Porto and its Extraordinary Food (Part 1)

Located between Douro and Minho, Porto is the cradle of Portugal. Among the city’s many cultural traditions Porto emphasizes its much celebrated gastronomy and the appeal it has for visitors. Let me show you how Porto has combined, through the clash of cultures, Medieval, Oriental, African and Brazilian recipes.


This is an excellent Northern bread. It is made with white or yellow corn and a variable amount of rye. It usually goes with fried or broiled sardines, cod dishes or caldo verde. Remember that the Portuguese have brought the corn from the American continent. It quickly became part of the local eating habits since it was easy to cultivate and tastier than rye, from which bread used to be made.

Cabrito Assado

This is a dish that my wife adores. While in Porto we could find out exactly, but maybe because St. John is always represented with a lamb by his feet, as a biblical reference to the Lamb of God, or maybe because this meat is more abundant in this season, in either way there is no St. John’s without a roasted lamb or kind, always served with new potatoes, oven rice with sausages and offal and sautéed Chinese broccoli. Traditionally, this is also an Easter recipe, undoubtedly, for biblical and Jewish reasons. However, tender kind is used instead of lamb.

Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá

Now this dish comes with a bit of history. Gomes de Sá was a 19th-century merchant from Porto. He was the creator of this cod recipe that used the same ingredients as the bolinhos de bacalhau with which he used to delight his friends every week. Indeed, the ingredients are the same, but the recipe is the result of a careful and refined preparation. The recipe was discovered to be part of a manuscript by Gomes de Sá, who gave it to his friend João with the cute note: “João, if you change it, you will spoil it.” And so we have inherited today... unspoiled.

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