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Portuguese Food: 26 Traditional Dishes to try in Portugal or at home

Portuguese Food: 26 Traditional Dishes to try in Portugal or at home


Visiting Portugal is beautiful for a lot of causes. But the scrumptious Portuguese delicacies? That is primary. While Portuguese delicacies is thought for its tasty seafood dishes, you’ll discover many alternative Portuguese meals which might be based mostly on native traditions and recipes.

You might be biting right into a Portuguese tart, sitting down for some basic Piri Piri rooster, or sipping a tiny glass of port. The smartest thing is that many of those dishes are simple to replicate at home – that means you don’t even have to catch a flight.

Traditional Portuguese Food

Excited to try some conventional Portuguese meals? You ought to be. Portuguese recipes burst with taste – whether or not coated in a spicy sauce or drizzled with lemon juice. These are the ten greatest Portuguese dishes for you to try.

1. Pastel de Nata

Pastel de nata is a Portuguese dessert and one in all our favourite Portuguese dishes. The crispy pastry is full of tender egg custard, sometimes sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar – very similar to a creme brulee. Pastel de nata is served bite-sized and is greatest loved recent and nonetheless barely scorching from the oven. If you’re searching for a candy deal with, these Portuguese custard tarts are simply among the best Portuguese desserts.

So, the place did such a tasty dessert originate from? It is believed that now we have a gaggle of monks from Lisbon to thank. The monks in Jeronimos Monastery in the 18th century created the tarts as a method of earnings to assist the monastery, promoting the recipe when it will definitely closed.

Now, Portuguese cooks all around the nation make pastel de nata. Pastel de nata is offered in most bakeries, cafes, and eating places. As far as desserts go in Portugal, pastel de nata is on its manner to changing into a nationwide dish. The pastry is the trickiest bit to excellent, and the feel is classy – so crispy that it almost shatters with a chew. The pastry is normally made first whereas the custard combination is ready. If you observe this recipe it is possible for you to to make the proper Pastel de Nata. Freshness is crucial with pastel de nata, and the dish is meant to be cooked and eaten on the identical day for essentially the most genuine expertise.

2. Peixe Grelhado

Portuguese Food Piexe Grelhado Grilled Fish
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Peixe Grelhado interprets as grilled fish, and the dish is served as simply that. If you order this at a restaurant, you possibly can count on a complete grilled fish served in your plate (pores and skin and head and all). It could be a daunting expertise, however as quickly as you’re taking your first chew, any skepticism or hesitancy shall be alleviated. You’ll additionally get to style the advantage of Portuguese olive oil because the grilled fish is served drizzled. Peixe Grelhado is proof that there’s magnificence in simplicity.

Peixe Grelhado is normally served alongside herby-boiled potatoes, steamed greens, and a lightweight salad with vinegar. The meat is the dish’s focus since it’s specifically cooked on a charcoal grill.

Peixe grelhado mostly makes use of fish like seabass, golden bream, and grouper. Fishing in Portugal has been round for hundreds of years, and fishermen’s catch made up many of the outdated medieval diets. Grilled fish is a historic dish; easy however adored and handed down amongst generations.

3. Sardinhas

Portuguese Food Sardines
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Freshly grilled sardines are a juicy, staple dish in Portuguese gastronomy. Historically, grilled sardines have been a dish of the decrease courses, thanks to their low value and excessive nutrient stage. Even now, the dish might be essentially the most inexpensive seafood dish you would try in Portugal. Grilled sardines make an awesome snack or gentle lunch.

Sardines have a powerful taste and are sometimes salted earlier than grilling. The secret to the proper grilled sardines is the grilling model. Most recipes make sure that sardines are slow-grilled to keep as a lot moisture and taste as potential.

The greatest time of yr to pattern freshly grilled sardines is between June and October when the fishing season is at its peak. Of course, you can even discover canned sardines throughout Portugal and in most nations overseas, so don’t despair in case you are searching for a neater choice. While much less frequent, you possibly can eat sardines uncooked. There are plenty of methods to pattern Portugal’s most well-known fish.

4. Piri Piri rooster

Portuguese Food Piri Piri Chicken
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Who hasn’t heard of Piri Piri rooster? The tremendous chain restaurant Nandos has unfold the dish throughout the globe, and it’s now a family title, not simply Portugal’s nationwide dish. It is definitely some of the well-known Portuguese dishes.

The well-known dish is exclusive due to the sauce that it coats its rooster in. It’s a little bit spicy and candy, sometimes produced from lemon, pepper, garlic, bay leaves, vinegar, chili, and (after all) olive oil. Each chef has their very own adaptation of Piri Piri sauce, and it’s enjoyable to pattern completely different individuals’s recipes.

Piri Piri rooster wasn’t simply created in Portugal, although. Portuguese colonizers ‘found’ the chili pepper whereas overseas in newly based Portuguese colonies, transporting the peppers again home with the remainder of their plunder. The chili peppers would turn into a significant a part of Piri Piri sauce – giving it that attribute spicy kick.

Piri Piri rooster is normally served alongside French fries and a lightweight salad. Piri Piri rooster might be the best to discover out of all our Portuguese meals in this information. You ought to discover a restaurant promoting Piri Piri rooster whether or not you’re in Portugal or not. If you want to cook dinner at home it’s fairly simple to make particularly with this recipe.

5. Peixinhos da Horta

Traditional Portuguese Food peixinhos da horta
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Get prepared for one of many Portuguese delicacies’s most weird (however scrumptious) appetizers. Peixinhos da Horta is fried inexperienced beans coated in a lightweight batter and sometimes served for lunch. Peixinhos da Horta interprets as ‘little fish’, and the dish was initially ready on Portuguese ships to forestall greens from going unhealthy.

The course of is straightforward: boiled inexperienced beans are coated in a batter and deep fried in olive oil. The result’s a crispy coating on a tender inexperienced bean, making a moreish snack that’s the excellent accompaniment for a sociable meal.

Peixinhos da Horta is without doubt one of the best dishes to put together at home, so undoubtedly give this dish a go in case you are a bit daunted by tackling Portuguese delicacies. The meals can also be implausible to pattern in native Portuguese eating places in case you get the possibility. Try peixinhos da horta as a facet or appetizer.

6. Olive Oil

Portuguese Food Olive Oil
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Olive oil isn’t actually a Portuguese meals in itself. However, it’s so fastidiously manufactured and essential in Portuguese meals that we’re giving it a bit in its personal proper. It can also be a significant ingredient in many Portuguese dishes, so the place higher to begin than with one of many basis blocks of Portuguese delicacies?

Portugal is without doubt one of the largest olive oil producers in the world. Its olive oils are famed for his or her pungent, usually almondy taste and are sometimes a deep greenish-yellow in shade. The mostly used olive are Galician olives, that are extremely valued for his or her historical olive timber. The olive groves in Portugal aren’t simply implausible for creating scrumptious merchandise. They are additionally an emblem of pure historical past and generations of farming tradition.

Oil manufacturing is a protracted course of. Olives are first grown, then harvested between November and January. The olives are then washed and pressed earlier than being heated to extract and separate the oil.

While olive oil manufacturing primarily happens across the heart of Portugal, some farms additionally stretch into Southern Portugal. If you need to expertise Portuguese oil manufacturing, we advocate visiting an space like Sintra, simply exterior the foremost metropolis of Lisbon.

7. Arroz de Pato

Portuguese Food Duck Rice
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Arroz de pato is without doubt one of the most common Portuguese dishes. The dish’s title interprets actually as ‘duck rice’, and it consists of exactly that. The rice is flavored with garlic, bay leaves wine, and loads of sliced chorizo. The dish packs an intense, flavorsome punch.

Arroz de pato makes use of rice ready equally to risotto, sauteed with onions and fats to slowly fill it with as a lot taste as potential. There is usually a choice for wild duck the place potential too, which is much less fatty and higher identified for a stronger taste. Chorizo is normally sliced and unfold decoratively throughout the highest of the dish as a closing contact.

The dish is hearty and filling – excellent for giant household meals and gatherings. You’ll discover it at many eating places because it is without doubt one of the nation’s main rice dishes. However, it’s equally simple to replicate at home and is a wonderful correct meal.

8. Picanha

Portuguese Dishes Picanha
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Picanha is a well-liked beef minimize cooked historically over a Brazilian barbeque. A Brazilian barbeque, it’s possible you’ll be questioning, why Brazilian? Brazil is without doubt one of the former Portuguese colonies, and Portugal adopted the dish when its armies arrived there. While nonetheless massively widespread in Brazil, Picanha is now additionally massively widespread in Portugal. So widespread, in reality, that there’s now a set Portuguese recipe – the normal Brazilian recipe continues to be used.

The minimize itself is uncommon and is usually coined the highest sirloin cap. Since most butchers world wide normally divide this part of meat into completely different cuts (such because the loin or rump), it’s fairly an expertise sampling this minimize. The minimize could be very fatty and tender since there’s a layer of fats below the steak. These qualities are coupled with a wealthy taste when cooked on Brazilian barbeque.

9. Bacalhau

Portuguese Food Bacalhau
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Portuguese love seafood: it’s no secret. And if you would like to try one other nationwide dish of Portugal, add bacalhau to your checklist of seafood dishes to try. Bacalhau means cod in Portuguese, and a bacalhau dish incorporates dried and salted cod. The style is exclusive, and regardless of being salted, stays delicate tasting and fairly candy.

Surprisingly given the quantity of salt, it is usually wholesome Portuguese meals. So, in case you are searching for Portuguese meals wholesome sufficient to take pleasure in usually, bacalhau is a wonderful choice. Bacalhau is wealthy in omega oils, excessive in protein, and really low in fats.

Historically, bacalhau was an awesome different to recent fish. When fishermen couldn’t fish in unhealthy climate or when households wanted to get monetary savings, bacalhau had an extended shelf life. Now, yow will discover Bacalhau at most conventional Portuguese eating places, and it’s a must-try when visiting Portugal.

10. Caldo Verde

Calo Verde Portuguese Food
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Are you searching for a Portuguese dish on a chilly day? Caldo Verde is a warming and very tasty soup. The principal ingredient is shredded cabbage, though you’ll normally discover potatoes, olive oil, onion, and garlic in there as properly – seasoned with a little bit little bit of salt and pepper. Caldo Verde is a inexperienced shade and is sometimes embellished with slices of chorizo as a garnish.

Caldo Verde originates from Northern Portugal in the Minho area. However, now you’ll discover it throughout the nation. The soup can also be simple to make at home and is gentle sufficient for a summer time brunch but hearty sufficient for an ideal winter snack. Each recipe varies, and the soup has been tailored because it spreads by means of completely different areas.

11. Bitoque

Portugal Food Bitoque
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Bitoque is a hearty Portuguese meal. It at all times features a lean steak – be it pork or beef. It has a selected presentation and is served with a fried egg on prime and a facet of fries. It is considerably of a farmer’s meal and is a fundamental however basic dish in Portugal.

The dish could also be easy, however it’s cooked very exactly. The steak is seared in a pan with butter – giving it a young, distinctive style and texture. Bitoque is a typical lunch meal throughout the nation and could be discovered at many native eating places. Diners sometimes take pleasure in bitoque with tomato sauce or mustard.

12. Francesinha

Portuguese Food Francesinha
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Francesinha is a legendary Portuguese sandwich. The culinary masterpiece is a multi-layer sandwich smothered in melted cheese and full of completely different meats. If you desire a filling sandwich, Francesinha will exceed all expectations.

Francesinha consists of sausage, ham, and steak, full of cheese between slices of white bread. Extra melted cheese is added over the sandwich’s prime, and a spicy beer-based sauce is drizzled on prime. Francesinha is messy however scrumptious. The sandwich spills out of the bread and is eaten on a plate to make it manageable.

Francesinha is essentially the most well-known meals from Porto, the place it originated, and is named the queen of sandwiches by many. It was impressed by the French dish Croque Monsieur and is comparatively new to the Portuguese gastronomy scene, created in the Nineteen Fifties by Daniel Silva. You can recreate the dish at home however try it in Porto for the final word expertise.

13. Bolinhos de Bacalhau

Bolinhos de Bacalhau Portuguese Food
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Remember bacalhau, that tasty, salted cod? Well, bolinhos de bacalhau are a tasty bacalhau dish variation. Bolinhos de bacalhau are tiny, deep-fried balls full of potatoes, bacalhau, eggs, parsley, and onion. They are normally served in excessive portions, as they’re bite-sized shapes designed to be snacks or appetizers for the principle meal.

The preparation is simple, and bacalhau is simply combined in with mashed potato and the opposite elements. The combination is then formed right into a torpedo ball and deep fried till golden brown. Bolinhos de bacalhau is a fast, simple dish to cook dinner – the proper Portuguese meals for recreating at home. They are greatest loved freshly cooked, as the feel is crunchy on the skin and tender and heat on the within.

You’ll discover the dish throughout Portugal at all occasions of the yr. However, they’re additionally extraordinarily widespread as festive sides or appetizers at Christmas.

14. Port Wine

Port Wine Portugal Food
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Port wine may not be a dish, however it’s the most conventional Portuguese drink (narrowly beating Ginja, which is greatest tasted in Obidos). And for that motive, we couldn’t depart it out of this information. Port wine was really created to assist it keep its high quality throughout lengthy journeys. In the seventeenth century, retailers started including brandy to Portuguese wine to fortify it and cease it from spoiling throughout transit. The style turned widespread, and now yow will discover port wine worldwide.

Port wine is a tasty a part of Portuguese delicacies, and the drink is thought for its tremendous candy and intense style. It has a a lot greater alcohol content material and is usually thought-about a dessert wine – loved in a smaller glass than wine.

Port wine could be loved worldwide. However, it’s best loved at an atmospheric Portuguese restaurant. You ought to undoubtedly deal with your self to a style of port wine together with your meal. Alternatively, go to the Douro Valley, the foremost port wine area in Portugal.

15. Linguica

Portuguese Food Linguica
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Linguica is a basic spicy Portuguese meals. The dish is a kind of sausage identified for its intense taste. Linguica sometimes incorporates garlic, paprika, and chili – normally combined with pork meat. The sausages could be loved in many types, together with as a standalone dish and ingredient in different dishes like Caldo Verde. Linguica is tasty Portuguese meals, spicy and full of taste.

Linguica can also be typically known as Portuguese smoked sausage. It will get this title from how it’s ready, as sometimes linguica is cooked with smoke to give it an additional distinctive taste. If you try linguica at a restaurant, it would almost definitely be served smoked, however it’s up to you if you want to try to smoke it at home. While not a necessity, it definitely offers it a novel taste.

16. Pão de Deus

Portuguese breakfast food Pao de Deus
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We’ve lined plenty of dishes for lunch and dinner to this point, however what about breakfast? Well, pão de Deus is a well-liked breakfast dish. Pão de Deus is a Portuguese bread roll with a tender, fluffy inside. The rolls are sometimes formed into single serving circles, excellent for having fun with a fast morning snack.

Pão de Deus interprets as ‘God’s bread’ and was initially baked in convents centuries in the past. The candy, brioche-like bread is normally served topped with coconut and dusted with powdered sugar – the best candy deal with to begin your morning proper.

Sadly, pão de Deus is uncommon to discover exterior of Portugal. However, visiting Portugal, you’ll discover pão de Deus all around the nation, particularly in bakeries and cafes. We counsel ordering a espresso together with your bread roll for one of the best breakfast mixture.

17. Serra da Estrela Cheese

Portuguese Cuisine Serra da Estrela Cheese
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We’ll begin by saying that each one Portuguese cheeses are scrumptious. However, Serra da Estrela cheese is the tastiest. This Portuguese cheese comes from the mountains of Portugal’s Serra da Estrela area. It is produced particularly from the milk of Bordaleira sheep. Serra da Estrela cheese is a particular yellow shade and has been utilizing the identical recipe because the sixteenth century. Cheese manufacturing isn’t just a culinary course of but in addition a part of Portugal’s cultural heritage.

Serra da Estrela cheese incorporates a particular ingredient – the Cardoon plant. Cardoon is a wild thistle and leaves a floral, tangy undertone to the cheese. This is added in the early levels, with oil rubbed over the rind as soon as the cheese has solidified.

You can pattern Serra da Estrela worldwide and undoubtedly throughout Portugal. However, to expertise its manufacturing, it’s best to head to Serra da Estrela itself. The closest airports are Viseu Airport and Porto Airport.

18. Bola de Berlim

Bola de Berlim Portuguese desserts
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Ready for one more candy deal with? Bola de berlin are sweet-fried doughnuts. Unlike most doughnuts, although, they don’t have a gap in the middle or a stuffed filling. Instead, bola de berlin has a creme filling between two doughnut layers – like a doughnut sandwich.

Bola de berlin is definitely a twist on German doughnuts, utilizing Portuguese creme as an alternative of jam as a filling. It is rumored that the doughnuts turned adopted in Portuguese delicacies after German Jewish households began relocating to discover refuge in Portugal in the Nineteen Thirties.

You can discover bola de berlin in most bakeries and cafes, and the candy deal with could be loved anytime.

19. Cebolada

Cebolada is a flavorsome dish that’s basically an onion stew. Cebolada is a flexible dish to cook dinner, and also you’ll generally discover it served alongside fish, potatoes, or a bread bun. The dish consists of tomatoes, crimson bell peppers, parsley, garlic, onion, and oil – all sauteed till thickened right into a hearty sauce.

Cebolada is a well-liked restaurant or household meal supreme for catering to giant teams of individuals. Simple however superbly tasting, Cebolada is a standard Portuguese dish for you to try.

20. Carne de Porco Alentejana

Portuguese Food Carne de porco Alentejana
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Carne de Porco Alentejana is without doubt one of the greatest Portuguese meals if you would like a mix of seafood and meat. The distinctive dish combines pork and clams in a mixture of potatoes and chopped coriander. It is greatest loved as a hearty meal, normally at a night meal or gathering.

The title ‘Alentejana’ is a spot in Portugal, so that you is likely to be led to imagine that the dish originated there. This isn’t the case, although; the dish is believed to have originated in the Algarve area. Instead, it was named after Alentejana due to that area’s extremely prized black pigs.

Of course, now, the dish is obtainable throughout Portugal. If you want seafood and wish to try a standard pork dish as properly, it’s the excellent Portuguese meals to take pleasure in on a night.

21. Ovas

As far as Portuguese meals go, ovas is a very adventurous one. The dish is taken into account a delicacy and is produced from fish roe – fish eggs. Fish eggs could sound like a weird snack, however the methodology for preserving fish roe sacks could be traced again to Egyptian occasions by means of historical murals. People have been consuming fish eggs worldwide for a whole lot of years, and ovas are Portugal’s model of the outdated recipe.

The eggs sometimes come from a gray mullet fish, and the sack is boiled earlier than being eaten. You’ll normally see the dish served with potatoes and greens, drizzled with oil and vinegar. The egg sack has a really easy, silky texture, and ovas are a preferred dish due to it.

23. Arroz de Marisco

Portuguese Dishes Arroz de Marisco
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Let’s get again to seafood. Arroz de Marisco is scrumptious seafood rice, not not like a Spanish paella. The principal distinction is that Arroz de Marisco is just not decreased, so it stays thick and extra like a rice stew. Its elements range a little bit, however you possibly can normally count on prawns, mussels, clams, and squid. The ending touches are a sprinkling of herbs and a beneficiant sprint of white wine.

Traditionally, you’d discover Arroz de Marisco in Portugal’s coastal areas thanks to the abundance of recent seafood. If you need recent seafood, making an attempt Arroz de Marisco in these areas continues to be greatest. However, yow will discover the dish inland as properly nowadays, and it is usually simple to recreate at home.

22. Feijoada

As we talked about earlier, Brazil is one in all Portugal’s former colonies. Many Brazilian dishes could be discovered in Portugal at the moment, together with feijoada. Feijoada is a standard stew consisting of black beans, pork, and beef. Historically, feijoada used cheaper cuts of meat, like tongue, ears, toes, and tails, to guarantee much less wastage and construct a budget-friendly meal. This isn’t at all times the case now.

The stew is reasonably salty however not spicy. It will get plenty of pure flavoring from the meats and black beans. In Portugal, the Brazilian recipe continues to be favored, and also you’ll discover a little bit deviation from the unique recipe. Feijoada is a good warming meal, particularly on a chilly winter day.

24. Caldeirada de Peixe

Traditional Portuguese Food Caldeirada de Peixe
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Caldeirada de Peixe is one other hearty dish, supreme for a chilly day. Caldeirada de Peixe is a fish and potato stew flavored with saffron and typically containing further seafood like prawns, squid, and mussels. The great thing about Caldeirada de Peixe is that it makes use of no matter seafood the fishermen catch, which traditionally made it a dependable meal for the decrease courses.

In trendy recipe diversifications, you’ll discover a great deal of further flavorings. Bay leaves, parsley, and peppercorns are widespread additions. You can count on Caldeirada de Peixe to have a powerful, memorable style.

25. Cozido a Portuguesa

Cozido a Portuguesa could appear to be a mismatched dish. The dish incorporates an assortment of meat and greens ready as a boiled meal. The cooking model makes Cozido a Portuguesa very wholesome, skipping out the oil and deep frying that may make some Portuguese dishes much less wholesome.

Cozido a Portuguesa sometimes incorporates meat like pork ribs, beef, rooster, bacon, and sausage. It is a implausible dish to use cheaper cuts of meat, like pig’s ears and toes. These meats are boiled collectively in a big saucepan and seasoned with salt. Vegetables like parsnip, turnip, potato, carrots, and cabbage are additionally boiled – served alongside the meat on a big plate.

Cozido a Portuguesa is a no-nonsense dish that flexibly makes use of leftovers to forestall waste. It is believed to have originated from Beira, however it’s now not simply ready in a single space of Portugal.

26. Bifana or Prego

Portuguese Food Bifana
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We lined the queen of sandwiches, Francesinha. But if Francesinha is the queen of Portuguese sandwiches, bifana and prego are the princesses. These two sandwiches are a number of the greatest takeaway Portuguese meals and lunchtime snacks.

Unlike Francesinha, these two sandwiches are simple with minimal elements. Bifana makes use of pork, whereas prego makes use of beef. Both are served on tender, recent bread, generally discovered at cafes or takeaways. Bifana sandwiches marinate the pork in a spicy sauce, whereas prego sandwiches marinate the meat in a garlic sauce. Which you resolve to try is completely up to you.

Final Thoughts on Portuguese Cuisine

Top Portuguese Food
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There are so many Portuguese dishes to try. If you’re touring to Portugal, we advocate taking a meals tour and hopping round completely different native eating places. Don’t be afraid to get off the overwhelmed monitor. If you’re cooking Portuguese meals at home, put together to get experimentative. You might even host a Portuguese tapas night time in case you are feeling courageous.

Either manner, Portuguese gastronomy is unbelievable to discover. Traditional Portuguese delicacies is without doubt one of the greatest in the world, and we hope you try as many of those dishes as potential.

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