Ten Traditional Dishes of Portugal – Part 1

Those who have never been to Portugal should plan a vacation there because Portugal has one of the best cuisines in Europe. It is quite different from the nearest neighbor Spain because it has been formed by a wide range of ingredients and different styles of cooking.

Historically, Portugal has been a rural country, so only the local food has been used. As a result, traditional Portuguese food is hearty and definitely should not be taken if you are on a diet. In different regions, you can find some distinct local dishes that cannot be found anywhere else. Here are a few great traditional dishes of Portugal that are loved by rich and poor as well as by locals and tourists.

Cozido a Portuguesa

Portuguese stew or Cozido a Portuguesa shows what the cuisine of the country is all about. It is a meat feast made from many parts of different animals. Depending on the region, you can expect beef, pork, chicken and some other meat dishes such as blood sausage and smoked pork. This stew includes many different vegetables as well. Mostly, it could be vegetables such as potatoes, onions, and carrots. This stew can last for days being occasionally topped up with water when it gets a little dry, and its flavor is actually enriched by the longer cooking as the meats and vegetables break down and thicken the sauce.

Caldo Verde

The national cuisine can be judged by its soups, and Caldo Verde is a simple soup that is highly delicious and very nutritious. The main ingredients are potatoes, onions, and kale that gives a fresh green color to the soup. These simple ingredients are cooked with heaps of garlic and olive oil which adds a creamy richness to the overall dish. Traditionally Caldo Verde is served in a clay pot and garnished with a tasty slice of smoked pork sausage. Sometimes a slice of freshly baked cornbread for dipping into the steaming hot soup can be added.

Feijoada Transmontana

Another great Portuguese stew is Feijoada Transmontana, which is basically a stew of beans. However, it is very different than Spanish or French bean stews because this version is made with meats. It’s highly recommended to make a little research before eating this dish because you should be ready to try strange parts of the pig that you have never eaten before such as ears, knuckles, and hocks. The meat and parts of meat depend on the region, so if you are a little picky about what your food then better ask your hosts what you are eating.

All these dishes can be different every time you eat them because only the seasonal vegetables and freshly butchered meat can be used. These dishes might sound like something from the middle ages. However, all of them are old and very typical to the cuisine of Portugal. Today they are still being made in the same way and people love them as these meals are simply delicious and tell the story of Portugal.

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