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Portugal Food and Drink

Portuguese food is freshly prepared using local produce and usually inexpensive. You will find the odd pizzeria and Chinese restaurant but generally most restaurants serve good local fare. You can take breakfast in a local café, pastelaria (pastry shop) or confeitaria (confectioners) – here you will find a selection of croissants or pastries served with coffee –café or tea – chá con leite.
 
Lunch and dinner are served in either a restaurante, tasca (tavern) or in less touristy areas a casa de posto (local dining room). The latter tend to serve a 3 course lunch only. Also look out for restaurants specialising in seafood known as marisquerias or char-grilled meat known as churrasqueiras. Most restaurants will offer a dish of the day - prato do dia or an ementa turística – set meal of the day which can include wine. Starters include hearty sausage and vegetable soups in the north called caldo verde or in the south sopa à alentejana (garlic and bread soup with a poached egg). Seafood is abundant on the coast; local specialities include bacalhau (dried salted cod) or sardinha assasda (sardines grilled over charcoal). Cataplana is a rice and seafood dish usually shared by 2 people. Look out for caldeirada de peixe (fish stew)anda delicious bread based stew known as açorda which is served with shellfish. Meat dishes, especially chicken are often served grilled with a spicy chilli based sauce called piri–piri. Potatoes accompany most dishes. Boiled potatoes are served with fish and fried potatoes with meat dishes. Rice or salad (salada mista) are usually on the menu. Vegetables other than sliced tomatoes are rare.
 
Dessert is usually fresh fruit, an assortment of local ice-cream dishes, pudim flan (crème caramel), arroz duce (rice pudding) or torta de noz (almond tart).
 
As for drinks you can order água mineral (bottled water), sumo de limão (lemonade) or a selection of locally produced still fruit juices by Tri Naranjus and fizzy drinks by Sumol. Local beers (cerveja) include Sagres, Super Bock, Cristal and Cintra. Portuguese wine is widely available and always good value. Look out for mature red wine (tinto maduro) from the Dão, Douro, Ribatejo and Alentejo regions.Lightly sparkling white wines known as vinhos verdes (green)from the Minho area are very good and in particular those made from the Alvarinho grape from Monção and Melgaço are excellent. Fortified wines include port (vinho de Porto) from the Douro Valley (See Attractions) and Madeira (vinho de Madeira). Don’t forget to try sweet wine from Setúbal and the local firewaterknown as aguardente made fromgrapes, figs or cherries. Saude! – Cheers!