Food / Wine
The staple diet of the Portuguese is fish and meat ö they
consume more fish than any other country in Europe. What the
Portuguese can do with ã Bacalhaoä ö dried cod is unreal, they
have 365 recipes, one for every day of the year! The sardine is
not far behind.
Portugal will appeal to those real gourmets who have a love for
authentic real food that has been developed in harmony over
centuries with its natural surroundings and cared for by people
who take pride in what they produce. Not all restaurants,
however, offer these great dishes ö they have to be ãsought
Restaurants in Portugal as a whole have not yet discovered the
art of serving different kinds of dishes. Most restaurants serve
the same 15 dishes. The produce will be local and fresh. Most
meat dishes are served with chips and fish with boiled potatoes,
sometimes you will get rice. Vegetables are scarce, and
vegetarian dishes not commonplace. It is, however, cheap and
very plentiful. All restaurants have to offer a ãTuristica
Menu/Auments Turisticaä, it's similar to a set lunch or dinner in the UK and always
For a number of people this choice is sufficient, however, some
other will want to be more adventurous and try traditional
Portuguese specialities - you can find excellent local
specialties, but you have to know where they are ö luckily
Motocadia can help you here, if you are a ãfoodieä.
To experience a different kind of Portuguese cooking we
recommend you go to the slightly more up market restaurants
where you will get mouth watering cuisine and the price will be
relatively low compared with other parts of Europe. These
restaurants normally offer a more interesting interior and could
also be set in a splendid building. An excellent guide is the
Michelin ãred bookä entitled restaurants and hotels 2004, go to
the following site to purchase the guide ö www.fetchbook.info enter in the following ID number ö
2061006965 ö this will compare prices from various retailers.
This is the best food guide to Portugal. Alternatively you can
access the Michelin Website: www.viamichelin.com to find recommended restaurants
The Portuguese take great pride in their traditional farming
methods, rearing of livestock and general care and maintenance
of their land. As such till the dictatorship of Salazar was
overthrown in 1974 Portugal was cut off from the rest of Europe.
During this period many people became self sufficient and still
carry this on today ö to a lesser extent. You will notice,
however, that most gardens will have some form of fruit or
vegetables being grown, and some live stock will be kept
depending on the region.
Ingredients used in Portuguese food are often from small farms
or co-operatives and free from pesticides and chemicals ö they
Below are just a few examples of
dishes that can be found all over Portugal, local regional
specialities are found all over the country. Motocadia will
have great pleasure in helping you to find the right restaurants
for you to experience these.
Petiscos ö these are small delicacies that can be compared with
Spanish tapas, usually you order a ãpetiscosä ö a small plate of
them. It is usual for Portuguese people to go to the bar late
afternoon, or early evening to order these, along with a glass
of wine or beer.
Ameijoas a bulhao pato ö mussels in garlic, with cilantro
leaves and lemon juice
Caracois ö small spicy snails
Enguias de escabeche ö small eels fried in a well seasoned
marinade with fried onions Dried cod and sardines are also done like this
Moelas ö well spiced chicken stomachs
These are salty specialist pastries with spicy fillings ö great
with beer or wine. They are made with choux or puff pastry and
can be battered or left plain. The fillings are shellfish, meat,
sausage ö they are either oven baked or deep-fried.
Rissois ö deep fried choux pastries filled with crab meat, or
mussels, or fish
Empada ö Different shapes of pastries, filled with ground
chicken, baked or deep fried
Bolinhos de bacalhau ö small dumplings made from dried cod,
potatoes and herbs
Fish / shellfish:
This is the main dish of the Portuguese, and many varieties can
be found ö it will always be fresh, such as:
Bacalhau - dried cod, national dish
Sardinhas ö sardines, national dish
Salmoneta ö red mullet
Pargo ö sea bream
Faneca - poor cod
Robalo ö sea bass
Pescada ö hake
Cacao ö small shark
Espadarte ö sword fish
Fish will often be grilled on an open BBQ, or baked, pan fired,
boiled, steamed or deep-fried
Portuguese take very seriously the welfare of their livestock,
what they eat, where they are kept and how they live.
Traditional methods have prevailed even with the EU regulations.
You will find excellent beef from breeds such as the Alentejana,
lamb from the Terrincho and the best pork always has the
trademark of Casa do Porco Preto and comes from a small area of
the Alentejo close to Spain.
Cacoila (Stew in a Cacoila Dish) - Often made with
pork beef this one-pot meal is a very traditional especially
during a "mantaca" or winter slaughtering of pigs or cattle. This recipe is from the island of Pico, in the Azores.
Ensopado de Borrego ö lamb ragout
Bife steak ö beef steaks
Leitao ö suckling young pig
Vitela ö veal
Cabrito - goat
Despite its small area, Portugal rates sixth in the world as a wine-producing country with 44 designated wine areas, and as such produces a
huge variety of wine such as:
The choice and price of wine in Portugal varies hugely, but
there is something for everyone.
Portuguese wines can compete with wines from all other major wine-producing countries, and are being appreciated as wonderful wines for food. Based on both indigenous Portuguese and international varieties, they offer a new world of sensory experiences.