meals

The Portuguese Kitchen – Part 1: Meals and Meat

A cozinha portuguesa …

With my parents coming to Porto in less than 3 weeks, I’m starting to think deeply about how I want to show them the country I fall in love with – and one of the first things coming in mind is, the Portuguese kitchen. No one outside of Portugal and maybe Spain has an idea about what the Portuguese kitchen actually is.

WHY???

It is the richest kitchen I know, it can definitely not be compared to the German one. Apart from some really basic but still really nice stuff like soups, they have quite a few whole amazing meals and foods. Not even mentioning the unbelievable Portuguese pastelaria!!

The downside is: as a vegetarian, the only thing you’ll enjoy here, is the pastelaria. For all meat-eaters: welcome to heaven!

So, let me show you just a few favourites of mine, starting with actual meals (and I’ll probably forget half of the stuff):

Caldo Verde

This kale soup will be the best you ever ate, if you have the luck to taste it somewhere in Portugal / in a Portuguese kitchen. It also contains a bit of Chouriço, which is mentioned further down.

Sopa da Pedra

This soup is not for everyone. But for everyone with a great (non-vegetarian!!) taste.

Bacalhau com Natas

And basically every other bacalhau recipe. Bacalhau (English stockfish) is THE FISH here. There are over a hundred recipes. Not kidding, look it up!

Chouriço

I’m really not a fan of that kind of sausages usually. This actually reminds me of German Salami, and I don’t like that one very much. But Chouriço… Oh. My. God. Really.

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Bifana

Oh Bifana… So simple. Bread. Meat. Some sauce. And so delicious.

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Francesinha

This is the first Portuguese dish I fell in love with. Has to be tried in the Porto area (my favourite can be found in Vila Nova da Gaia, just 10min on foot from Porto. This dish is usually served with fries and an egg on top – I prefer it this way like in the picture, more pure. And with toasts, sausage, meat, a lot of cheese and a ton of sauce, this dish alone is more than enough for me (and I can stomach a lot, trust me).

Alheira

One of the first other meals I tried, after a friend’s recommendation. Totally different from anything I had ever eaten before, and loved it anyway. A very unique kind of “sausage” u won’t regret having tried, promise!

Cozido à Portuguesa

THE national dish. Apparently. Still waiting to try it, but so far I was never let down by a Portuguese suggestion! And I’ve gotten this one so many times. Unfortunately it is a bit expensive compared to the rest I usually eat when I eat out. I’ll have an opportunity with my parents in Porto I guess! =) It is supposed to be a mixture of a lot of pretty amazing typical Portuguese foods. Can’t wait!

Chanfana

Ahah, to be honest – I’m actually ONLY putting this up on here because my Portuguese friends made me swear to do it. I have never tried it in my life. It’s on my bucket list. So, trust my Portuguese friends on this one 😀

So, that’s it for now. And this is just the meals I can think of right now.

You haven’t even gotten me started about Portuguese pastelaria, and also drinks! Watch out for Part 2 and 3 coming soon=)

How to be in Braga for 5 days, see nothing and get used to eating every hour

I was in Braga with my flatmate and fellow volunteer last week, one of the cities still on my ToDo list. From Tuesday to Saturday.
Guess what happened? We saw way more on our pitstop in my beloved Porto in 4h on the way there, then we saw in Braga the rest of the week. I´m not kidding. The weather was downright awful, but that was not the only reason. We had to go there for an on arrival training from the volunteering (EVS). I´m not saying the training wasn´t interesting and fun and we haven´t had a good time – but there was one big problem – it was way too tense. We started with breakfast from 8am, first activities at 9.30, coffee break at 11.00, activities, long lunch 12.30 to 15.00 (usually we ended up finishing lunch at 14.30…), activites, coffee break at 16.30, activities, lunch at 19.45, obligatory activities until ~22.00. after that, there were still activities, just not obligatory ones. I´m not kidding, it was like this. Yes, coffee breaks sound like “breaks”. But spend them in a room with 40 people who want to get to know each other and have a lot of experiences to share, and you will realise, it´s just NOT a BREAK. Just a different kind of activity.

So after arriving Tuesday at 18.00, this was the program for Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, we only had activities until lunch and then a free”ish” afternoon. Exactly. That meant that we were divided into random groups and had to fulfill tasks, which basically meant you had to spend your day with them. I don´t call that free at all … And, of course, especially on this day, there was not a second without rain.

And you want to know the best of all this? I had one pair of shoes with me, sneakers who broke on Wednesday morning. And I had no possibility to buy new shoes … When on Wednesday night we went out and walked back in the rain, my shoes got soaked and I walked around the good part of Thursday with extremely wet and cold feet, unless I took them off and later could borrow flip flops from another volunteer. That meant, that the “free” part of Friday was occupied by completing the tasks and desperately searching for shoes. In the meantime, my flatmate, who was also my roommate in Braga, got sick. It´s an absolute miracle I didn´t get sick, although I felt like getting sick for the good part of our stay. We ended up leaving 24h earlier …

The only photos I have, show exactly what we did – ALL of them are made inside. And there are, like, 4 pictures …

volunteer´s art galery

It´s a shame. If possible, I had even wanted to go to Guimarães or Viana do Castelo while I´m so close, but that was simply impossible. I´m just glad we made that Porto pitstop, that basically saved the whole day.

What sticks in mind of Braga? Nothing, only the volunteering stuff… And a constant feeling of hunger now ôO How can Portuguese eat constantly, and still not get fat?!

Looking at my beloved Portugal travel wall now, I feel like a betrayer having Braga on there… Oh well. I think I´ll just have to come back instead of crossing it from my to do list =)

my portugal travel wall =)