8 “strange” foods of Portuguese cuisine

Firstly it is worth mentioning that when we say “strange” dishes of Portuguese cuisine we refer to a more literal sense of the word, in that strange means unfamiliar or different, considering the habits of other people in the world. Moreover, the fact of not being familiar to some cultures does not mean they are not tasty but quite the opposite. If they are so popular and appreciated it is for some reason.

In addition we think that when you visit another country, part of the discovery is also experiencing what is most “local” and this includes food. A country known for its delights such as Portugal deserves this credit by foreigners.

With that said, we present our selection of eight strange foods of Portuguese cuisine:

 

1-      Snails

Snails terrestrial molluscs known for the shells that they “carry on their back”. In some parts of the world they are considered delightful snack  as it is in Portugal. The snail is left for a few days of fasting, and then are boiled in water slowly with spices and oil. This appetizer is high in protein is very popular during the summer.

8 strange foods of Portuguese cuisine - SnailsSnails – Photo: Isa Costa (Wikimedia Commons)

 

2-      Tripas a Moda do Porto

This is a traditional dish from the North of the country that it is made ​​with sausages, beans and tripe (animal stomach). Although the ingredients do not look so attractive in the eyes of some, the dish was a finalist in the contest 7 Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy.

8 strange foods of Portuguese cuisine - Tripas a Moda do PortoTripas a Moda do Porto – Photo: Maria Cartas (Wikimedia Commons)

 

3-      Arroz de Cabidela

The dish is rice cooked with chicken and with the blood of the animal. The blood is drained and mixed with vinegar, which cuts some of its strong taste.

Arroz de CabidelaArroz de Cabidela

 

4-      Arroz de Sarabulho

This course follows the same style as the previous one, however it is cooked with pork’s blood. The meats used in this dish are pork, beef or chicken.

 

 

5-      Morcela

This one looks like a very dark sausage. However this version is made based on blood and lard. There may be some variations depending on the region and ingredients.

Morcelas - Foto: Adrião (Wikimedia Commons)Morcelas – Photo: Adrião (Wikimedia Commons)

 

6-      Eels

The eel is a type of fish that it is commonly known because it looks like a snake of the sea. In Portugal is appreciated especially in the north, where it is usually appreciated fried or soaked.

EnguiasEels

 

7-      Courato

The Courato is basically pork skin. It is quite consumed grilled and served on bread, on something call “Sandes de Courato”. Another popular form of consumption are the Torresmo de Courato, in this version the skin of the pork is served fried as an appetizer.

Courato - Photo: Takeaway (Wikimedia Commons)Courato – Photo: Takeaway (Wikimedia Commons)

 

8-      Caneja de Infundice

This is a typical dish from the village of Ericeira, in the Portuguese coastline. In this case the Caneja is cured for about 8 to 15 days, although some people leave more or less time. The curing process must be done with the fish wrapped in a dark place or even buried. After this period the fish is cooked with olive oil and very often served with potatoes. It’s hard to find a restaurant that serves the dish because of the price, the time of preparation and especially the odor that exhales, which many describe as the smell of urine.

 

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