Portuguese cuisine is a medley of flavours, with influences both from its European location and its historical worldwide influence. Although similar to Spanish cuisine, Portugal’s unique geography and history gives its cuisine unique flavours and distinctions.
Centuries ago, Portugal’s famed explorers travelled the world, bringing back delicacies from faraway lands. Flavours and spices - from South America to Africa to Asia -travelled back with these explorers, and ideas and elements from these colonies were introduced into Portuguese cuisine.
The key ingredients
Portugal’s cuisine is influenced not only by its location and geography but also by its history. Pork, shellfish, salted cod, sausages, olives, potatoes, rice, kale and chicken are the key ingredients in this cuisine. Wine is also important to Portuguese cuisine and pairs well with many dishes.
Popular Portuguese dishes
While Portugal’s cuisine has a lot to offer, perhaps its most important staple is Bacalhau, or salted dry cod. Bacalhau is said to be featured in over 1000 Portuguese recipes and is traditionally eaten on Christmas eve!
Marinated pork, grilled Sardines, Caldeirada - a fish stew, the famous Chicken Peri Peri, Chouriço Sausage and scrumptious Portuguese egg tart pastry are the most popular dishes that Portuguese cuisine has to offer.
Best places to get your Portuguese fix
Gloria’s Portuguese Restaurant in Petersham is Sydney’s first authentic Portuguese restaurant. From breakfasts, entrees, dinners, and desserts, the restaurant features a drool- worthy selection of Portuguese dishes.
Casa Do Benfica - Casa Do Benfica at Marrickville Tennis Club is hidden gem! Situated behind the club, this modest restaurant is one of Sydney’s best kept secrets and offers the most authentic Portuguese in town. Head on over for some grilled seafood, beef skewers and molotof - a cloud-like meringue sandwiched with delectable lemony custard.
Recipe inspiration to bring the Portuguese heat to your menu
Hot coals, grilling and a fare of full-flavoured spices are the hallmarks of great Portuguese. This hearty, peasant-style cooking, is full of paprika, bay leaves, olives and the coveted ‘peri peri’. Most dishes are garnished with a bright flurry of fresh parsley or coriander.
Here are two fiery recipes for your menu.