Portuguese gourmet


If one looks back through the pages of history, one can easily decipher that the Republic of Portugal as it was known earlier, has a rich history and the gourmet of Portugal includes such delicacies which root the Portuguese to their historical and cultural identities. One of the prominent among the various Portuguese cuisines is the bacalhau which in Portuguese refers to the cod fish, but at the same time the term is also used to refer to salted cods and several other delicacies prepared from it.

Portuguese bacalhau

It must be noted here that fresh cod is scarcely consumed in Portugal and bacalhau is one of the significant dishes to be included in the menu in case of notable occasions like Good Friday and Christmas Eve and all along the Holy Week. In fact one of the reasons for the immense popularity of the bacalhau can be attributed to certain church regulations which prohibit the eating of meat during some festivals and these rules are followed extensively in catholic countries like Portugal. Therefore in such cases the salt cod or bacalhau becomes a very suitable alternative. The most important ingredient for the preparation of this delicacy is obviously the salted cod which is obtained nowadays mainly form the Newfoundland coast though they have been prevalent in that region since the last 500 years. Since the early years of ht 16th century, bacalhau became a part of the Portuguese diet and it has also been referred to as 'fiel amigo' in Portuguese which means loyal friend. Portugal is known worldwide for its superior quality wines and vineyards and this bacalhau is often served along with Portuguese wines like the Alentejo wine, Douro wine, Dao wine or the green Vinho Verde. Various bacalhau dishes have also developed along the various regional divisions in Portugal thus emerging as a major ingredient in the Portuguese diet.