A Step into Cultural Heritage
"Famously, it is said that only Icelanders eat more fish than the Portuguese, and renowned international chefs bow down to the rich bounty of seafood that Portugal’s Atlantic coastline offers."
"Não há fome que não de em fartura" - There is no hunger that does not lead to abundance
Portugal | A Food Journey
The Seasons of Portugal | The Best Time to Travel
For a weekend dip into Lisbon’s enchanting architecture, food and history, the best time is in early Spring; March to May, to watch the city waken from the slumber of winter. However, the warmth of the sun stays often until late October in the Iberian Peninsula, so you can also enjoy the fruits of a late summer evening in Comporta much later in the year. With many experiences not relying on strong weather however, it is an all-rounder of a country, and there is much to be said for a mid-winter weekend in Lisbon for a true exploration of their culinary and artistic offerings.
Flight Time (New York to Lisbon) - 6 hours 45 minutes
Flight Time (London to Lisbon) - 2 hours 45 minutes
Flight Time (Singapore to Lisbon) - 16 hours 55 minutes
Portuguese cuisine is a rich amalgamation of its historical influences, diversity of flavours, and idyllic maritime location. Famously, it is said that only Icelanders eat more fish than the Portuguese, and renowned international chefs bow down to the rich bounty of seafood that Portugal’s Atlantic coastline offers.
In fact, it is the extensive coastline and bountiful agricultural land which unifies Portugal’s irresistible culinary identity. From the hearty, robust meals produced in Porto and the north of the country - such as the likes of tripas à Moda do Porto, to the Mediterranean attitude of the southern Algarve coastal towns of Lagos and Faro, where local haunts serving petiscos de taberna dot the coastline, there is much to be discovered.
It is said there is no better place to indulge in the local seafood than Setúbal, where the staple of bacalhau; a salted cod dish with hundreds of variations regionally reigns king alongside a mound of choco frito - the speciality of fried cuttlefish which originated in that very town. In Balcanto, the double Michelin-starred restaurant opposite the Sao Carlos theatre in Lisbon, chef José Avillez amazes with his double set menu inspired by the changing light, the maritime location, and the distinct identities of the city's districts.
Of course, the presentation and careful dedication to meat should also be admired; Chouriço, a smoked sausage made with pork or paprika is enjoyed nationwide and could be thought of as their culinary grail. Found in the fine dining establishments of Comporta to the farmers' stalls at the longstanding Braga Municipal Market, it is unifying in its commonplace status.
Whether enjoying a few Pastéis de Nata for breakfast, or pequeno-almoço (“little lunch”) - or delighting in the sophisticated notes of a local vinho verde alongside some light dishes, you’ll be left with a lasting impression of the people and history who wrote the recipes forming the base of this country deeply steeped in culinary excellence.