Shopping and souvenirs
What makes sense to buy in Portugal.
According to Plus-Size-Tips.com, Portugal ranks second in Europe in footwear production and first in quality. The best Portuguese shoes are made in the north of the country in the Porto area, these shoes are handmade from the highest quality leather. In addition, Portuguese shoes are distinguished by the originality of models, they correspond to the latest fashion trends, as well as classic styles that do not go out of fashion.
Portugal has a high quality of gold, its prices are the same as in other European countries, but experts say that the quality of gold itself is higher.
Portugal produces its own clothes, which are distinguished by avant-garde and youth orientation. Young people and people who want to dress very fashionably will find many interesting shops here.
The first vineyards on the territory of modern Portugal began to be cultivated by the Phoenicians around 600 BC. In 219 BC, when the Romans invaded Portugal, the Phoenician plantations had already grown rapidly and became the center of winemaking in the western Roman province. Some experts argue that Phoenician plantations have survived to our time, their age is now more than 2,500 years, and there are no similar grape varieties anywhere else in the world. In the Middle Ages, Portugal began to flourish as a powerful state, and at the same time as the strongest producer and exporter of wine.
The first foreigners who appreciated the quality of Portuguese wine were the British. Tired of constant conflicts with France, England turned to Portugal with a request for the supply of wine, especially port wine. The first export of wine to England is attributed to King D. Fernando in 1367.
It is believed that there are 6 wine regions in Portugal: these are Alentejo, Bairrada, Bucelas, Colares, Dao, Douro, Minho – the Vinho Verde production region. But in fact there are many more and they all deserve special attention. We will talk about 10 wine regions, each of which has its own unique wines.
Cuisine of Portugal
Fish cooking is the main focus of Portuguese cuisine. Favorite dishes of the Portuguese are sardines, tuna (although it is too expensive for the layman), salted cod, crab croquettes and other seafood. Portuguese cuisine is rich in sauces.
In Portugal, fish dishes are more loved than meat dishes, the latter being rarely used here. But if the Portuguese hostess takes up the preparation of meat, then it turns out to be unusually tasty. This happens mainly due to the use of a large amount of herbs, garlic, onions and other spices. The national dish is salted cod, which is prepared in more than 150 ways. Most often, cod is eaten with potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and turnip sprouts seasoned with olive oil and vinegar.
Rice is widely used, and not only as a side dish for second courses, but also as a dessert – with milk and eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon or lemon peel.
Portugal has a huge number of wines – white, red, rose and green (the latter are only in Portugal). All these wines are dry, with the exception of Madeira and Port. Portuguese wines are soft, like the people who produce them, not harsh or astringent. Eating out in Portugal is inexpensive. In an ordinary restaurant, lunch or dinner will cost you 15 -25 EUR including wine, but of course there are more expensive and even very expensive restaurants.
Restaurants, bars, cafes
The choice of different eating places is wide and offers something for every taste. Both European and Asian cuisine are presented, there are also popular fast food places. Dinner time is usually between 12.00-15.00, dinner 19.30-23.00. Usually bread and a light snack ( couvert ) are brought to the table first, for example, sardine pate, local cheese, olives. If you eat it, then later they are added to your bill. As a rule, you are not warned about this. Therefore, in order to avoid surprises, study the prices of snacks and you can simply give them back. Usually restaurants are named according to the food they offer: tasca or regular tavern, cervejaria or brasserie (with meals), restaurante or traditional restaurant, marisqueiraor a fish and seafood restaurant (usually a bit more expensive), churrasqueira or a grill restaurant (meats). A cheaper lunch option is the prato de dia, or daily menu, where you can eat for 5 euros. Prices for soups and salads starting from 2.50 euros, second course starting from 5.50 euros, beer from 1.50 euros, coffee from 0.7 euros, cocktails from 3 euros.
Food and drinks
The coast of Portugal, including the Algarve, is known for fresh fish and various seafood (shrimp, crabs, etc.). Meat products are used more in the center of the country. A very famous dish – grilled sardines – is simple, but very tasty, like fresh fish. It is said that sardines are best in months that start with P, or from May to August. Once upon a time, fish was popular and the main dish was cod, which fishermen caught in the Atlantic Ocean. The Portuguese themselves say that they have a cod dish recipe for every day of the year. Nowadays, fortunately, the choice of fish is wider. Famous seafood dishes:
- Cataplana (a stew made from various seafood in wine sauce);
- Arroz de Marisco (rice with shrimp, various snails, onion, tomato);
- Arroz de polvo (rice with octopus pieces) ;
- Bacalhau a Braz (baked cod served with onion sauce);
- Bacalhau com Natas (baked form of cod-onion in a creamy sauce);
- Caldeirada (Portuguese fish stew, the dish consists of different fish).
Also very popular are the typical dish of the region piri-piri (piri – pepper in Swahali), spicy grilled chicken, or pork, or seafood in chili sauce.
Portuguese wines amaze with a huge choice and quality. The easiest and cheapest option in restaurants is house wine or vihno da casa. Very tasty and light wines in the north-eastern part of the vihno verde (green wine) wine region – young, red wines, rosés and whites, which are also recognized outside of Portugal. Naturally, port wine or chilled wine is associated with Portugal, of which there are many varieties, and which is also used for export. There are many varieties of local beer and it quenches thirst very well.