Portugal or how to amuse your gueulePortugal | Portugal

  • added: Aug 01 2010
  • author: Alisa X
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Brief review of the Portuguese specialties

Yesterday I got back from a two-week trip to Portugal where I travelled the coastline starting off with the city of Porto traveling all the way down to the more touristy region of Algarve flying back from the region capital Faro. That was my first encounter with Portuguese culture, history, language, people and, most importantly, food. It was namely there that I realized that food is indeed a very important component of my life and I can proudly pronounce myself a gourmet (not to be confused with gourmand). 

I am hoping to be reviewing some of my favorite restaurants of Portugal in my next entries, but this time I would like to simply share my overall impression. 

Portugese cuisine is about the taste more than it is about the presentation of meals. At first glance it might seem to be too simple: sardines served with steamed veggies or a pork chop with boiled potatoes. No extras. Seafood is by far the country's favorite (however, in the northern Porto pork is a specialty) and cod-fish recipes amount to hundreds. Alcohol-wise, vino verde, the young green wine slightly resembling champagne, is at a peak of popularity and is surprisingly cheap. Caipirinha is the most trendy cocktail made of Brazilian rum, lime, and sugar. Morangoska is yet another specialty - a vodka-base cocktail with sugar, fresh strawberries and crushed ice; all blended. Almost forgot pastries! Pasteis de nata (custards) is Portuguese seller number one. It costs less than a euro and can be found everywhere in Portugal; though the best ones are apparently coming from Belem, part of Lisbon.

Several nights in a row we were eating at the hostel where our newly-met friend Ramiro was working. Five-euro offer included a huge portion of traditional portuguese food  and a dessert! So if you run out of money, go to this hostel and sign up for dinner - everyone is very welcome there!

In general, the price/quality ratio is well-respected. Ten-euro-meal plus some euros for alcohol and a dessert would leave both my stomach and wallet satisfied. I can truly say that Portugal is the place that will amuse your tongue for cheap. Beware though that for amuse-gueule like bread, butter, olives and other snacks you will have to pay separately...


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  • Trip to Portugal
    from Porto to Faro