Mon - Fri 9 am - 7 pm EST,
Sat  9 am - 3 pm EST,

Regular Hours 1800-890-3731

After Hours Emergency 727-902-9316

Need Help? | Frequently asked questions
Book Online or Call us Toll free 1-800-890-3731

The Gastronomy of Portugal


You cannot claim to have visited any country without immersing yourself in its language, culture, and cuisine.We are of course not suggesting that you learn Portuguese in the process of a vacation, but we do say that you can sample as much of Portugal as possible through seeing, hearing and, above all, consuming what it has to offer. Here we look at the cuisine of Portugal, food and drink that continues to engage and surprise.
Grilled fish, meat, stews, salted cod (bacalhau), casseroles, rice, potatoes, and salad are traditional dishes. Others include crispy suckling pig, Presunto (a Portuguese version of Parma Ham) and Chafana (goat stew). Duck (Pato) is usually served shredded with rice. Quail and partridge are popular in rural areas.Beef skewers with garlic make a delightful snack or main course.In the Portuguese culinary tradition, all the parts of an animal are used, so that you will see plenty of tripe and offal on the menu.
Goat, sheep and cow cheese are traditional regional delights.Portuguese local cheeses have protected status.You may get a basic mixed salad with your dish, in summer this may feature Chestnuts. In October/November Hot Chestnuts are served from motorized street stalls, a particular treat.
Sardines fresh from the boat and placed on a harborside grill, are notably delicious.As is a slow-cooked ragout of wild boar, ideally in a country taverna. Portuguese food is a fusion of the rural and the maritime.
Simple, earthy country dishes are the order of the day.Portuguese food is locally sourced and simply prepared. If you want delicious sauces and fresh vegetables, they may be difficult to come by. It is pretty tough to be vegetarian in Portugal.Garlic, Lemon, and Olive oil are conventional dressings, though you may get cumin, paprika, or coriander if you are lucky.
Seafood dishes are abundant and tasty (as befits a Maritime Nation).Cod, Bream, and Sea Bass are staple dishes, along with salmon, trout, mackerel and hake.Bacalhau (salted cod), is the Portuguese national dish, and there are innumerable ways to cook it.Fried with egg, onions, and potato is one way, baked in cream is another.Fish stew, usually a Cataplana (cooked in a copper vessel) and Arroz de Marisco; mixed seafood in a soup-like sauce, is also recommended.
However, there are influences from the Portuguese colonies, so look around for a Goan Curry or dishes cooked with Brazilian peri-peri spice (especially with chicken and fish).
Desserts are, generally, everyday fare; such as fruit salad, rice pudding, ice cream or chocolate mouse.It is better to venture out and get a delicious pastry or cake.A particular Lisbon delicacy is a Custard Tart (Pasteis de Nata).
You may want to know that there are no licensing laws in Portugal, so you can drink as long as you can find somewhere open.
This globally famous fortified wine is produced outside the city of Porto, in the Douro valley. Famous brands include Sandemans and Taylors.Many of the Port vineyards have been in the same families for hundreds of years, many of them are English in origin (testimony to the historical relationship between England and Portugal). Port is made by adding brandy to wine, before the fermentation is ended. It has a soothing, strong, sweet taste with some depth.There are five main varieties of Port, including a very pleasant white variety.
Also known as 'Vinho Generoso,' Port occupies a special place in any wine lovers heart, and no decent dinner is complete without a large glass (with the cheese and biscuits and grapes). For the Connoisseurs, tours are available through most vineyards.
Produced on the Island of the same name, Madeira comes in light dry, sweet and heavy versions and can be drunk as an aperitif or as a dessert wine.
Portuguese wine is made, principally, in small, cooperatively-run, local vineyards.Obviously, there are Whites, Reds and Rose, but Portuguese also distinguish between 'Green' (young wines) and 'Mature' wines (the former is referred to as 'Verde,' the latter as 'Maduro.') Some wines do not get better with age and, therefore, are best drank 'young.'
The Portuguese take immense pride in their wines and even in the smallest country restaurant you are likely to find an interesting selection.Alentejo red is especially good with grilled meat. And a chilled Vinho Verde on a hot summers day is perfection. Rose is good with chicken or fish.
Coffee is usually served small, black, and strong, but you can order any permutation up to large and milky. Please note: tea is always served black, so you have to ask for milk.Fresh orange juice, rather bizarrely for a country so closely associated with the fruit, fresh orange juice is relatively rare, freshly squeezed is the best option (Da Maquina).
The Portuguese dominated the spice trade, but the cuisine in country restaurants and even many in the cities are local and basic in outlook.
Breakfast can be Brioche or Croissant, in a pastry shop or confectioners.If you prefer to sit down for a small meal, then some toast (heavy on the butter) or grilled ham and cheese sandwiches may be offered.Cake or pastry are alternatives.In many bakeries, you can buy hot fresh bread in the mornings and afterward drink coffee in a bakery cafe.
Meat or cheese stuffed pasties, deep fried meat patties, salt cod fishcakes, battered cod fishcakes with egg, samosas, grilled or fried pork sandwiches, or a steak sandwich are samples of what you can typically expect, in most places.Pesticos are Portugal's answer to Tapas.However, they are limited in scope: including small fried fish, pickled lupin seeds, cheese, and olives, but also stewed snails and octopus salad.Crunchy Pigs ears are a particular favorite.
It is worthwhile knowing that, unlike in Northern Europe, lunch is a big thing in Portugal.Everything stops between 12-2, and it may be wise to make a reservation. Tipping is typically 10-15%.There are many varieties of eatery: from up-market Michelin star restaurants in the major cities to dining rooms and pubs.
Just look for the signs:
Tasca: A Tavern
Casa de Pasto: local dining room
Cervejaria: A beer house, for snacks and seafood
Marisqueira: A seafood eaterie
Churrasqueira: For grilled meat
You will always be served small appetizers in a Portuguese restaurant. These may consist of sardine spread, chorizo, prawns, and cheese.All served up with copious amounts of bread and butter.These are all chargeable items so beware.
Prato de Dia: Literally, the dish of the day.A set meal which is usually much cheaper than other alternatives.
Ementa Turistica.This meal is not, as the name implies a 'Tourist Menu,' but rather a three-course meal of the day which may involve things like soup, a dessert, and some drink.
Portuguese restaurants are remarkably cheap, depending on where you go, you can eat well for between €10-30.This cheapness is all the more surprising, since Portuguese portions tend to be huge, so if you have not got a big appetite, it may be best to order a half portion (meia dose) and still feel really full or share a portion (uma dose). It is helpful to note that both portion sizes are included on the menu, so you do not have the embarrassment of asking.Lunchtimes are, by custom, 12-3pm, and Dinner after 7.30pm (it can be a bit of a dining desert outside the cities after 10 pm).
We hope we have given you a detailed guide to the gastronomy of Portugal and we hope you enjoy it !.
www.paylessflights.com has all the best flight and hotel deals.