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Portuguese Food: Influencing Americans, People around the World

时间:2017-09-09 17:21来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]


When you ask Americans about European foods, many people talk about their favorite meals from Italy, France, or even Germany. But food and drink from another European country – Portugal -- is growing in popularity, both in the United States and other areas.

In fact, while Portugal may not have as many famous dishes as its European neighbors, Portuguese1 tastes have influenced food and restaurants from Europe, to Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Many areas have been touched by Portuguese tastes in some way. With Portugal’s long colonial history and immigrant population around the world, Portuguese cooking is finding an important place in many homes.

The story of Portugal’s influence on food is tied to its centuries as a colonial power. Portugal was one of the first European countries to start exploring the world. At one time, Portugal controlled territory on almost every continent. Along their travels, Portuguese explorers, sailors, businessmen and clergy2 left their mark on the cultures and food they encountered.

A Portuguese tradition of food

To understand the effect Portuguese cooking has had, it is important to describe some of the food itself.

Fish and Seafood3

There are many different Portuguese foods. However, Portugal is perhaps most famous for its fish. With a coastline nearly 1,800 kilometers long, fish and seafood are not hard to find. Portugal actually has the fourth highest fish consumption per person of any country in the world.

The most common kind of fish in Portuguese cooking is cod4. Portuguese crews have been fishing for cod since the 15th century. Because this tradition started long before the invention of refrigeration equipment, the cod is almost always dried and salted. Most fish in Portugal is then served either dried, as is, boiled in water, or roasted over a fire.

Sardines5 are another popular fish. Other Portuguese dishes use seafood like octopus6, squid, crabs7, and shrimp8.


In the past, many of Portugal’s pastries were made by Catholic religious workers. The main ingredient for any pastry10 is egg yolks. One of the most famous tasty treats is called Pastéis de Nata. They are small, rich creamy tarts11. These baked goods can be found all over Portugal, and also in many of Portugal’s former colonies, like Brazil.


Portugal is famous all over the world for its alcoholic12 drinks. Perhaps the most famous wine is a sweet, dark-red Port, made from grapes in northern Portugal.

Another important wine is Madeira. Madeira was probably the most popular wine in North America from the time the first Europeans arrived, until the middle of the 1800s. It comes from the islands of Madeira, a popular stopping point for European ships on their way across the Atlantic Ocean.

During the American Revolution against British rule, Britain restricted foreign imports to its American colonies. Yet the British did permit imports from the islands of Madeira. General George Washington was known to drink Madeira wine. He is reported to have celebrated13 with drinks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence and his swearing-in as the first president of the United States.

Meat and Meat-Based Soup

Pork, beef, and chicken are also all popular in the Portuguese diet. They are often cooked on a grill14. The meat is often seasoned with spices that the Portuguese collected from their travels around the world.

A popular dish that many Portuguese have at the beginning of a meal is a soup called Caldo Verde. This is made from potato purée, sliced kale, and cuts of sausage.

The Portuguese global food influence

While Portuguese food is important by itself, what is most interesting is how it influenced food in other countries.

One example can be found on the other side of the world -- in Japan. The Portuguese started trading with Japan in 1543. The two sides continued trading for almost a century. During that time, a Portuguese fried green bean specialty15, called peixinhos da horta, was passed on to the Japanese.

Today in Japan, that kind of cooking is called tempura. It is used with green beans, shrimp, and other foods.

The Portuguese also left an influence on Goa, in western India, which they controlled from 1510 until 1961. The Portuguese in Goa cooked a dish using pork and a topping made from wine and garlic. This dish later become popular with many Indians. Now called vindaloo, it remains16 popular in the country today.

Portuguese food has not been as well known in the United States until recently. That began changing with the rise of the popular fast-food restaurant Nando’s Peri-Peri. The eatery’s main offering is chicken served with a spicy17 seasoning18 that comes from Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony.

The very first Nando’s Peri-Peri opened in South Africa, but the restaurant chain now has eateries all over Africa, Australia, and North America. The chain also sells the spicy peri-peri sauce, which has become famous.

Portugal is no longer known just for its cooking, but also for its many foods. It is important to recognize that many of the things you eat today could have already been influenced by the Portuguese many years ago.

I’m Phil Dierking.

Words in This Story

cuisine19 - n. a style of cooking?

colonial - adj. of or relating to a colony?

empire - n. a group of countries or regions that are controlled by one ruler or one government?

pastry - n. a small, baked food made from pastry?

purée - n. a thick liquid made by crushing usually cooked food, such as fruits or vegetables)

roast - v. to cook (food such as chicken, potatoes, or beef) with dry heat in an oven or over a fire


1 Portuguese alRzLs     
  • They styled their house in the Portuguese manner.他们仿照葡萄牙的风格设计自己的房子。
  • Her family is Portuguese in origin.她的家族是葡萄牙血统。
2 clergy SnZy2     
  • I could heartily wish that more of our country clergy would follow this example.我衷心希望,我国有更多的牧师效法这个榜样。
  • All the local clergy attended the ceremony.当地所有的牧师出席了仪式。
3 seafood 7j6zUl     
  • There's an excellent seafood restaurant near here.离这儿不远有家非常不错的海鲜馆。
  • Shrimps are a popular type of seafood.小虾是比较普遍的一种海味。
4 cod nwizOF     
  • They salt down cod for winter use.他们腌鳕鱼留着冬天吃。
  • Cod are found in the North Atlantic and the North Sea.北大西洋和北海有鳕鱼。
5 sardines sardines     
n. 沙丁鱼
  • The young of some kinds of herring are canned as sardines. 有些种类的鲱鱼幼鱼可制成罐头。
  • Sardines can be eaten fresh but are often preserved in tins. 沙丁鱼可以吃新鲜的,但常常是装听的。
6 octopus f5EzQ     
  • He experienced nausea after eating octopus.吃了章鱼后他感到恶心。
  • One octopus has eight tentacles.一条章鱼有八根触角。
7 crabs a26cc3db05581d7cfc36d59943c77523     
n.蟹( crab的名词复数 );阴虱寄生病;蟹肉v.捕蟹( crab的第三人称单数 )
  • As we walked along the seashore we saw lots of tiny crabs. 我们在海岸上散步时看到很多小蟹。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The fish and crabs scavenge for decaying tissue. 鱼和蟹搜寻腐烂的组织为食。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 shrimp krFyz     
  • When the shrimp farm is built it will block the stream.一旦养虾场建起来,将会截断这条河流。
  • When it comes to seafood,I like shrimp the best.说到海鲜,我最喜欢虾。
9 pastries 8f85b501fe583004c86fdf42e8934228     
  • He gave a dry laugh, then sat down and started on the pastries. 杜新箨说着干笑一声,坐下去就吃点心。 来自子夜部分
  • Mike: So many! I like Xijiang raisins, beef jerky, and local pastries. 麦克:太多了。我最喜欢吃新疆葡萄干、牛肉干和风味点心。
10 pastry Q3ozx     
  • The cook pricked a few holes in the pastry.厨师在馅饼上戳了几个洞。
  • The pastry crust was always underdone.馅饼的壳皮常常烤得不透。
11 tarts 781c06ce7e1617876890c0d58870a38e     
n.果馅饼( tart的名词复数 );轻佻的女人;妓女;小妞
  • I decided to make some tarts for tea. 我决定做些吃茶点时吃的果馅饼。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They ate raspberry tarts and ice cream. 大家吃着木莓馅饼和冰淇淋。 来自辞典例句
12 alcoholic rx7zC     
  • The alcoholic strength of brandy far exceeds that of wine.白兰地的酒精浓度远远超过葡萄酒。
  • Alcoholic drinks act as a poison to a child.酒精饮料对小孩犹如毒药。
13 celebrated iwLzpz     
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
14 grill wQ8zb     
  • Put it under the grill for a minute to brown the top.放在烤架下烤一分钟把上面烤成金黄色。
  • I'll grill you some mutton.我来给你烤一些羊肉吃。
15 specialty SrGy7     
  • Shell carvings are a specialty of the town.贝雕是该城的特产。
  • His specialty is English literature.他的专业是英国文学。
16 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
17 spicy zhvzrC     
  • The soup tasted mildly spicy.汤尝起来略有点辣。
  • Very spicy food doesn't suit her stomach.太辣的东西她吃了胃不舒服。
18 seasoning lEKyu     
  • Salt is the most common seasoning.盐是最常用的调味品。
  • This sauce uses mushroom as its seasoning.这酱油用蘑菇作调料。
19 cuisine Yn1yX     
  • This book is the definitive guide to world cuisine.这本书是世界美食的权威指南。
  • This restaurant is renowned for its cuisine.这家餐馆以其精美的饭菜而闻名。
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