The Portuguese gastronomy presents some influences of the Mediterranean diet that consubstantiate in the high consumption and proportion of olive oil, vegetables, fruits, moderate to high consumption of fish and low consumption of meat and its derivatives, notwithstanding such influence, the truth is that Portuguese gastronomy has a very unique identity that is based, essentially, on four pillars.
No fish which has always been one of the favorite foods of the Portuguese, who have always had a very close connection with the sea. Cod and its thousand recipes, grilled sardines, gilthead and grilled sea bass are the most common fish dishes in Portugal's houses and restaurants. The seafood is also an integral part of the rich Portuguese gastronomy, where the Arroz de Marisco is pontificated.
Despite the long Atlantic coast of Portugal and the abundance of excellent fish and shellfish, the meat (cow, poultry, pork) is an essential ingredient of Portuguese gastronomy, being the basis of many dishes of the interior and mountainous regions, especially in the north of the country.
Each region has an extensive list of specialties, namely: Cabidela Rice, rice dish with chicken that is distinguished by the way it is cooked, being harvested the blood of the chicken that is mixed with vinegar, it is a dish with a very intense and characteristic flavor, and may not meet the consensus of the diners; Pork with Alentejana, a perfect combination of seafood with pork cut into small cubes that are cooked after marinating in red pepper paste, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper and white wine, the clams are cooked together with the meat and sprinkled with coriander; Cooked Portuguese, a true ex-libris of Portuguese cuisine, a dish consisting of several meats and traditional sausages (chorizo, farinheira, ribs, pork shank), cooked carrots, potatoes, cabbage and turnip, this dish is one of the true national delights .
O olive oil Portuguese is of extreme quality and purity and is practically present in all the recipes of Portuguese cuisine.
A confectionery Portuguese cuisine deserves special mention in Portuguese gastronomy, a large part of the Portuguese sweets' recipes came from the Portuguese convents and monasteries in the 16th century. The abundant use of egg yolks in many of the recipes is related to the need to use the egg whites in the convents, both for the wrapping of wafers and to maintain the habits of the religious always well-groomed. Thus, in order not to waste large quantities of gems, the friars and, above all, the nuns of Portugal perfected the ancestral recipes. In this way, the soft eggs of Aveiro, the "creation" of the nuns of the Order of the Carmelites, in the 19th century, the cream cake (including the famous pastels of Bethlehem that were "born" in the Jerónimos Monastery, the Queijo da Sintra, among many others.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to start this adventure and delight in our gastronomy.
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