Questions About Portugal: “What do people eat?”


We frequently get asked this question. And, make no mistake, this is a question that is dear to my heart. Also, because everyone eats, food is one of the ways to get to know important aspects of a culture that is different to ours. Let me briefly go over some of the most characteristic food items.

  • Sea food: Portugal is culturally and historically defined by its relationship with the ocean. Along with the usual lobster and shrimp, the Portuguese eat a great variety of sea food. This includes fresh grilled sardines, but also octopus and squid. The most Portuguese of the fishes is, however, a fish that can’t be found in Portuguese waters. Portugal is the #1 country in the world in the purchase and usage of cod fish, which they eat in its dried salted version (in Portuguse, “bacalhau”). After it has been soaked over night in water, it can be cooked in over 1000 different ways.
  • The Mediterranean diet: Traditionally people eat a bowl of vegetable soup before every main meal. Also, olive oil and garlic are used extensively in almost every recipe. There are many different types of cheeses and they are all yummy.
  • Pork: There are many different ways to eat pork in Portugal. The whole pig is eaten (I mean, the whole thing). There is, even, a certain type of pig that is raised in the free range fashion and it is not uncommon to have a delicious pig ear cold salad before your main meal. Many great sausages are also served and the whole ham is smoked to make great sandwich meat.

Feel free to send you questions about this and other things you would like to know about the country of Portugal. The more you know about Portugal, I believe, the better you will be able to pray for the souls in the country that are in need of Christ.