The city that lives with its lights and colours.
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The cuisine is a pleasant unexpected surprise that Lisbon reserves to its tourists. It is rich, tasty and not so expensive. The proximity of the sea gives the local gastronomy delicious recipes of fish and seafood, which are even celebrated every year at the “Lisbon Fish and Flavours” festival . The Bacalhau is undoubtedly the star of the Portuguese table. Popular tradition says there are 366 different ways of cooking it, one for each day of the year, plus one for the 29th of February for leap years. You have to add fish and fresh/abundant seafood from the Atlantic to the Bacalhau. Be sure to taste the Arroz de Mariso and de Peixe, rice with seafood, as well as the assad sardines. We recommend you some meat dishes, such as cozido à Portuguesa, a stew of meat and legumes and the Porto tripe, which you will also find in Lisbon. Ameijoas na cataplana is a really exceptional dish. Soups has an important place on the Portuguese table too. The “Hot green” is the national soup par excellence, made with cabbages and pieces of chorizo and sausage. In Lisbon you will also find the best of Mediterranean cuisine, bread, olive oil, cheese, salami and a wide variety of aperitifs. The best way to fully enjoy the meal is to accompany the dishes with Portuguese wines (Porto, Madeira, “Vinho verde”). Particular attention to the candies, that include the Leite Creme (Portuguese milk), cream of eggs and caramelized sugar, baked in the oven and then served cold; and the famous Belém pastries, puff pastry cakes with a filling similar to the English cream.
AMEIJOAS NA CATAPLANA
Ingredients: 500 gr of clams; 50 grams of raw ham; 50 gr of lard or bacon; 50 g chourico (spicy sausage); 2 white onions; 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; 2 twigs of parsley; 2 twigs of coriander; 1 lemon; salt and pepper, flour, hot pepper, Verdicchio wine.
Preparation: Peel the onions, cut them to very fine washers and put them on the bottom of the cataplana; Season with oil, a little pepper and hot pepper, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the clams, a twig of parsley and diced meat, then cover well and cook for 20 minutes on low heat. Remove the lid, sprinkle with chopped coriander and garnish with lemon slices.
PORTUGUESE GREEN SOUP
Ingredients: 450 gr of green cabbage; 4 potatoes; 1 clove of garlic; ½ onion; 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil; 1 teaspoon of whole sea salt; 1 seitan salami.
Preparation: Peel the potatoes, the half onion and the garlic. Cut the potatoes into wedges and chop the onion, then pour potatoes, onion and garlic into a pot with plenty of water and bring to a boil, adding salt. In the meantime wash the cabbage leaves, roll together, a little at a time, and chop them very thin. Once the water has started to boil, let the potatoes cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until they become very soft. Now remove the garlic, remove the potatoes with a skimmer, and mash in a dish. Put the mashed potatoes in the broth, bring back to a boil, and pour the cabbage into strips with the oil. The cabbage should just be seared, then calculate 5 minutes after the boiling. Pour into the dishes. Cut the seitan salami into slices and use them to decorate the broth. The green soup is usually accompanied in Portugal by rye bread, maize and olives.
WHERE TO EAT
Whether you’re looking for refinement, tradition or simplicity, Lisbon is always the perfect place to enjoy a meal. The offer of restaurants, from the traditional and typical to the most sophisticated and international is very large. Here young and innovative cooks reinvent the Portuguese cuisine with interesting and refined recipes. At the same time, you will find some treasures of the region’s culinary tradition in small trattorias scattered around the districts, in an atmosphere always very welcoming.
If you want to taste the real Portuguese cuisine you have to try the so-called “Tascas”, family owned cafes where you eat well at a reasonable price. Once seated, even without asking, someone will bring you appetizers consisting of sliced chourico, black olives, goat cheese, and a smoked ham. The cafes are the meeting place and delight with their cafes and bakeries, which are the protagonists of the Pastéis de Belém. Getting into a bakery is always a delight, and for this reason sometimes queues are endless. Confeteria Nacional is a bakery as famous as ancient in its origins, with its mirrors in art nouveau style, the curved marble of the counter and a typical Austrian Fin de siecle Austrian aspect.
Almost everywhere in the city there are outdoor bars where you can spend pleasant moments. Cafes and open-air bars in Lisbon have an ancient history, as well as there is an ancient belief that describes the Portuguese (and Lisbon citizens) as people who like to chat. Perhaps it is for this reason that in the city, going to the bar is a cult, a pleasant ritual.
At the end, if your budget is rather “limited”, a really cheap alternative is the Pingo Doce supermarket, where the delicatessen department has dishes ready for a quick meal to eat in the open air.
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