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A few words about Portuguese cuisine . . . . . .

f you have never tried Portuguese cuisine you may be surprised to find that it is completely different from that of other European or East European countries. For centuries, Portugal has been isolated from the rest of Europe and, for that matter, from the world. Her Eastern coastline completely borders on the Atlantic ocean, while Spain frames it on the east and north. Although Portugal has had some Spanish influence, for centuries, Spain was a hostile neighbor thus further isolating the country...and the cuisine.

Despite this isolation, influences on the Portuguese cuisine can be attributed to Portuguese explorers in the East Indies, the Far East and in the New World and their discoveries of new types of food. In the south of the country and on the island of Madeira, Moorish and African influence can be detected, while Spanish cooking managed to make its mark especially in the north where dishes similar to Galicia across the border can be found. The southern border of Portugal touches on the Mediterranean from whence garlic and pasta were introduced. Still, Portugal has accepted these influences in its own way. It's national dishes are completely her own...unique and delicious !!

Portuguese cuisine is a hearty fare, originally prepared to satisfy hard working peasants. Later, it was slightly refined for all the classes and the foreign visitors. The countries position in the Atlantic Ocean is reflected in her cuisine which features a vast if not confusing assortment of fish dishes including salt dried cod. a staple in the Portuguese diet. Pork is the most popular meat stemming from the countries shortage of sizable pastures. A wide variety of tantalizing spices are used in Portuguese dishes, even touches of curry.

In general. the regional dishes of Portugal are innumerable and varied. Thus, whatever your taste dictates, you will surely find a favorite dish Portuguese style !

Provided by Caravela in Tarrytown


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