Foods you have to eat while studying in Portugal
Portuguese cuisine is very rich and varied. No matter how long you stay studying in Portugal, you will have to find the time to try them all. There is a huge selection of succulent meat dishes, seasoned and cooked according to centuries of tradition. For seafood lovers there are fantastic dishes to be found on the coast (although that doesn’t mean you can’t get inland too!). And don’t forget the Bacalhau (cod) which can be cooked in 1001 different ways. Check out 11 dishes we recommend and remember to save room for dessert!
Ameijoas à Bulhão Pato (Clams in white wine)
Cooked in a sauce made from garlic, coriander, white wine and olive oil this is ideal for an early meal. The poet Raimundo Bulhão Pato gave it it’s name with a mention in one of his poems. It should be served with bread and a fresh white wine.
Caldo Verde (Green soup)
This is soup is made with a chopped potato and kale base. Add garlic and salt for taste and put in one or two slices of chorizo to finish. When the weather starts getting hot this a go-to dish and is incredibly popular during the “Santos Populares” (popular saints -St. Anthony, St. Peter and St. John) parties which happen in June.
Peixinhos da Horta (Garden fishes)
They look like fillets of fish, but, in fact, they are strips of green beans covered in egg purée and breadcrumbs. They get their name from their misleading appearance. Portuguese missionaries took this to Japan and created the tempura craze!
Feijoada (Beans and meat)
Combine beans, pork, sausages and vegetables and you get the base for this iconic dish in both Portugal and Brazil. By slowly cooking it in a pan you are able to combine all the flavours together in a beautiful and delicious sauce. Service with rice and a robust red wine that can bring out the best in its flavours.
Peixe Grelhado (Grilled fish)
As a country with lots of fresh and sea water fishes Portugal is spoiled for choice. Sea bream, sea bass, flounders, cherne, swordfish and turbot can all be found easily enough in markets and restaurants. Just make sure it’s fresh (or caught on the same day if possible) and then grill it over charcoal. Serve with cooked vegetables and beautiful sea view.
Leitão Assado (Roasted piglet)
The Leitão (piglet) of Bairrada is probably the best piglet in Portugal. Bairrada is a small town in central Portugal, but local producers distribute their famous pig to restaurants across the country. The secret of its taste is in the choice of the piglet and the spice that marinades the meat while it is slow- roasted on a skewer in a wood oven for many hours. The Bairrada region also produces sparkling wine that should be served with it.
Francesinha (Cheese toast)
Take some bread, some cheese, some more bread, some more cheese and then add in ham, pork, French fries and an industrial amount of spicy sauce. You’ll have the ultimate hangover main course which fills you for days.
Cozido à Portuguesa (Portuguese stew)
This is one of the best known and most difficult dishes to describe in Portuguese cuisine. It consists of a mixture of vegetables, meats and sausages that must be cooked separately. It is in each dish that their flavours and textures blend. The list of ingredients may vary depending on the region of Portugal where the stew is eaten.
This is a traditional dessert from Alentejo. Some say its origins are conventional but others argue that it is an adaptation of a sweet brought in from India. It is made from milk, eggs (with the yolks and the egg whites introduced separately) and a lot of cinnamon. It’s usually served with peaches from the Elvas region.
Doce da casa
Crème, egg and cookie crumbs. It sounds simple to make but each and every restaurant will prepare and serve it differently. Depending on where you are, no two dishes will be the same making it a dish that constantly surprises you.
Ovos Moles (Soft eggs)
It is said that nuns from the Aveiro region developed this recipe after using egg whites to help iron their tunics. This left large quantities of unused yolks, which they decided to use and combine with sugar. After making the sweet, it is wrapped in a fine coat of wheat flour (used to make the wafers for masses, which convents have a great deal of) and given form with nautical motifs: fish, shells or whelks.