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Traditional cuisine from across the globe – Portugal

 

Despite it being a rather small European country, Portugal has a lot of things to offer, it’s a country with an extremely rich history and heritage, it’s a country that has stood witness to many world changing events and created some as well, but we’ll only take a little bit of time today to talk about its cuisine and what has influenced it throughout the centuries.

Portuguese food on the whole has a reputation of being both robust as well as lusty, mostly due to the fact that Portuguese dishes in general are relatively easy to prepare and only require basic equipment and the use of strong aromas such as garlic, onions, olive oil and season pork give it the image of strong yet simple cooking.

It’s interesting to note that as it is with other countries in the world, Portuguese cuisine varies from region to region but there is a constant almost anywhere you will go in the country, and that constant is fresh fish and shellfish. In order to better illustrate this, the national dish is some called “bacalhau” and it’s basically dried and salted cod, with grilled sardines and horse mackerel being a close second, more popular in coastal towns.

However, since the Portuguese have been some of the most prolific explorers of the Age of Discovery, many new types of fruits, nuts and plants were brought from the New World as well as places like Africa or India. Tomatoes and potatoes were brought from the New World, just like pineapple and Brazilian chilli and cashews. The Portuguese were also amongst the first Europeans to use and experiment with spices such as cinnamon, pepper, cloves and nutmeg in their dishes.

While, as we mentioned earlier, the national dish is made of cod, meat and pork especially plays a crucial role in many Portuguese recipes, with chicken being a close second while other meats such as beef, lamb or turkey being used to a lesser extent.

 

 

 

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