The geographic location of Portugal, a gateway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, reflects on its cuisine. Fresh fish of all varieties, served grilled, steamed or deep fried, is abundant with olive oil an imperative condiment. The tradition of salt cod, fished off the Norwegian and Icelandic coasts and dried, salted and cured in Portugal, still prevails and it is claimed by all Portuguese that there are “1001 ways to cook cod”.
Seafood is equally plentiful and is usually served cold after boiled, or grilled. Chicken, pork and lamb are the staples of Portuguese cuisine, and pork shows an exciting variety from cured meats to fresh cuts. Beef, and veal in particular, are also very popular and matured meats, cattle aged between 10 and 15 years before slaughtering, are now coming of age.
With a religious background based on recipes created in convents and monasteries, Portuguese desserts are unique and delicious.
Portuguese cheese is traditionally made from sheep or goat’s milk, and cow’s to a lesser extent. Often two or all three types of milk, sometimes unpasteurized, are blended into a single cheese.