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Portuguese Food 2

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Following my previous comments on food in Portugal, let me add the following observations.

Firstly, all restaurants seem to offer a reasonable choice of sweet desserts. One of the traditional Portuguese desserts seems to be laite creme which translates as milk cream, is quite similar to what I believe to be crème brûlée and id probably best described as a kind of custard cream that when we had it was treated in a way that made it caramelise on top. Very nice – although I felt a bit sick after having a generous helping after an equally generous meal.

Having actually tried pastel del nata now, when we visited Belém the place that, according to Philipp, is best for it -- I have to agree that it is a very nice kind of custard pie. Philipp told me to make sure they serve it with a dash of cinnamon, suggesting me to ask for it by making a shaking move with my hand if necessary (taking into account my knowledge of Portuguese), indicating that the cinnamon is normally dispensed in this way. This wasn't necessary, though, and the guy who prepared it actually used the kind of shaker and movement I had imagined he would use to apply the cinnamon. Another interesting note: cinnamon is called canela in Portuguese. In northern Germany we also occasionally use the word Kaneel for cinnamon instead of the more usual Zimt. People from the south don't seem to know this word. According to my dictionary, it's origin is given very specifically as sumeric-babylonian-greek-latin-french.

As I mentioned before, Portuguese cuisine seems to focus around meat and fish, with veg only appearing to accompany the 'real' food. However, this doesn't mean the veg aren't nice. Quite the opposite, as can be expected from a country where there's enough sun to grow your own non-greenhouse vegetables. While I saw German food snobs (justifiedly) complain about people not knowing enough about the 'real' taste of a tomato because of the lack thereof, this problem didn't exist in Portugal: The slice of tomato you'd usually get with your dish (and that's really one slice only) looks like the tasteless fleshy kind you'd see in bad supermarkets, it usually tasted better than the expensive 'vine' tomatoes you'd get at you Northern European greengrocer's. Only one slice, sadly.

March 12, 2003, 17:38

Tagged as country:pt, portugal, travel.


Comment by lizzy: User icon

what is the history of the pastel de nata?

January 28, 2004, 0:58

Comment by john: User icon

as being portuguese i feel that u are asdly mistaken u cant judge there food and stuff cuz ur not portugueese as a lil question wat culture are u exactly?

November 2, 2007, 16:19

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