Summer in Portugal is marked by two great street foods--popcorn and fried dough. Rest assured these items are a bit different than you might experience at a typical American fair. Pipocas, or popcorn, is usually very colorful with red, blue or bright yellow kernels. Pipocas is served lightly coated with a salty-sugary glaze that hardens. It is quite addictive, especially since you can find it everywhere and it is quite inexpensive. Another ever-present treat is farturas or malassadas, a fried dough that ends up being rather crisp but not oily. High quality oil and excellent dough make the treat stand out from what you might expect of fried dough at an American carnival. Look for it in most any seaside resort town, city square or fair in Portugal.
Food and Drink
"Quinta da Cabreira" cheese, produced by Lactibar Dairy of Sabugal, was voted the "Best Goat Cheese" by the National Association of Industrialists of Dairy Products (ANIL). Not a surprise, it is a great cheese.
As for meat, local favorites include the Serrabulho, which begins its cooking process as boiled pig's blood before blending it with rice. There is also the crackling pork (Rojões) and leg of pork à Clara Penha.
Pataniscas is the name of a crispy cod fritter that is tasty goodness.
Historic spa resorts across Portugal are being reborn for the modern traveler. And, new luxury spas are dotting up across the landscape. The country has always been thought of as "a garden by the sea," with green inviting landscapes, and in some places the waters are known to be therapeutic.
What is chanfana after all ? A tasty traditional dish served only in Central Portugal. It is a dish based on goat meat, slow cooked in a caçoila of black pottery in woodburning stoves, steeped in red wine, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, colorau and salt.
Bolo Rei, or King's Cake, is a Portuguese holiday tradition. Fit for a king, this sweet bready cake is covered in nuts and candied fruit.
Portuguese love soup. Indeed, a Portuguese meal is incomplete without it! Consequently, recipes for soup abound, from caldeirdada fish stew in the Algarve region, to sopa de Pedra (stone soup) from the country's central region, to Papas de abobora (pumpkin stew)
Portugal has 13 sites recognized as World Heritage sites by UNESCO. Tenare spread across the mainland, with 3 on Madeira and the Azores.
Rabaçal cheese is an old tradition made in a small town near Penela, in the District of Coimbra, Portugal. It is a DOC-type designation of origin in accordance with European Union standards. And it is damn good. It can be enjoyed like entrance, dessert or like light meal.