This, is a prego no pão. You can get one just about everywhere – they are ubiqutous Portuguese bar food. ? ? In Portuguese, prego means nail, and pão means bread. ? ? Much to the dismay of myself and other Portuguese language learners, no does not mean no. It means on/in (não means no) so.. this translates roughy to 'nail on bread'? ? The nail part? that's referring to nailing the garlic into the meat with a mallet. Either that, or it's named after Manuel Dias Prego. Both stories are correct, depending on who you ask. ? ? In any case, it's a steak sandwich in a ciabatta-like roll, with a side of mustard and occaisionally a fried egg.
Francesinha. This is a Portuguese sandwich, although it's from further north in the city of Porto.? ? It's made with bread, many layers of meats (such as wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage, steak, roast meat) covered with melted cheese and a hot, thick, spiced beer sauce. ? ? Then, if that wasn't enough richness, meat, and cholesterol, it's served over french fries with an egg on top. ? ? It's an important dish here in Portugal, and gives a pretty accurate view of how meat-centric Portuguese food can often be. ? ?
Bolo de bolacha, or cracker cake. The best way to describe this Portuguese dessert is akin to a tiramisu. ? ? It’s a no-bake cake set in the fridge, made from layer upon layer of graham crackers or Marie biscuits, soaked in coffee and layered with buttercream. ? ? This one is from a beautiful little Lisbon downtown restaurant called Zé da Mouraria and was even more creamy, sweet, and espresso flavoured than it looks. ? ?
Portugal makes lesser known, and completely underrated cheese. Loads with sheep and goats milk, some with cows milk, as well as 'misturado' or mixed, made with a combination of milks. ? ? Portuguese cheese is interesting as well because many of them are truy vegetarian (not vegan though, of course) opting for thistle rennet over animal rennet to cure the cheese. ? ?
The pastel de nata is the most iconic pastry of Portugal. And we enjoyed a few to cap off a wonderful day at one of the most famous places to eat these in all the world (and the original bakery who makes them) Pastéis de Belém.? ? The history is fascinating, as 18th century monks & nuns in Lisbon were using large amounts of egg whites for starching clothes, and had all these yolks leftover. This is what sparked the idea for making pastries to sell with the leftover yolks, and thus the birth of pastel de nata (and other cakes & pastries around Portugal)? ?