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You might think that Portuguese cuisine is just like the Spanish one, but it is very different. Portugal is proud of its specialties. Its cuisine combines unique ingredients and dishes that you can only find there. Even if it is similar to Spanish food in some aspects, like the use of seafood, fish, rice and fruits for example, we will present here three recipes that are 100% Portuguese. In terms of drinks, you certainly know the Porto (vinho do Porto), from the region of Porto. Port wine is a Portuguese fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley. It typically comes as a sweet red wine, but it can also be dry or white. And if you ever go to the region of Óbidos, I recommend you try a Ginjinha d’Óbidos, which is a cherry liquor coming from that very region. It is very sweet and fruity. In the meantime, here are three recipes of Portuguese traditional food to try at home to get a taste of Portugal in your plate!
Arroz de marisco (Rice with Seafood)
You might think, “Eh, this looks like a Spanish paella!”. It does indeed, but it is not a Spanish paella, it is a Portuguese specialty. Portuguese people might hate you if you ever tell them that.
The quantities of this recipe serve 4 people. Depending on the availabilities of the season, you should use mussels, hard-shelled clams, clams and/or shrimps. You will also need 8 cups of broth that has been used to cook the seafood.
Pastéis de bacalhau (Cod Fishcake)
Cod is a very typical ingredient of Portuguese cuisine. Here, the “fishcake” looks actually more like a croquette or a fish-doughnut. Cod fishcakes can be eaten cold or warm, as a main dish with side dishes or as a snack.
Ingredients ( serves 4-5 people):
Pastéis de nata (Cream Tartlet)
This is probably the most famous Portuguese pastry in the world. This little tartlet filled with a special egg cream is very typical of the Western Iberian country and national pride. However, it is good to know that, often people do not prepare them at home, they would rather go buy it in a pastry shop or a bakery. These little tartlets are indeed pretty difficult to prepare, because, first, the puff pastry takes a very long time to make and second, you will need an oven that reaches 450°C! But you can still try them and tell us how it worked out!
Ingredients (around 12 pastéis):
You can buy a prepared puff pastry or use a traditional recipe to make it yourself, but be aware that it takes a very long time.
We hope you found these recipes tempting and that your will try them at home! If you do not feel adventurous enough to cook them yourself or if, maybe, you find the process too complicated, we recommend you try them in person if you ever visit Portugal! I personally tried them all and found them delicious! Pasteis de nata are my favorite, but I have to admit they are particularly complicated to make. Try them in a local bakery shop and you will not be disappointed!
Leave a comment and let us know if you tried them at home! Send us a picture of the outcome and we will add it to this post!
All these recipes come from a book called “La cuisine portugaise de tradition populaire” and have been translated by Florane Lavend’homme into English.