Portuguese are foodies. If you want to experience Portugal, you must TASTE it.
You will be delighted with our very typical "grandmother cooking style" dishes.
No matter if you go to a modern restaurant or any tasca (traditional family owned restaurant), you will always experience a homemade taste and feeling.
And lastly, if you are also a food and wine lover, there you have the perfect cultural ice-breaker.
The basics are:
MONDAY: CALDO VERDE
"Life is better with soup" you might hear. One thing is certain, Portuguese people think a meal without soup is incomplete. It can be vegetable soup, chicken soup, tomato soup, and the most typical one - Caldo Verde; we do appreciate our home-made soup! This last one is a delicacy, specially in rainy-lazy days, made simply with onions, potatoes and kale. It´s originally from the northern part of the country, and usually served with chouriço (smoked pork sausage) and bread (ideally cornbread) on the side.
TUESDAY: BACALHAU (salted codfish)
There are more than 300 different recipes, actually some say it´s not a tradition, it´s a "national obsession". It´s also our Christmas dish for dinner, but the funny fact is that we don´t have codfish in Portugal, we import it all from Norway.
#MyBookpack favourites are Bacalhau à Brás (shredded codfish with onions, olives, parsley, chips and scrambled eggs), Bacalhau com natas (codfish with cream) and Bacalhau com broa (codfish with Portuguese corn bread).
WEDNESDAY: MARISCO (seafood)
Polvo à lagareiro (octopus), amêijoas à bulhão pato (clams), sapateira (crab), percebes (barnacles) as well as shrimp are some of the seafood specialties.
Some boiled and cooked simply with lemon and onion, but others take some art to cook and even to eat - you need to try them to begin understanding :). Lots of bread is needed to deep and "clean the plate" as the sauces are, most of the times, as good as the dish itself.
Porto´s signature dish, it´s probably one of the heaviest and a one of a kind meal.
It has two slices of bread with steak, ham and different types of sausages, all covered in cheese and a secret spicy beer&tomato based sauce.
Café Santiago is #MyBookpack ´s choice as the place to try it and their specialty is with fried egg on top and fries around it (Address: Rua Passos de Manuel 226, Porto).
And if we continue with meat musts - Portuguese are undoubtedly meat lovers - Alheira deserves some special words. A type of sausage from the northern region of Mirandela, made with a mix of veal, duck, chicken and sometimes rabbit meat and bread.
Created by the Jews in our country as a "looks like sausage", because they couldn´t eat pork meat. Accompany it with a fried egg and try grelos (cooked turnip vegetables) and you will be truly delighted.
SATURDAY: ARROZ DE TAMBORIL (monkish rice)
As a side dish or a main one, Portuguese love rice: white rice, tomato rice, carrot rice, seafood rice... and monkfish rice :) It´s cooked with laurel, garlic and tomato stew, almost like a risotto, with the perfect combination of spices and fish/seafood flavour (sometimes, it has shrimp too). Very typical in Algarve, the southern region of Portugal.
SUNDAY: PASTEL DE NATA
The most known Portuguese treat! The perfect dose of sweet, it´s traditionally from Belém, in Lisbon, but you can find it at any coffee place around the country.
You should try it at Café de Belém, it´s original place, as they are still the best ones (Address: Rua Belém 84-92, Lisboa).