Portuguese cuisine is rich and varied due to the colonial past of Portugal. Many types of spices are used to make the dishes as tasty as can be: cinnamon, saffron, the piripiri to only name a few. The Portuguese are masters in preparing both meat and seafood, but personally, I prefer the latter as I’m fond of the omnipresent codfish-bacalhau, in any of its variations.
According to Wikipedia, there are 365 or more different ways to cook codfish. This main ingredient has been present in Portuguese cuisine for centuries; long before any other modern food preservation technique was invented. That’s why still nowadays in Portugal fresh cod is much less common than dried salted one.
One of the most popular versions is Bacalhau à Brás, with onions, chopped potatoes, and eggs, decorated with olives and parsley.
Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá is codfish with potatoes baked in the oven after being stewed in milk. Similar to the previous version is garnished with eggs, parsley, and olives.
Bacalhau à Narcisa consists of fried cod and potatoes and onions fried in the same oil a with bay leaves and cloves.
Beside these elaborated versions, usually served as main courses, there are also codfish salads and appetizers like codfish balls: cod cooked and mashed with garlic, parsley, egg, bread, milk, and potatoes, first fried and then browned in the oven.
Needless to say in Lisbon there are heaps of bars, taverns, restaurants where you can try as many codfish dishes as you want or if you prefer to try to buy all the ingredients and try to prepare it yourself at home. You can even purchase some more of it to take it back home you.
To mention just a few places where you can enjoy Portuguese style code: Tasca da Esquina in Rua Domingos Sequeira 41C, or gourmet (and more expensive) and well known Terreira do Paço in Praça do Comércio, or Toma Lá Dá Cá Restaurant in Travessa do Sequeiro, 38. Leave the waiter to recommend the (Portuguese as well) wine that will form a perfect harmony with your dish.
How about you? Have you had cod? Have any favorite recipes?