If you like Portuguese tradition, obviously you will like their food, so here are some Famous Traditional Portuguese Foods. Influenced by Mediterranean cuisine, Portuguese fare relies heavily on seafood. From crispy whole sardines to dried and salted cod, these are the dishes to try. If you visit Portugal and have a traditional Portuguese grandmother as your gastronomic guide, she will feed you a variety of dishes rich in meat and seafood. Traditional Portuguese food is hearty, which is my polite way of saying “lots of calories.” Back in the day, still in rural areas, families raised their cattle and slaughtered the animals to get the most out of every gram of meat! Grandmothers in Portugal tend to cook things more typical of their region, but a superhero grandma who loves Portuguese food will definitely cook you at least these 10 delicious dishes for a true taste of Portuguese tradition.
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1. Cozido à portuguesa
Portuguese stew is a great example of the importance of using all the meat an animal can provide. This meaty bomb includes beef, pork, chicken, and a variety of pork derivatives, such as blood sauce and smoked pork parts. Some vegetables are also thrown into the mix, but it must be admitted that this is a dish for meat lovers.
2. Caldo verde
The most traditional of Portuguese soups is as simple as it gets: cooked with onions, potatoes, bananas, garlic, and olive oil. Nothing says winter comfort food like a good serving of caldo verde in a traditional clay pot. This soup will usually be served with “linguica” (typical smoked pork sausage) and a slice of cornbread.
3. Feijoada à Transmontana
Feijoada means bean stew, but you know it wouldn’t be a Portuguese stew if you didn’t throw a variety of heavy meats into the mix! All the funny parts of the pig end here, because the dish was created when people couldn’t afford to waste anything that the human body could eventually digest. The meat involved may vary, but if you’re particularly picky, ask before you pop something in your mouth.
4. Bacalhau à Brás
Of the many ways to code CC in Portugal, “brass style” is the most popular, and I honestly salivate just thinking about it. Chop cod is fried in a pan with plenty of onions and mashed potatoes. The dish is made with beaten eggs that are cooked in a pan and topped with parsley and black olives.
5. Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato
More than a meal, clams Bilhah patto style is a snack, best enjoyed with an ice-cold beer. It’s also very popular as an appetizer and is a tasty way to get you going.
The juice is flowing. Clams are sautéed in olive oil with garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous amount of red pepper. Other similar clam dishes include this seafood cooked in white rice, butter, and herbs, which is just as good! Very important: you’ll need bread to dip the sauces into, because I can guarantee you won’t want to leave a drop on the plate.
6. Rojões à moda do minho
Since Portugal has a never-ending relationship with pork, there are plenty of roosters to keep the spark alive! Slices of pork are cooked in the same lard and seasoned with garlic and white wine. Served with boiled potatoes, variations of this dish may include roasted chestnuts.
7. Bolinhos de bacalhau
A super Portuguese grandma won’t let you leave Portugal after trying just one codfish dish alone! Also known as “pasteis de bacalhau,” these codfish fritters can be eaten as a starter, snack, or as a main dish with rice and salad. The batter behind this fried goodness is made from shredded cod, potatoes, eggs, and parsley and is baked until golden-crisp on the outside but smooth and melty on the inside.
8. Açorda à Alentejana
This typical dish from the southern region of Alentejo is as good as it gets when it comes to comfort food with a rustic touch. The basic recipe for acarda will be bread mashed with olive oil, coriander, salt, eggs, and water, but more complete versions may include cod fish or prawns. It’s not a soup, and it’s not a stew; it’s something in between, unique to Acorda!
9. Alheira de Mirandela
Translating “Alhira” to “sausage” doesn’t nearly do justice to this unique combination that, yes, looks like sausage, but is so much more! Stuffed meats in alhira can include veal, chicken, duck, and rabbit, wrapped together with bread.
10. Arroz de pato
If you don’t appreciate pork and are frustrated with most of the suggestions above, let’s end on a cheesy note. In Portugal, duck rice is cooked until the meat is ridiculously tender, simmered in red gravy, and baked in the oven with the rice until the top is crispy. Don’t be bored. The rice absorbs the juices from the duck and is traditionally topped with a chopped smoked sauce. It’s a real feast of flavor.
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