Portuguese Cuisine

If you are looking to indulge your taste buds with something different, this blog post is for you.

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Let’s start from the beginning, 6 Facts about my homeland – Portugal

  • Portugal is small compared to other European Countries, it covers about 35.600 sq miles, and it has around 10,302,674 inhabitants.

  • Portugal is the oldest country in Europe. Around 1139, Portugal appointed King Afonso Henriques as its king. Lisbon is said to be four centuries older than Rome. Because of the excellent trading location, the Phoenicians settled in Lisbon around 1200 BC.

  • Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach Japan in the 16th century. They left their linguistic mark on this Asian nation. Words such as pan (from the Portuguese pão meaning bread) and sabato (from the Portuguese sabado meaning Saturday) are good examples.

  • If you are a book lover, you should visit the Portuguese oldest bookstore in the whole world, Bertrand Bookstore is situated in Lisbon’s Chiado district. Bertrand was first opened in 1732. It has a spectacular display of mosaic tiles on its exterior, which is definitely a sight if you are into a rustic feel, worth admiring.

  • Crispy, creamy and sweet – there’s nothing like the original Pastéis de Nata (custard tart) from its home in Lisbon’s Belém district. Many have tried to replicate this dessert, but it never gets quite the same as the original. The family has kept the original recipe a secret since the 19th century. Next time you are visiting Portugal, make a point of visiting this well-known bakery in Belém.

  • You can say that the Portuguese enjoy their coffee like the British enjoy their tea. Portuguese will not go a day without an express. It is a must, especially after a meal. Sometimes they add “cheirinho” which is a drop of a spirit, most often pomace brandy (aguardente). Personally, I love it. It is refreshing and helps with digestion (I love my culture).

Like coffee, Port wine and the famous Pastéis de Nata (custard tart), food is essential to our culture. Let's talk for a second about Bacalhau, or as you may call it, Salted CodFish.

Bacalhau is the single delicacy appreciated by everyone in Portugal, including me, obviously. There are 1001 possible ways for our ‘loyal friend’ to come to the table, and it is one of the symbols of Portuguese gastronomy deeply rooted in the Portuguese eating habits.

Some of the favourite Tradicional Bacalhau recipes are:

Bacalhau à Brás- Ingredients 1 lb salted cod 8 oz. matchstick potato chips 1 onion, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic crushed ½ cup olive oil 8 eggs Salt Pepper Chopped parsley Black olives.

Bacalhau com Natas- It is an oven-baked dish consisting of layers of bacalhau, onion, diced fried potato and cream, commonly spiced with nutmeg and white pepper.

Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá- is a casserole of bacalhau, potatoes, eggs, olives, olive oil and onion.

Bacalhau cozido com Vegetais- is a casserole of bacalhau, potatoes, eggs and steamed vegetables

Bacalhau Assado com Batata ao Murro- Roasted Bacalhau with roasted mini potatoes.

I don't know about you, but just by writing this, I have an excess of saliva building in my mouth. Especially because I know exactly how each of the above dishes tastes and let me tell you, it tastes divine, I can tell you without a doubt that my favourite is...I don't have one. Sorry to disappoint!

I actually don't have a favourite dish. It is all so good. I could never choose. But I can tell you this; my choice will depend on my mood. If I am in the mood for a romantic dinner, I will go for the Roasted Bacalhau. It is a dish that deserves candles and flowers. However, if I am in a mood for comfort food, I would choose without a doubt Bacalhau Com Natas, it is so creamy.

It is great that our Bonding Time Chef is specialized in Portuguese cuisine, all those Portuguese dishes that brings water to my mouth, and possible yours if you have tried any, she sure can cook it.

Here is a 1-minute introduction to Portuguese cuisine from The Culinary Institute of America.

I also loved this Mark Wiens Vlog; in his video, he shows you what he ate on his last day in Lisbon, Portugal. As soon as I finished watching it, I had to cook Bacalhau com Natas for myself. The temptation was Real. Have a look!

Tell me in the comments, what are your favourite Portuguese dishes.

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