The mild weather in the southern part of Portugal has influence in the culture of the area, especially in the food. The southern Portuguese cuisine looks into the Mediterranean traditions to create an interesting mix of recipes. Also, it include African flavors, brought from the Portuguese colonies, like cinnamon, paprika and piri-piri -a strong hot sauce.
The protagonists of the Portuguese cuisine are the fish and the sea food, mainly the cod or bacalhau. In Portugal, cod is consume principally dry and salted, because it is fish in the North Atlantic and preserve this way before the invention of the refrigerator. It is say that there are 365 cod recipes, one for each day of the year. Cod cakes or pataniscas are provably the locals’ favorite food. They consist in a deep fried dough made out of potatoes, pulled cod, garlic and parsley. They are usually consumed as an appetizer.
The sea food can be eaten mix with rice and potatoes, like a Spanish paella, called Caldeirada. In the coast is an extended tradition to prepare the fish and sea food in a brochette on the grill and accompany them with french fries. Also, Portuguese consume sea food with scramble eggs, essentially lobster and crab.
Olive oil is a main part of the Portuguese Cuisine. The local oil is characterize by it intense aroma and thick texture. All the Portuguese preparation include a base of fried onion with olive oil, almost burn, to give taste and consistency to the sauces. Also, bread is an important element of the cuisine. Sometimes bread crumbs substituted rice and potatoes as a side dish. They usually come fried over the cod. There as very interesting dishes prepared with bread crumbs called: açordas, migas à alentejanas y torricado. The Portuguese bread is named Broa and it is done with a mix of flours, including corn and rye.
Like in the rest of Europe, wine is a very important part of food in Portugal. Except for Port wine and Madeira’s sweet wine, the Portuguese wines are hardly known outside of the country. The production is small and almost all consumed by the local population. The Green Wine or Vinho Verde is the most popular, specially to accompany food during lunch or dinner. It has an acid flavor and a light green color. It is serve very cold and drink specially in summer.