In association with: Visit Portugal UK
From freshly caught seafood to mouth-wateringly sweet pastéis de nata, a trip to Portugal isn’t complete without indulging in its array of delicious local cuisine. And it can all be accompanied with a glass of Portuguese wine, produced in one of its many wine regions.
Portugal prides itself on top-quality, healthy food and incorporates the Mediterranean diet. Herbs, fish, fruit and vegetables are often present, along with spices and other ingredients the Portuguese brought to the country in the 14th century.
Alentejo is where most of the country’s olive oil is produced. This, along with bread, fresh vegetables and soup, are core ingredients in some of its regional specialities.
Portugal prides itself on top-quality, healthy food and incorporates the Mediterranean diet
Cuisine from the Centre of Portugal comprises delicious meats, including roast suckling pig, and cheeses, such as the buttery Serra da Estrela cheese. Meanwhile, Madeira’s location in the Atlantic Ocean means that fresh fish and seafood are key to the island’s most popular dishes.
When it comes to desserts a pastel de nata, a custard tart with cinnamon, is a staple Portuguese treat, but those with a sweet tooth will be spoilt for choice. Rice pudding, crème brûlée and sponge cake are among the most popular, along with other traditional sweet treats including papos de anjo, which translates as ‘angel’s chins’, made from whipped egg yolks and sugar syrup.
Dining together around a table and sharing a bottle of a locally produced wine is a key part of any trip to Portugal. From port in the Douro Valley and reds in the Dão region, to whites from Alentejo and the Azores, Portugal’s wines are among the world’s best.
For those looking for a light and refreshing tipple, recommend a sparkling vinho verde, and suggest your customers pair one of these wines with a delicious meal to ensure they are treated to an authentic, local dining experience.
Three of the best foodie experiences
1. Mesa de Lemos
This Michelin-starred restaurant offers two menus, ‘five moments’ or ‘seven moments’, with delicately crafted courses devised by its expert chef. Mesa de Lemos is located in a renowned wine region, just outside Viseu, in a uniquely designed building.
2. World of Wine
Set on the south bank of the Douro river in Porto, the World of Wine is a development full of shops, restaurants and wine experiences. It’s a must-visit for those keen to learn more about Portuguese wines and their cultural ties.
3. Socalco Nature Hotel
This coastal property allows guests to get involved in the production of Madeira’s regional cuisine through activities such as cooking classes, jam and bread making and more. The hotel also aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible with a range of sustainability initiatives.
For more information
Find out more about each region’s specialities, staple ingredients, famous chefs and tasting experiences, at theartoftastingportugal.com
PICTURE: Pedro Clarinha