A Culinary Walk Through the Indulgant Flavors of Portugal

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Portuguese cuisine is known for its bold and rich flavors, influenced by the country’s history and geography. The cuisine is characterized by the use of fresh ingredients, such as seafood, meats, vegetables, and herbs. Some of the most popular dishes include grilled sardines, Bacalhau (salt cod), cozido (a hearty stew), and francesinha (a sandwich filled with meat, cheese, and a spicy sauce).
Portuguese cuisine also features a variety of spices and seasonings, including paprika, cinnamon, saffron, and bay leaves. Olive oil is a staple ingredient in many dishes, and wine is often used in cooking as well. Desserts are also a highlight of Portuguese cuisine, with popular treats including pastel de nata (a custard tart), Arroz doce (rice pudding), and bolo de mel (a honey cake). Overall, the flavors of Portugal’s food are bold, hearty, and delicious.
Here are some of the best foods to try in Lisbon:
1. Pastel de Nata: This is a traditional Portuguese pastry that is a must-try when visiting Lisbon. It is a small custard tart that is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, and is often served with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  The place to go the bakery in Belem.
2. Bacalhau: This is a traditional Portuguese dish made with salt cod, which is a staple of the Portuguese diet. There are many different ways to prepare Bacalhau, but one of the most popular is Bacalhau à brás, which is a dish made with shredded cod, onions, potatoes, and eggs.  This is one of my favorite dished and I grew up with a version of this.  A must try!!
3. sardinhas: Lisbon is known for its fresh seafood, and sardinhas (sardines) are a popular dish. They are often grilled and served with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt.
4. Bifanas: This is a traditional Portuguese sandwich made with thin slices of pork, garlic, and spices. It is often served on a soft roll and is a popular snack or lunch item.
5. Caldo Verde: This is a traditional Portuguese soup made with kale, potatoes, and chorizo. It is a hearty and delicious soup that is perfect for a cold day.
6. Arroz de Marisco: This is a traditional Portuguese seafood rice dish that is made with a variety of seafood, including shrimp, clams, and mussels. It is a flavorful and filling dish that is perfect for seafood lovers.
7. Ginjinha: This is a traditional Portuguese liqueur made with sour cherries. It is often served in small cups and is a popular after-dinner drink.  You can but it at Total Wine & More.
Lisbon is a food lover’s paradise, with a variety of delicious dishes and unique flavors to try. Whether you are interested in seafood, pastries, or traditional Portuguese dishes, Lisbon has something to offer everyone. So be sure to try some of these delicious foods when visiting the city and experience the unique flavors of this beautiful destination.
Pastel de Nata Recipe


For the pastry:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (store-bought or homemade)

For the custard filling:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 strip of lemon zest (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping (optional):

  • Powdered sugar
  • Ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a floured surface until it’s thin. Cut the sheet into small squares that fit into the cups of a standard muffin tin. Press each square into the cups, creating pastry shells.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the whole milk, heavy cream, cinnamon stick, and lemon zest (if using). Heat the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract, and whisk until well combined.
  5. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture, stirring continuously to avoid scrambling the eggs.
  6. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the cinnamon stick and lemon zest.
  7. Pour the custard into the prepared pastry shells, filling each cup about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake the pastel de nata in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the custard is set and the pastry is golden brown.
  9. Remove the pastries from the oven and let them cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes.
  10. If desired, sprinkle powdered sugar and ground cinnamon on top of the pastries before serving.

Enjoy your homemade pastel de nata! These delicious custard tarts are best enjoyed warm, so serve them fresh out of the oven or reheat them briefly before serving. They are a delightful treat for any occasion or as a special indulgence with a cup of coffee or tea.


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