Portuguese cuisine is as rich and diverse as the history of Portugal itself. It has been influenced by the maritime voyages and exploratory travels that shaped the country and its gastronomy. Dishes in Portugal often rely on traditional recipes, emphasizing fresh and high-quality ingredients, especially fish and seafood.
Bacalhau, dried and salted cod, is undoubtedly the most iconic Portuguese dish. It is said that there are over 365 ways to prepare it, one for each day of the year. Another popular fish specialty is sardinha assada, grilled sardines, usually served on bread with fresh vegetables. Seafood is the focal point of many Portuguese dishes, as exemplified by cataplana, an aromatic dish cooked in a special copper pot.
Cozido à Portuguesa is a dish of various types of meat, sausages, and vegetables. Caldo verde, a thick vegetable soup with pieces of chorizo sausage, is another favorite, often served during cold evenings. Francesinha, a specialty from Porto, is a distinctive sandwich filled with various kinds of meat, covered with cheese, and served with a special sauce.
In the world of street food, bifana, a simple pork sandwich, stands out. Another popular dish is prego, a beef steak served in a brioche bun with mustard and garlic.
In the realm of sweets, it’s hard to overlook pastéis de nata, small creamy pastries whose flaky pastry and rich vanilla filling are a symbol of Portuguese confectionery.
Portuguese cuisine, characterized by its simplicity and rich flavor, truly reflects the country and its heritage. Its dishes, whether based on fish, meat, or sweets, are the result of centuries of cultural mingling and culinary mastery.
(The article is in progress, it will be expanded.)