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Portugal Food and Wine Print E-mail

Portuguese people are still the highest consumers of fish in Europe. Fish is a big part of their diet, shellfish, sardines and particularly salt cod, which in Portuguese is called Bacalhau, can be found on every menu. According to a popular anecdote there are 365 recipes to cook “bacalhau”, one for every day of the year. It can be served grilled, boiled, pan fried, fried or as a casserole. One of the most popular ways to have it is boiled and served with chick peas and potatoes with olive oil sprinkled over the top. A typical Portuguese meal consists of a first course, usually a soup, followed by a main course consisting of fish and vegetables. Rice is also high on the list of the Portuguese diet, olive oil and garlic are amongst the most used ingredients. Other spices and herbs are used such as cumin and coriander, a clear heritage from the colonies.


 Meat is also consumed, especially pork and chicken. The northern regions consume more meat than fish and tend to combine the cooking of rich dishes with the use of wine and port in the process. A typical dish in Porto is chicken or duck cooked with port.
Portuguese wines are a good accompaniment to the cuisine with a large selection of reds and whites. Particularly famous are the fortified wines, Port, and the dessert wine Madeira.
Portuguese people are big coffee drinkers. There is always time to stop for a coffee and a chat and why not trying one of the lovely little cakes. Typical cakes are “Arroz Doce”, cinnamon flavoured rice pudding and “Pasteis de Nata”, caramel custard cake in a flan.