FOOD & DRINK
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Dishes of Portugal are very varied depending on the region. While you will find a wide selection of fish in coastal areas, meat is more common in the interior. Soups, stews and sweet desserts are popular all over Portugal and wine is the preferred drink, also as an aperitif or digestive.
As common in other Southern countries, breakfast is the least important meal of the day and often consists of just a coffee and a pastry, croissant or toast. Lunchtime usually falls between 12:30 and 3pm and dinner time is between 7:30 and 10:30pm.
A typical Portuguese meal would consist of a starter, soup, main and desert. Popular soups would be the “calde verde”, a green soup made from potatoes and cabbage served with chorizo. “caldeirada” , a fish soup, or “cozido à portuguesa”, a stew with meat and vegetables.
Considering the lengthy coastline, it does not come as a surprise that fish is one of the favorite meals on Portuguese menus. “Bacalhau” (cod) and “sardinhas” (sardines) are among Portugal’s national dishes and are prepared in countless different ways all over the country. Octopus, swordfish, sea bass, monk-fish or venus clams are also popular.
When it comes to meat, there is a large variety on pork and poultry dishes, like “carne de porco à alentejana” (pork with venus clams), “arne de porco a vinha alhos” (pork in wine sauce), “galinha recheada( (stuffed chicken in wine sauce) or “rango com piri-piri “ (chicken in spicy piri-piri).
The Portuguese like their desserts very sweet and they are often made of few ingredients, but mainly sugar and egg yolk. Besides ice cream, milk rice or custard, the iconic “pasteis de nata” (cream cakes) are the most characteristic dessert in Portuguese cuisine.
Portugal is a country of excellent wines. Port is perhaps the best-known drink outside the country, but other wines are also highly appreciated: Vinho Verde from the Minho, whites and reds from the Ribera del Duero, Muscatel from Setubal, red from Terras do Sado and Algarve and the vinhos generosos from Madeira.
Portuguese wines are classified according to three official denominations: VQPRD (fine vintages from a limited number of
grape varieties and exclusively from one particular region) , Vinhos Regionais (table wines produced in a particular region) and Vinhos de Mesa (table wines with no specific characteristics). Vinho Verde (DOC), Alentejo (DOC) and Douro (DOC) would be among the most outstanding VQPRD wines in Portugal.
Port wine is a fortified wine produced in the Douro valley. This wine is distinguished and characterized by its careful production.
Food & Drink