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Portugal Travel Blog

How to Eat Like a Local in Northern Portugal

How to Eat Like a Local in Northern Portugal

April 12, 2018

A huge part of the travel experience is getting to taste the typical Gastronomy. Do as the locals do in the Northern Portugal and indulge in tripes, special codfish, smoked sausages and medium-rare meat. Try them once in your life (at least)!

Let yourself explore one of the best Portuguese cuisines and make your Northern Portugal tour tastier. Today we suggest you five great places to eat like a local. We promise you will want to come back to Portugal. Very, very soon!

Porto

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Or while in Porto, do as the “Portuenses” do.  Eat like a local means that you have to try “Tripas à Moda do Porto” (literally “tripes”). We can almost see you looking with prejudice but give it a try! It’s a dish full of History and legends.

"Tripas à Moda do Porto" is a traditional tripes dish from Porto

It’s said that Prince Henry, The Navigator, asked for food to the habitants of Porto so he could go on an expedition to Ceuta. The friendly people from this land answered with all of their food and only the “tripes” remain for them to eat. And then this new dish was born and stay on until this very day. Today the “tripes” are eaten with other meats, beans and cured sausages.

Douro Valley

Travel to Portugal means: “Cozido à Portuguesa” is mandatory. This main dish is a boiled dinner considered very popular among Portuguese people.  It’s prepared with a mix of vegetables as carrots, potatoes, beans, cabbages and a mix of meats: pork (ribs, ears and bacon), poultry and beef. And – of course – smoked sausages, as blood sausage, “chourizo”, and “farinheira”.

"Cozido à Portuguesa" is a mandatory dish if you're visiting the Douro Valley

Basically all the Portuguese flavours in one very complex dish. This is the best dish to try if you want to eat like a local since it’s a household dish served when the family is reunited. It’s a very strong delicacy and so you should prepare your stomach first. And also, it is the perfect main dish if you want to try a delicious wine. So, what’s the best place to eat it? In the Douro Valley, of course, with its variety of “Quintas”, renowned wineries where the wine is produced and where you can turn this Gastronomic Trip into an event you won’t forget. Try the best Douro Wine and the best “cozido” at the same time, plus the dazzling vineyard landscape.

Braga

When in Braga, try “Bacalhau à Braga”, which is a traditional dish of codfish, by the way. Cod is a well-known friend of the Portuguese people and every region has its own way to cook it. However, the Northern Portugal is famous for its strong flavours, so we know you are going to love it. The delicious sauce with sweet onions, laurel and chili pepper will be an explosion of flavours on your mouth. Almost a meal cooked in Heaven!

Bacalhau à Braga is a traditional dish with fried codfish and chips

Bragança (Trás-os-Montes)

Maybe one of the most characteristic and delicious dishes of the Northern Cuisine is available in the charming Trás-os-Montes. “Posta à Mirandesa” is a main dish that consists in a grilled beefsteak, usually with three centimetres, and served medium-rare. The steak has all the typical flavours of the Portuguese Gastronomy, the strong garlic flavour, the salt and the pepper. Usually served with potatoes and olive oil, it will make you feel that you’re just like a local.

Speaking of the Portuguese flavours, a tasty and very Portuguese soup that is mandatory to eat while in Trás-os Montes is “Caldo Verde”. It’s a soup with cabbage, potatoes and onions, frequently served with chourizo and olive oil. Better try this entrée and main dish together. Yummy!

Caldo Verde is a traditional soup from Bragança, usually served with some chorizo

Mirandela (Trás-os-Montes)

Remember the cured sausages? You’re about to know the crème-de-la-crème of them. BBC called it “the unlikely sausage that saved lives” and, as we pointed out before, is a surprise for the foodies.

In Mirandela is where the best “alheiras” are made. “Alheira de Mirandela” is one of the Seven Food Wonders of Portugal and it will be your little gem too. You can’t imagine the flavour of this smoked sausage of poultry and game melting in your mouth.

“Alheira de Mirandela” is one of the Seven Food Wonders of Portugal

Now you see why Northern Portugal is mandatory for a foodie, right? Just try it!

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