Check out these other posts in the "Food" category.


  • Americans, Portuguese, and Tripe: The “Fifth Quarter” (and Final Frontier?) of Meat
    If you were a spoiled, er, middle-class child raised in the late twentieth-century United States, you probably contorted your face in disgust at least once as your grandpa waxed ecstatic about liver and onions.  Fast forward to adulthood, and that same “you” may still scoff at grandpa’s favorite meal but ... Read more
  • How to Pick a Restaurant in Portugal
    Is there a Platonic ideal of the Portuguese restaurant experience?  The truest, most authentic expression of not just traditional Portuguese cuisine, but something quintessentially Portuguese in how a restaurant serves the food? After fifteen years of dining out in Portugal, and visits to hundreds of Portuguese restaurants throughout the country, ... Read more
  • Lampreia (Sea Lamprey)
    What makes a food a delicacy? According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, it’s “something pleasing to eat that is considered rare or luxurious.”  For The New York Times, it’s often when foods once eaten only by the poor become attractive to the wealthy because those foods are now rare.  In Portugal, a ... Read more
  • Portuguese Croissants: Oh là là!
    The croissant is considered a classic French pasty: crescent-shaped (croissant means crescent in French), flaky crust, and, if you buy it from the right patisserie, baked to a light golden brown, but not burnt on the ends.  Croissants originally came to France by way of Austria, and are believed to ... Read more
  • Doces Fálicos (Phallic Sweets)
    If you’re in the market for a day trip from Porto, about 50 minutes northeast of Porto lies the medieval village of Amarante, nestled in the Tâmega river valley. Before you start wondering about what to see in Amarante, let me sum it up for you: its principal tourist attractions ... Read more
  • Bolo Rei (King’s Cake)
    When the holiday season rolls around, the Portuguese bolo-rei cake starts making an appearance, and different variations on the theme pop up throughout Europe as well. (In New Orleans, too, for Mardi Gras.) These “king’s cakes” as they’re called in English are generally spiced, come in a ring shape, and contain ... Read more
  • Portuguese Petiscos vs. Spanish Tapas
    If you’re an American who has ever wondered “where is Portugal located on a map” or if Portuguese and Spanish are basically the same language (no, they’re not), you might be surprised to discover that tapas is not a Portuguese dish.  It comes from Spain.  There are only two types ... Read more
  • Caracóis (Snails)
    The small land snails eaten throughout the Mediterranean, known as caracóis in Portugal, are a great introduction into the flavors and culture of southern Portugal.  Enjoyed primarily in Lisbon, the Alentejo, and the Algarve – less so in the north, but you can still find them in Porto – the ... Read more
  • Beyond Michelin Stars in Lisbon
    I have been fortunate enough to dine at several Michelin-starred restaurants in Portugal, but, I must confess, after the novelty of spending three hours sampling 26 thimblefuls of salmon-flavored shaving cream wears off, it’s all just kind of…long.  And for the love of God, if something is really that good, ... Read more
  • Eggs in Portuguese Desserts
    When you first walk into a traditional Portuguese café or confeitaria (pasty shop or bakery), you will usually see a large display case full of desserts and other delectables.  The dominant color is yellow, which comes from the truly astounding number of egg yolks that form the basis of many ... Read more
  • Percebes (Gooseneck Barnacles)
    I still remember the first time I had percebes in Portugal, but the first time I had percebes period was in Spain, where they are also eaten, and also called percebes.  (Don’t let this fool you into thinking that Portugal and Spain are the same country, as I have pointed ... Read more
  • Portugal Sardines? Yes, Please
    There’s an old refrain that you should never order fish on Monday because, historically, fishing boats didn’t go out to sea on Sundays, so fish served Monday is two days old.  But times – and refrigeration techniques — have changed.  Even Anthony Bourdain eventually gave fish on Mondays the green ... Read more

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