Portugal is a dream. The perfect weather, the smell of the ocean, the slow-paced life, and the delicious food invite everyone to visit this wonderful country., if not, to live there for good. I love it.
We were there for a month, and we tried almost all their traditional dishes. But here are my top 5.
1. Baccalhau - You've never been to this beautiful country if you haven't eaten dried codfish. They prepare this in various ways, but my favorite is the deep-fried croquette. It's crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside.
2. Pasteis De Belem - Also known as Pastel De Nata, these tiny handmade custard cakes are dangerously addictive. It was believed that nuns from a monastery in Belem created these treats to generate funds for their order. We probably ate this pastry every day. While you cannot have a bad one in Portugal, you can have the best one sold in the shop called Pasteis De Belem.
3. Grilled Octopus - This dish is not the same as Spain's. The Portuguese version is grilled, salted, and drizzled with high-quality olive oil. It's as simple as that, but it's mind-blowingly delicious. The magic of this dish is not in the technique but the freshness of the seafood. There is nothing like it.
4. Canned Seafood- The quality of canned seafood here is next to none. It's so good you will never eat anything canned that's not from Portugal ever again. It fulfills the promise of quality of life. Our favorites are sardines in olive oil, octopus in garlic and tomato sauce, and mussels in oil and vinegar.
5. Goat Stew - This is one of the most satisfying dishes we've ever had. We had this traditional Portuguese goat stew in called Chanfana Moda De Coimbra at a place called.Ze Manel.
6. Bifana - The simplicity of this sandwich is what makes it great. A grilled slab of seasoned pork tenderloin in a Portuguese bun. That's it. Everyone is eating this for lunch in Lisbon.
7. Peri Peri Chicken - A traditional African dish that made its way to Portugal via the spice trade and colonialism. This broiled chicken with special Peri Peri sauce is crispy and succulent. It's one of the greatest highlights of our lives. We had this fantastic chicken at Restaurante Bonjardim.
8. Portuguese Tripe Stew - The people of Oporto are very proud of this stew. They are adamant not to call it similar to Tripa ala Madrileña or Madrid tripe stew. They are correct. This one is much better.
9. Cafe Galao - The Portuguese version of the Cafe Au Lait or Cafe con Leche. Galo is frothy and creamy with the proper caffeine kick. It was our caffeine delivery method while in Portugal. We ordered this in coffee shops and bought powdered mixed for home consumption.
10. Francesinhas - The Portuguese version of France's Croque Madame is a dish to behold. It beats its French cousin by drenching itself in gravy. This is one heavy dish that will keep you full for days. We had this dish in Porto at a lovely joint called O Afonso.