One of (if not my favorite) parts of traveling to new places is trying the food. I spent the *puente in Portugal, discovering Lisbon and Porto. This trip was super exciting for me because it was my first time abroad in a country other than Spain. As Portugal is Spain’s next door neighbor, I am taking baby steps. There is so much I could say about Portugal and its beauty, but due to time, I’m going to narrow this post down to the food.
Portugal is known for its delicious pastries. You can find a pastry shop on almost every corner. There are also a few famous coffee spots as well, which I didn’t visit. However, I passed by The Majestic Cafe quite a few times while I was in Porto, and the line was out the door. While some people are adverse to standing in lines, I believe a long line means something is definitely worth seeing. With that logic, If I ever find myself back in Porto, I would like to check it out.
The Portuguese serve codfish in over one thousand ways!!! In four days, I tried three. El pastel de bacalhau, langueni de bacalhau de lagareiro, and bacalhau cakes with tomato rice. While codfish is one of the most revered fish in Portugal, it is an imported product! I was super surprised to learn this on my walking tour of Lisbon.
Pastel de Nata
You can not escape Portugal without seeing pastel de nata everywhere. This tasty delicacy is made with egg and custard, and is best served warm. You can really find this treat anywhere, but I recommend going to a place that specializes in these pastels because they are sure to be warm and served with either cinnamon or powdered sugar. The pastels appear small, but don’t be fooled my friend. They are dense. I had the best pastels de nata at Pastéis de Belem.
The Francesinha is not for the faint of heart. I think this dish was something I can only eat once in my life. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but also the precursor to a heart attack. I’ve included a picture of the ingredients below so you will understand why. I don’t recommend this one if you have high cholesterol. Like the pastel de Nata, I recommend going somewhere that specializes in this dish for the best experience. For one thing, this sandwich has its origins in Porto (so get it in Porto!) Being from Philly, I would never recommend anyone get a Philly cheesesteak outside of Philly, ya know? I devoured this plate at Cafe Santiago. 100/10
Ok, so I didn’t eat these, but I saw them EVERYWHERE. There are stores dedicated solely to sardines. Sardines are organized in beautiful tin cans with years labeled on the front. At first I thought I found a can of sardines as old as me, but later realized that the cans listed fun facts about the corresponding year but didn’t necessarily indicate the age of the sardines (at least I hope not.) If you visit Portugal, sardines is an authentic gift you can bring back for your loved ones…maybe to eat… or maybe just to look at…
I hope you enjoyed this food tour of Portugal. I certainly enjoyed eating my way through the country.
*puente= There are many holidays and holy days in Spain. When two holy days occur in the same week, they are often bridged together. (A bridge is a puente in Spanish). This week, there was a holiday on December 6th and December 8th. Therefore, I had off from school the 6th, 7th, and 8th. Since I never work Fridays, I had the whole weekend and the beginning of the week to explore Portugal.
Un abrazo fuerte,