As promised, here is a list of the best delicacies of our country for those who are looking for inspiration and/or simply because they miss it. Our Start Adventure expeditions always value gastronomy, because, after all, eating is a pleasure of life and an extremely important part of traveling.
Way up in the North of Portugal, in Miranda do Douro, the traditional sausage, alheiras mirandesas, are made. You can find them all over the country but they are especially good here. Alheira is one of the many traditional sausages that the Portuguese just can’t get enough of, and this one is made with poultry, olive oil, bread, fat, garlic and a kind of paprika.
Those who have never tasted it before will find that it has a very unique, strong flavor. Be on your way to Bragança at once.
This is an absolute must, one of those occasional cravings that won’t leave us alone until we satisfy them.
What is francesinha? It’s a sandwich with pork sausage, some other kinds of sausage, ham and stake, and covered with melted cheese. This becomes a francesinha once it’s swimming in a pool of a special sauce, made from tomato, beer and piri-piri (chilli). It’s usually served with french fries (not enough calories, you see).
This dish certainly qualifies as queen of comfort food, something that is making Portugal quite famous, actually.
Not everyone in Portugal has heard of this, and people usually get confused because in Portuguese ‘tripas’ means ‘guts’. But these are, literally speaking, ‘sweet guts’ even though it has absolutely nothing to do with guts. Get it? We promise it’s great.
Tripa doce is a sort of really big crepe that is wrapped up in a warm little bundle. You can ask for any kind of filling, usually chocolate, which will deliciously melt on the inside.
This caloric bomb is perfect to hold and warm up your hands as you eat, strolling by the sea at Barra beach.
Castelo Branco is a district belonging to a region called Beira Baixa. It’s to the center/interior of Portugal. It’s a rustic, peaceful place where you can find these little honey cakes usually made in a traditional firewood oven. They come out of there tasting absolutely delicious.
It’s a fine recipe to try around the 1st of November, or All Saints Days, also called Cake Day. On this day, children do a Portuguese version of trick-or-treating, going around knocking on people’s doors to get cakes and sweets. Did you know that?
‘Amêijoa’, well that is a clam. Clams a la Bulhão Pato from Lisbon. The unique ingredients in this dish work together to make it truly amazing. The white wine, the coriander… this is the very best way to eat clams, and a usual sight at the table of restaurants both in Lisbon and in Portugal.
And Bulhão Pato, is it a name? It is a reference to a poet, Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato.
What is açorda? It’s hard to explain. It’s a kind of tradicional soup, like comfort food, but you don’t necessarily cook it or heat it up. The ingredients are usually garlic, salt, olive oil, water, shredded bread and herbs. It is very typical in Alentejo, in the vast sunny plains in the South of Portugal.
There is a secret to its unique taste: you must grind the salt with the herbs in a mortar.
This is salad. After all this heavy comfort food, we’re in the mood for a light meal. This salad from the South of Portugal is the perfect dish for a hot summer day.
Made with tomato, cucumber, peppers, vinegar and olive oil, it’s a simple and fast recipe for anyone who’s missing their summer break in Algarve. Don’t forget the parsley, which in Portuguese is ‘salsa’.
Alcatra is the first dish people think of when they talk about the unique food of the Azores.
This is a richly flavored beef stew with a lot of onion dating back from when the Portuguese started settling in Terceira island, in the 15th century. It is made in a clay pot to preserve the juiciness of the meat.
Grilled limpet rice. You know limpets, they’re a type of underwater snail with cone-like shells that hand firmly to the rocks in the sea. Don’t walk away yet, they’re great when they’re grilled. The Portuguese actually dream of this dish, enjoyed by the lusciously green cliffs of Madeira island in the warm tropical breeze.
The limpets has a rich flavor (as does all the food in the islands if you ask Start Adventure. Yes, even more than continental Portugal). Catching limpets in Madeira goes back to the 15th century, when the archipelago started being colonized.
Is your mouth watering yet? Like we said, our expeditions at Start Adventure take food very seriously. Come have gastronomic experiences with us. Get in touch, or check what trips in Portugal we have to offer. Or keep reading our Adventure Blog.
Cover photo: Adrien Sala