19 de December, 2023
Portugal is a world-renowned gastronomic destination, continuing to impress even the most discerning palates. Recently, Taste Atlas, a culinary platform, ranked Portugal´s gastronomy at a remarkable 4th place, following closely behind Italy, Japan, and Greece, respectively.
Taste Atlas’s analysis of the world’s best cuisines and most exceptional dishes highlighted Portugal’s culinary excellence. Assessing over 271,819 dishes and 80,863 food products, Portugal shines with two recognized dishes: Amêijoas À Bulhão Pato in 12th place and Carne de Porco à Alentejana in 25th place.
Recent updates from Taste Atlas in 2023 not only revealed Portugal’s prominent position but also global recognition of its gastronomy, reinforcing its status as one of the top destinations for food enthusiasts.
Portuguese food has been gaining prominence in recent award ceremonies in the past years, as we highlight below…
In the contest that elected the best sandwiches in the world, for example, Portugal stood out with Prego, Bifana, Pork Sandwich (Sanduíche de Pernil) and Francesinha. O Prego, which ranks 10th, is a sandwich made with grilled beef steak, served on fresh bread with garlic and hot sauce.
The Bifana, which secured the 22nd position, is a sandwich made of pork meat fried in garlic sauce and served in fresh bread.
Following that, the Pork Sandwich, featuring pork meat, claimed the 26th spot.
Finally, the Francesinha which ranked 27th, is a sandwich made of bread with a filling of various meats, melted cheese, and a delicious spicy tomato sauce. Typical of the city of Porto.
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Besides sandwiches, Portugal also stands out in the ranking developed in the area of pastries with a traditional recipe occupying – for the second consecutive year!!- the first two positions: the Pastel de Nata and the Pastel de Belém. Both are made with puff pastry and egg custard.
The Pastel de Belém is, in fact, a custard tart, but specifically produced at the old Belém pastry shop in Lisbon. It’s believed to be the place where the recipe was originally created.
Another sweet treat listed, ranking 25th, is the Bola de Berlim. It’s a pastry filled with egg cream and dusted with sugar.
Finally, Portuguese seafood dishes have also been standing out in the world gastronomic scene. The recipe for Clams Bulhão Pato (Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato), for example, was elected the best seafood recipe in the world by Taste Atlas. Made with clams, garlic, coriander, and olive oil, it is a simple and delicious recipe that is successful all over the world. The dish is believed to have been created by the poet and gastronome Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato, in the late 19th century. Bulhão Pato was known for his passion for gastronomy and for promoting Portuguese cuisine in his writings.
Another delicious dish making its way into the ranking is “Polvo a Lagareiro” which combines the tenderness of boiled and soft octopus with the rich flavors of olive oil, garlic, and golden potatoes. The octopus is boiled until tender, cut into pieces, then oven-baked, generously drizzled with seasoned olive oil and garlic, along with the potatoes. It secured the 44th place on the list.
Portuguese Seafood Rice (Arroz de Marisco), ranking 66th in Taste Atlas’s seafood-based recipes, is a dish composed of rice with various types of seafood and seasonings.
Finally, the famous “Bacalhau com Natas” holds the 67th position on the list. It’s a traditional dish made with codfish, potatoes, and cream, baked in the oven. It’s believed that the recipe for “Bacalhau com Natas” was inspired by the French dish “Gratin dauphinois,” a dish of gratinéed potatoes with cream, cheese, and garlic. However, the Portuguese recipe was adapted using codfish, a very popular ingredient in national cuisine.
The same site also ranked, in February, the best cheeses in the world. And guess what? Thanks to its outstanding flavor, the Serra da Estrela Cheese appears in the top 10 of the ranking. It occupied the seventh position, only behind Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Serra da Estrela Cheese is a handmade cheese produced in the region of the same name, in Portugal. It is a soft cheese with intense flavor and aroma, creamy texture and unctuous consistency. The secret of Serra da Estrela cheese’s flavor and texture is in its traditional recipe and careful production process. The secret of its flavor and texture is the use of raw sheep milk, the careful addition of salt and the ripening process in a cool and moist environment. During ripening, the cheese develops its characteristic flavor and aroma, while its creamy, unctuous texture is enhanced by the formation of a natural rind. Simply delicious!
Portugal´s gastronomy has a lot to offer, and the recognition in international gastronomic contests only proves it. With delicious and traditional dishes, Portuguese cuisine has been conquering more and more space and admirers all over the world.
Living in a country that has a cuisine as rich and tasty as Portugal´s is a privilege for lovers of fine dining. From the variety of dishes to the quality of the ingredients, Portuguese gastronomy is a true experience for the senses. Besides, being able to enjoy internationally awarded delicacies such as Pastel de Nata and Amêijoas a Bulhão de Pato is a unique opportunity that only those who live in Portugal can have.
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