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Portuguese food

Portuguese cuisine is characterised by rich, filling and full-flavoured dishes and is an example of a Mediterranean cuisine. The influence of Portugal's former colonial possessions is clear, especially in the wide variety of spices used. These spices include piri piri (small, fiery chilli peppers), as well as cinnamon, vanilla and saffron. Olive oil is one of the bases of Portuguese cuisine both for cooking and flavouring meals. Garlic is widely used, as are herbs such as coriander and parsley.

Portuguese breakfasts often consist of fresh bread, with butter, cheese or fruit preserves accompanied with strong coffee or milk. Sweet pastries are also very popular, as well as breakfast cereals eaten cold and mixed with milk or yoghurt and fruit.

Portugal is a seafaring nation with a well-developed fishing industry and this is reflected in the amount of fish and seafood eaten. The country has Europe's highest fish consumption per capita and is among the top four in the world for this indicator.[1] Fish is served grilled, boiled (including poached and simmered), fried or deep-fried, stewed (often in clay pot cooking) or even roasted. Foremost amongst these is bacalhau which means salted cod and is the type of fish most consumed in Portugal. It is said that there are more than 365 ways to cook cod, one for every day of the year. Cod is almost always used dried and salted because the Portuguese fishing tradition in the North Atlantic developed before the invention of refrigeration - therefore it needs to be soaked in water or sometimes milk before cooking. The simpler fish dishes are often flavoured with virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Portuguese cuisine".