Portuguese gourmet


The country of Portugal is located in the south western part of Europe and Portugal is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean and Spain on its sides. With south America not very far, it is interesting to note that the gourmet of Portugal which includes some of its best delicacies of them most have a strong cultural history, these gourmet have been influenced at times by the flavors and food habits of these neighboring nations. Such instances are very common n Portugal and one look at the gourmet of Portugal will reveal many examples.

The term 'feijoada' has been derived from the Portuguese 'feijao' meaning simply beans. The feijoada is a popular preparation in both Portugal and various other South American countries like Brazil where it is a vital part of the cuisine. The feijoada is simply a stew comprising of beans and also pork and beef components. It is said that during the period of colonization, the colonizers would distribute the remaining portions of the pork after consumption among the slaves who added it to their stew of beans. This may be considered to be the origin of the feijoada delicacy. The feijoada is prepared in the different regions of Portugal with variations. For example, the red beans are used as an ingredient in the north eastern parts of Portugal like in Tras-os-Montes while in the north western part, in the regions of Douro Litoral and Minho, white beans are applied in the delicacy. Along with these beans, beef or pork other items like carrot, tomato and cabbage are also used to enhance the quality of the preparation. It is usually advised that the feijoada be cooked in thick pots made of clay on slow fire to produce excellent flavor. The feijoada is popularly served in Portugal with sausages of various kinds like morcela, farinheira and chourico de carne as accompaniments.