Ingredients are the main factor of the Portuguese food. Its important for the Portuguese culture where you will find ingredients such as potatoes, tomatoes, fresh fish, meat, among many other ingredients.
Portuguese cuisine is influenced and had influenced by ex-colonies (Asia, Africa, South America ). Back to XVI century, sailors bring ingredients to Portugal and at the same time take them to other Continents. This fact, was totally different from the rest of the Mediterranean countries.
Portuguese Soups and Ingredients
Portuguese soups are made with seasonal vegetables. It is always possible to make lovely soups and a huge variety with meat or fish.
There are several famous soups (Caldo Verde, Gaspacho, Caldeirada) according the region that you visit, but in some cases, you will find it in the whole country.
Olive Oil and Salt are mandatory ingredients in every soup and can give a very different taste according the quantities you use. See more information concerning to Olive Oil.
Salted cod ( bacalhau ) is perhaps the most famous fish in Portugal. You can cook in very different ways. According each Portuguese region. The salted cod can be prepared and taste very different. Bacalhau à Gomes Sá (from Porto), Bacalhau à Brás (from Lisbon region / Estremadura).
You will find also the international famous sardines (grilled, in Portuguese : sardinhas assadas), squid, octopus, swordfish, sea bass, anchovies.
Seafood Ingredients and Dishes
Seafood Rice ( Arroz de Marisco ) has amazing flavors. Has a foodie, you will find lobsters, prawns and clams, besides the ingredients like tomatoes and rice. Oyesters, prawns, mussels, lobsters, crabs and clams you will notice that is common and used in several portuguese dishes.
Spices on Portuguese Gastronomy:
Portuguese introduced in Europe, spices like : pepper, Saffron, Ginger, Coriander, cinnamon, vanilla, piri piri (a spicy chilli pepper).
In the South (specially in Algarve district area), on the portuguese cuisine you will discover some Arab and Moorish influences, but also a old tradition on fig sweets and almonds (nowdays, you find wonderfull Almond liquors).