portuguese Cuisine
Portuguese cuisine is a combination of vibrant colours and flavours. It’s a true culinary delight for all of the senses. There’s so much more to Portugal’s rich heritage of flavours than peri-peri chicken, as some would be led to believe. We are going to take you on a journey of the senses with our guide to Portuguese cuisine. So, sit back and enjoy the ride.
Bacalhau is one of the most popular and widely enjoyed cuisines in Portugal. Salt cod is the staple of many Portuguese dishes and is eaten in many different ways. One of the most popular dishes is Bacalhau com natas, which is a dish of salt cod, baked with cream and potatoes. Bacalhau is a versatile cuisine and there are countless recipes to sample that include this tasty fish.
Sao Jorge is a very strong cow’s milk cheese which has been aged for up to seven months. This is a unique cheese as the cows are allowed to roam free in the meadows all over the country. This makes the milk taste fantastic, which in turn creates this magnificent cheese.
On both sides of the border, Black Iberian pigs are reared. In Portugal, the best come from the Montado region of Alentejo. These pigs have a staple diet of acorns and are farmed in oak forests.
Similar to the Japanese kobe beef, these Iberian pigs develop a layer of fat that helps to create a deliciously sweet and moist meat. It’s typical in Portuguese cuisine for pork to be cooked in a confit style, which perfectly compliments the cut of meat. One of the favourites in the North are Rojoes, which are chunks of pork cooked in spices and wine.
Pastel de nata
Pastel de nata is known to be one of Portugal’s most delicious cuisines. Portuguese natas can be found in any bakery all over Portugal. The best time to get these is in the morning, as they are fresh baked every day and are especially delicious when they are warm.
This is the quintessential Portuguese egg custard, simple in design, but perfect in every way. The custard filling is light and creamy and the pastry perfectly complements this. If you have a sweet tooth, then we would most definitely recommend trying one… or three!