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An unforgetable experience

Content © Copyright 2018 Eurovision Guide


The proximity of Portugal being situated next to the Atlantic Ocean makes sure that seafood is a stable of Portuguese cuisine, but there are many Mediterranean influences as well as influences from the former colonies of the Portuguese Empire that make up the cuisine of the country today.

For those who are vegan or vegetarians, don’t worry, Lisbon will look after you with many delights available for your taste-buds.

Portugal is also famous for its wines, including Port from Porto.  There are several varieties of wine grapes that are only situated in this country.  Just perfect for a casual wine tour around the city of Lisbon.

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‘Free’ Appetisers Whatever you eat, you must pay for, whether or not you ordered it. It’s common practice for restaurants to bring bread, butter, cheese and other goodies to the table, but these are never free and will be added to your bill at the end. If you don’t want them, a polite ‘no thank you’ will see them returned to the kitchen.

The pastel de nata, or Portuguese custard tart, needs no introduction. Over the past few years, these delicious pastries have popped up in cafes and bakeries all over the world: from Berlin to Brisbane.

The most original recipe comes from Pastéis de Belém, a pastelaria that dates back to 1837. But, even though Pastéis de Belém are the oldest pastelaria, you’ll find these cakes in every single café in Portugal.

Over the past few years, several new bakeries have launched in Lisbon. Some people say that these bakeries are even better than Pastéis de Belém, while others say you can’t beat the original. There’s no consensus, and the only way to get an answer is to try them all yourself.

As well as Pastéis de Belém, three places to include on your ‘grubcrawl’ are Manteigaria, Aloma, and Cristal. Let us know what your consensus is.

Bacalhau is the national dish of Portugal, and you’ll find it on almost every restaurant menu across Portugal. The Portuguese love it so much, that it’s said that there are more than 365 different recipes for bacalhau: one for every day of the year.

Bacalhau is salt cod, although the dish itself is not necessarily salty. Prior to cooking, a chef will soak the bacalhau in cold water for at least 48 hours to remove the salt from the fish. If

Some of the most popular bacalhau recipes to look out for are ‘bacalhau com nata’, ‘bacalhau à bras’, and ‘bacalhau a lagareiro’.

The Francesinha gets a lot of attention for being unusual, but Portugal’s best sandwich is probably the bifana. This is a pork sandwich, that’s usually eaten with mustard. A great deal of preparation goes into the pork seasoning, and recipes usually include garlic, white wine, vinegar, and spices. Ironically, even though chefs spend a lot of time on the bifana recipe, it’s traditional to add squeezy mustard to the bifana once served.

Cozido a Portuguesa is a traditional Portuguese stew. It’s made of vegetables (usually beans, carrots, turnips, potatoes, and cabbage) and meat. The meat used varies, and could include sausage, chicken, pork, ribs, pork ear, or pork trotters. What you get is a bit of a lottery, much like traditional stews from many other European countries.

This is one of Portugal’s most traditional dishes and, as such, you’ll find it all over Portugal.

Frango assado is what most of us call Piri-Piri chicken. Guia, a small town in the Algarve, claims it invented the dish using chillies that sailors brought back to Portugal from the new world.

Grilled chicken and chips may seem simplistic, but it’s a dish that’s pretty much impossible to replicate to the same standards at home.

You’ll find frango assado on menus throughout Portugal, but the best Piri-Piri chicken is definitely found in the Algarve.

A cataplana is the name of a bronze cooking dish that’s shaped a little like a clam and used to create Portuguese stews. The most common cataplana dish is probably a seafood cataplana. This dish contains white fish and seafood as well as a sauce that’s made up of chopped tomatoes, parsley, garlic, white wine, and paprika. Other popular cataplana dishes to look out for are cataplana de polvo or cataplana Alentejana.

Cataplana dishes are most common in the Algarve, although it’s possible to find them on menus all over Portugal.


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