I'm an amateur traveler and writer that's obsessed with airplanes, Disney, Star Wars and buffet breakfasts. I hope you like what I write.
Have you ever wondered what kind of Portuguese would you be based on the version of traditional foods you prefer?
Well, today is the day you find it out.
Answer sincerely but above all, have fun.
If you have visited Portugal, you have definitely come across one of these. If not, then your entire trip was wrong.
This dish is basically a meat sandwich drenched in sauce.
Sounds amazing right?
The question is, which of these did or would you eat.
Fracesinha Especial (Special Francesinha): this is the original thing. With all the meats and the egg and the sauce and the french fries.
Francesinha à Padeiro (Francesinha baker-style): the same essence but in a different bread.
This type of bread will serve kinda as a "bucket" for the actual Francesinha, meaning that all of the ingredients are stacked inside the thing.
Francesinha Vegetariana (Vegetarian Francesinha): this meat-less version of it will definitely be appreciated by all our vegetarian tourists.
Is this the one you would go for?
2. Bola de Berlim (Berlin Ball)
For those who have a sweet tooth, Portugal is also a perfect destination because we do know how to combine eggs and sugar together.
This delicacy, however, is a variation from the Berliner which means it's basically fried dough but instead of jam, we put a combination of sugar and gems inside it.
The classic: this is the version you will find in any Portuguese bakery.
Is it the one you are drawn to?
The Nutella one: as we became a more international country, this chocolate spread has made its way into our lives so now you can find almost as much Nutella's versions of this pastry as the original ones.
The ultimate original: as I said before, our 'Bola de Berlim' came from the Berliner (German pastry), that has jam in it instead of an egg creme.
Maybe this is the one you prefer.
I don't know why would you prefer it, but it's fine.
3. Arroz de Cabidela (Cabidela Rice)
Any Portuguese child grew up on this recipe and everything related to it: from raising the chicken to killing it and seeing its feathers being peeled off.
Arroz de Cabidela is made with rice and chicken.
Why is it so dark, though? You ask.
Well, its the chicken's blood.
Yes, we cover the chicken in blood.
The chicken with the blood and everything: If you prefer this one then it's because you don't mind how it looks and you love the taste, especially if it's extra vinegary.
Without the blood: A lot of Portuguese people don't actually love eating something drenched in blood so it very often happens that a part of the food is taken from the pot before we add the blood to it so that everyone can have a nice lunch.
Does this one look better to you?
Chicken curry: There is still chicken and there is still rice but no blood, whatsoever, and on top of that you love to add curry and coconut milk (two very non-Portuguese ingredients).
Alert: Please refrain from eating this at the same space where people are savoring their bloody chicken (literally, bloody).
4. Pão-de-Ló (spongecake)
This is undoubtedly the most traditional cake in Portugal.
Once again, it's a simple combination of eggs, sugar and although it's not the moistest of the cakes, it's definitely a favorite especially among grandmas.
You will see it a lot (like, a lot) mainly around Easter time as it's a very common thing to offer either to godparents or godchildren.
The traditional pão-de-ló: Baked in the traditional tin, dry and slightly brown on top.
Pão-de-ló de ovos moles (Literally, soft eggs spongecake): There are people who don't love when the cake gets stuck on top of their mouth so Portugal has kindly rewarded us with this moister version.
What is it exactly?
Well, it's the same ingredients but half the time inside the oven which forces the eggs to stay practically uncooked and gooey.
Does it sound disgusting or terrible delicious?
The Japanese sponge cake: You don't like the traditional and you don't like the eggy one.
If all you want is the most different version from the ones you just saw then you will probably love this. After all, it's Japanese.
Everyone loves Japanese stuff now.
5. Feijoada à Transmontana (Bean Stew from Trás-os-Montes)
This dish is also a very cherished one among Portuguese people and it basically consists of a stew made with beans and a mixture of meats and sausages.
The original 'Feijoada': The original recipe has basically what you see in the picture - red beans (obviously), ribs, pork feet (yummy), black pudding, meat sausage, bacon and carrots along with all the other basic ingredients like white wine, onion, garlic, and tomato sauce.
The squid twist: Replacing all the meat with squid is something that Portuguese people - especially the ones who live near the sea and whose work is related to it - do very often.
It's a different version, for sure.
You will, definitely, love it if you prefer seafood over meat.
The Mexican one: or "Frijoles Rancheros" as they call it also has meat, as it should, but it has other ingredients like whole peppers that we don't ever use in the traditional recipe in Portugal.
6. Pastel de Nata (Egg Tart)
This is the most international Portuguese pastry ever.
You will find it in every Portuguese shop or bakery worldwide but also in bakeries and grocery stores that have nothing to do with Portuguese people.
It's how good this thing is.
The original: A creamy egg and sugar filling inside a nice crunchy dough. They are often served with cinnamon on top and you can choose if you prefer them more or less burned.
Either way, they are freaking delicious.
The chocolate 'nata': A lot of people consider this version to be an insult to this delicacy but the truth is variations of it are growing among Portuguese bakeries, especially the Nutella versions, and a lot of people like them.
I don't think anyone prefers it over the original but ain't nothing stopping us from having both so there's not really that big of a problem.
But if you had to choose, would this be the one you pick?
The Chinese wannabe: if you ever go to China, it's probable that you will stumble across a very similar version of our Pastel de Nata.
They call it dan tat there and although they have a Portuguese origin their outlook is a lot different: it's apparently less sweet and the dough is more like a shortcake texture rather than a crunchy one, plus they also lack the burned on top.
Is this your choice?
The traditional Portuguese: you love all the typical food, you don't find it disgusting and actually love it. You know your country's food is the best in the world and you will fight everyone who says otherwise.
The adventurous Portuguese: you love most of the food and you are proud of what your country can do in the kitchen, however, you don't mind a little twist here and there.
Sometimes - even though you don't admit it - you actually prefer it over the original recipe.
The Portuguese who wished not to be Portuguese: you don't love the typical food, in fact, you hate it. You refuse it all the time and you never miss the opportunity of trying a completely twisted version of the most famous dishes.
For you, the most foreigner your food tastes, the better.
So, how did you do?
I hope you had fun and enjoyed this little quiz.
© 2020 Patricia Marques