*A collaborative post*
Virtually every holidaymaker has experienced the sunshine, golden sands and vibrant cities of Portugal at some point or another – and with good reason: it’s absolutely beautiful. With so much to see, do and experience with each visit, the coastal delights of the Algarve, Lisbon and Porto are home to many a repeat holiday offender. Amongst the many things Portugal is lauded for, its cuisine sits near the top of the list. Countrywide, you’ll find incredible seafood, hearty, flavour-packed dishes and moreish baked treats, but which five are simply must-trys?
It doesn’t come much better than settling in to one of the many beautiful villas in Portugal for a week on the coast and sampling some of the local seafood. Particularly if you’re in Lisbon around May to October time, you’ll want to get involved in sardine season.
Sardinhas assadasare big and juicy sardines served straight off the street grills of Portugal’s capital. Served either with boiled potatoes and vegetables or a simple slice of bread, you’ll be sampling one of the country’s true seafood classics.
Cozido a Portuguesa
One for lovers of all things meaty, cozida a Portuguesacan feature any number of meats, including beef, pork, chorizo, blood sausage, smoked sausage, salt pork and more, slowly boiled and mixed with a variety of hearty vegetables and rice.
One for the wintertime, but a must-try no matter what time of year you’re visiting.
OK, sit down for this one. Portugal’s answer to the croque-monsieur and the signature dish of Porto, the franchesinhais essentially a meat sandwich coated in cheese and tomato sauce.
Your classic option is ham, smoked sausage, chipolata and steak between two pieces of bread, coated in melted edam with a spicy tomato and beer sauce. Recommended with a draught beer, the hangover crowd will never have been happier.
Piri piri chicken
Yes, we know you’ve been to Nandos. Thing is, you won’t actually find one anywhere in Portugal, and your typical half chicken and chips isn’t exactly authentic Portuguese cuisine, even if it is delicious.
Churrascariasare the piri piri vendors of the nation, littered throughout every neighbourhood in the country. Made to be eaten with your hands, you’re guaranteed a super flavoursome, juicy dish, and you’ll even get chips as well.
While pastel de natais undoubtedly Portugal’s most popular and famous dessert, it’s hard to ignore the fact they’ve made a dessert sausage, or chocolate salami.
Don’t worry, no weird meat and cocoa contraption here, just dark chocolate, cookies, nuts butter eggs and port rolled into a salami shape. Do you need any more information than that to want one? Didn’t think so.
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive by any means. A culinary paradise like Portugal has so much more to offer, these are simply five of the can’t-miss items on the menu. With delicious street-seafood, mighty meaty plates and incredible desserts to choose from, it’s no wonder people keep on coming back to this southern European gem.