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The Best Portuguese Easter Foods

Portugal is a country rich in history and heritage, and steeped in religious ritual and tradition. Its culture represents layer upon layer of different civilizations that lived in and ruled Europe’s westernmost country during past millennia — from prehistoric cultures to the Phoenicians and the Romans, spanning Germanic invasions, the Sephardic Jewish migration and finally the Moorish conquest and subsequent expulsion. Today, Portugal is largely Roman Catholic but pieces of these ancient civilizations can still be found, in museums and monuments – yes — but also in small villages and abandoned churches; in the language with its mix of Latin and Arabic influences; and of course on the table.

Here are five of the best Portuguese Easter foods, the holiest holiday in Portugal, all of them full of flavor and history.

If food is a religion in Portugal, then codfish is its most holy dish. It’s said that there are 365 different ways to prepare bacalhau, the Portuguese national dish of salted, dried codfish — one for each day of the year. True or not, one thing is for sure – on Good Friday, bacalhau will be consumed by Portuguese families across the country in keeping with the tradition of abstaining from meat until Easter Sunday.

Lamb or Baby Goat
A holiday tradition in many parts of the world, roast lamb is often the centerpiece of the Portuguese table on Easter Sunday. Harking back to the Jewish tradition, lamb represents the sacrifice during the Hebrew exodus from Egypt. In the northern part of the country, cabrito, or baby goat, is often served in place of lamb. Whether lamb or goat, the meat is seasoned with the Portuguese trinity of garlic, bay leaves and white wine, and roasted […]

March 16, 2016|

Portuguese recipe: Bacalhau à Brás

Photo: Bacalhau à Brás, credits to rtllisboa3
This Portuguese recipe is for probably the most popular bacalhau dish in Portuguese cuisine, Bacalhau à Brás. It is a dish you will probably see at most Portuguese restaurants or events, because it is just so simple to make and so delicious.
It is a combination of shreds of salted cod, onions and thinly chopped (matchstick sized) fried potatoes in a bound of scrambled eggs. It is usually garnished with black olives and sprinkled with fresh parsley. The origin of the recipe is uncertain, but it is said to have originated in Bairro Alto, an old quarter of Lisbon. The noun “Brás” (or sometimes Braz) is supposedly the surname of its creator. I have never met a person who tried this dish that didn’t like it, so hopefully you’ll enjoy our take on this well-known recipe as much as many people around the world do as well.

Serves 8 people, it’s not too tricky and take 1hour plus soaking.
18 ounces of bacalhau;
4 potatoes, sliced thinly into strips;
1/2 cup chopped parsley;
1/2 cup olive oil;
10 eggs;
1/4 cup black olives;
1 teaspoon milk;
Salt and pepper to taste.
Place the salt cod in a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Leave to soak for at least 12 hours, draining and covering with fresh water every few hours.
1. Boil the fish for about 20 minutes, then skin, bone and de-flake it.
2. Cover the bottom of a wide saucepan with olive oil and sauté the finely sliced onion until transparent, taking care that the onion does not go brown.
3. Add the thin potato strips and fry them until golden brown.
4. Now add the bacalhau to the pan and continue cooking on low heat.
5. Beat the eggs in a […]

October 29, 2015|

What to eat when exploring Portugal by Bicycle

Photo: Nelson Carvalheiro
When exploring Portugal by Bicycle, the adventure will never be enough if you will not get a taste of the prided food and wine that only Portugal has to offer.
For the past few years, the capital city of Lisbon has been serious in trying to reinvent the classic cuisine of the country by adding a touch of a new and more refined flair. While there are still a lot of tabernas and tascas that serve the classics, there are now more high end and gourmet style versions that are opening in vast numbers all over downtown as well as other more affluent areas. Aside from these, there are also wine-bars that are now flourishing in different parts of the city. The gourmet stores are also growing like mushrooms in downtown Lisbon that reignites the tradition of the Portuguese canned fish, preserved fruits and sweet jams. Recently, the ethnic restaurants from the previous colonies have also become more famous, specifically African, Goan and Brazilian cuisines.
With the rivers on the north, Atlantic to the west and the mountains bordering the eastern side, Porto is a spectacular place that you should never miss out when you tour Portugal on bicycle. Porto has its own set of signature dishes while still serving the traditional cuisine of northern regions. It has also been perfectly located right at the center of the wine country and from there, you can take off your day trip or even a longer excursion to the wine regions of Douro, the Dão and Vinho Verde. Here, you can participate in the guided wine tastings, check how the local wineries work and see the grapes that are grown and harvested from the vines in […]

Award winning travel blogger who dedicates his work to the soul and sense of place of the locations he has visited, the people he has met and the food he has tasted.
September 24, 2015|