Portugal is a relatively isolated country in Europe. It shares its only land border with Spain. It is also a nation that has a very rich and long maritime tradition, and many links to the wider world. As a result, Portuguese cuisine is surprisingly different from that of other European countries, and is influenced by contacts with the East Indies, the Far East, Africa and the New World. Portuguese food is particularly known for its extensive use of fish and seafood (including salted cod), as its use of spices to enhance the flavor of many dishes.
Some popular Portuguese foods include:
* Cozido á portuguesa – This is a traditional meat stew. It is usually made from beef or pork, but sometimes chicken may be used. Portuguese smoked sausages are also usually used in the recipe, as are cabbage, carrots, potatoes, turnips and rice.
* Bacalhau – Bacalhau is cod that is preserved by salting. It is actually used for many different dishes, and can be prepared in numerous different ways – according to some people, over a thousand different ways.
* Caldeira – This is a traditional Portuguese stew. It contains several types of fish, and sometimes shell fish as well. Vegetables such onions, potatoes and tomato and also used in the dish. Caldeira is generally flavored with herbs and spices, although the particular choice of spices does to some extent depend on the chef’s preferences, and the region. Spices that may be used, include allspice, cloves, curry powder, ground ginger, nutmeg, piri-piri, and saffron.