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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Portugal's Culinary Popularity

Feijoada with several accompaniments: rice cas...Image via WikipediaBy Penelope Saxe

Portugal is very popular for their cuisine, which makes this country a very popular travel destination. In the 15th century, the Age of Discovery greatly impacted cooking in Portugal. Cinnamon and curry power were very popular ingredients brought to Portugal during this time.
Prior to the Age of Discovery, many other cultures were bringing various ingredients to Portugal. The Romans introduced wheat, onions, garlic, olives, and grapes to the country of Portugal. The Moors were the first to plant rice in Portugal. They also introduced figs, lemons, oranges, and almonds within the country as well.

Today, the Portuguese cuisine varies depending on where in Portugal you go. However, Portugal is well-known for the fresh fish and shellfish offered across Portugal on almost any menu. The Portuguese national dish, bacalhau, is dried, salted cod fish. It is something the Portuguese have loved since the 16th century. Due to how popular of a dish bacalhau is, today there is said to be three-hundred and sixty-five different ways to prepare it. The reason behind this is so they can have their national dish prepared a different way each day of the year.
Because Portugal's food is so sought after, they even have a second national dish. Their second national dish is called cozido � portuguesa. This national dish is made with meat instead of fish. It is a thick stew made with vegetables and various types of meat. The most popular version of the dish is made with pork.
There are a lot of different foods available within Portugal. If you travel along the coast, you are likely to find an abundance of grilled sardines and horse mackerel. However, Portugal is also well-known for their desserts. Some common options for dessert in Portugal include cinnamon-flavored rice pudding, flan, and caramel custard. With such a wide variety of options with the country, you can't go wrong traveling to Portugal.

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