10 delicacies and treats you can’t miss in Portugal
When you are a “foodie”, the most difficult thing when you arrive in a country, is that you will not be able to try all the local foods because unfortunately the capacity of our stomach is limited. From regional specialties to the best snacks, there is a lot to choose from. Here is a list of the most iconic snacks and delicacies you can enjoy in Portugal and particularly in the Lisbon area. Note that we do not refer to complete dishes, only small traditional Portuguese delicacies.
Portugal is a very gastronomically rich country, and believe me it was not easy to draw up a List.
Pastel de bacalhau
Created at the beginning of the century, in 1904, the pastel de bacalhau is a symbol of gastronomy in Portugal. The recipe includes parsley, potatoes, eggs and the famous cod. It can be found easily in pastry shops, taverns and restaurants. It is sold individually or served as a main dish, usually accompanied by beans rice or tomato rice and salad: it can also be served as a starter in restaurants.
It is a mandatory “snack” in Portugal and must be accompanied with a glass of good Portuguese red wine.
“Croquete” is also always present in Portuguese appetizers. It is made from shredded beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, flour and some other secret ingredients. This delicacy is also served as a starter and can be easily found in any café or pastry shop in Lisbon.
Queijada de Sintra
Queijadas de Sintra are one of the most famous typical sweets in Portugal, especially from the Sintra area. It is a small cake made with cheese, milk, eggs and sugar.
The first historical records indicate that there have been queijadas de Sintra since 1227. There are even reports that, in other times, these delicacies even served as an exchange such as: rent and charter payments.
In Sintra they can be found at the SAPA Factory, Café do Preto, or Piriquita.
Travesseiro de Sintra
Original from Sintra, from the famous Casa Piriquita, located in the center of the town of Sintra, these delights are one of the most famous cakes in Sintra. It is a cake in the shape of a pillow made with puff pastry, egg cream, almonds and sugar.
This recipe was reinvented in the 1940s by Mrs. Luísa Cunha, granddaughter of the founder of the former Casa das Queijadas da Piriquita, using old records of the recipe. The recipe quickly became a hit. This success led the old factory to become a store open to the public.
This sweet can be found at Casa Piriquita or at most pastry shops in Sintra
The recipe varies from north to south, but the base is pork seasoned with a special sauce that can take various condiments such as white wine, garlic, beer, butter, etc. (depends on each cook). Served inside a bread, the customer can add mustard and hot sauce to improve its flavor. This bread can be toasted or not. There are areas in the country where the bifana recipes are famous as Vendas Novas, where they come from or Porto, but we believe that in Lisbon there are places to eat great bifanas. It is excellent accompanied with beer or white wine.
You can also find the grilled Bifana but, in our opinion, this is not the real bifana.
In Lisbon we recommend… ..
This is a delicacy that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
The recipe is simple: bread, good quality beef, mustard, butter and garlic; then it is cooked in the Portuguese way.
It can also be served on the plate with chips and a fried egg, but the original form is on toasted bread. Very important! The bread must be toasted.
This delicacy can be found in most good Portuguese breweries.
In the Lisbon area, we recommend the Nova Esperança brewery in Benfica and the Ramiro brewery.
Pastel de Belém
Created by friars in 1837, pastéis de nata or pastéis de Belém are one of the most popular specialties of Portuguese sweets and one of the 7 gastronomic wonders of Portugal. There are similar products known as pastel de nata that can be found in any pastry shop in Lisbon, but the originals have to be tasted in Belém, at Fábrica dos Pasteis de Belém, located at Belém street 84-92. The pastel de Belém is a small pastry made of puff pastry and filled with a delicious cream filling. We do not know the recipe for this filling, because the recipe is secret and very well kept. They should be eaten hot sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. To not lose!
Great to start a meal or to accompany a bifana, prego or a cod pastry. Of course! Accompanied by a good Portuguese red wine. Ideal for supper at the end of the night.
Caldo verde is a traditional soup from the North of Portugal, usually served in a clay bowl and whose main ingredients are finely sliced Portuguese cabbage, potatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil and Portuguese chorizo. It can be accompanied with a slice of corn bread.
It is a salty pastry in the shape of a half moon, usually stuffed with shrimp, fish or piglet and then fried. It can be found in almost all pastry shops and breweries and tastes best when it is eaten hot. It can also be served as a meal accompanied by rice and salad.
Another typical Portuguese delicacy that also has cod as an ingredient, is patanisca.
Patanisca is made with shredded cod, flour, eggs, parsley and pepper.
And then fried. It can also be served in the dish accompanied with rice or beans or inside a bread (sandwich)