Mar 3, 2017

Food Glorious Food


Whether your tasting the cuisine, ports or wines that the fertile soils bring forth, or simply watching the beautiful landscape pass by, the Douro is a true river of gold for any traveller.

Everything you eat and drink in Portugal’s Douro Valley is flavoured by nature: its famed wines and port, its rich vegetable soups, its free-range game stewed slowly over wood fire. A journey into this vineyard-sheathed valley will reward the taste buds more than any other sense.

Bola de Lamego

Created in 1139 to feed the crowds following the acclamation of Afonso Henriques as King of Portugal, this snack is filling, tasty and easy to eat: balls of dough stuffed with meat or, less traditionally, ham, chicken, chorizo, sardines or cod.

Sardines

Seafood at Porto’s Docapesca Fish Market is so fresh it’s still slicked with saltwater. The most authentic Porto meal is a plate of sardines, grilled over open coals on the pavement and served with potatoes, green beans and a glass of Douro wine.

Meat

Though seafood is a Portuguese staple, the region also serves up delicious, inventive meat dishes – especially in winter, when comfort food is called for. There’s oven-roasted kid, spit-roasted partridge, boiled boar, and Feijoada à trasmontana, a hearty pork and bean stew.

Olives

Olive trees colonise the slopes of the Douro Valley, producing fruit which is pressed in the artisanal way. The resulting oil is the most important ingredient in the Douro cook’s kitchen: it’s used in stews and cakes, tapenades and jams, and as an accompaniment once the meal has been served.

Portuguese tarts

Known locally as leite-crème queimado, these silken custard tarts were invented in the 17th century by nuns looking to use the egg yolks left over once they’d starched their vestments with the whites. The sweet, cinnamon-scented custard is also served as a pudding, sans the crust.

Article by Catherine Marshall.