What to eat in and bring back from Portugal! ( Porto, Douro Valley, Lisbon, Petiscos)

I’m watching a “Delicious Destinations” episode there, and seeing seafood, especially sardines and bacallau, a dish that’s like paella, caldo verde, egg tarts, a pork sandwhich (bifanas?) you eat at night. And lots of olive oil!

Anything else?

I’m guessing I can’t bring back meat, but how about bacallau?

Can you really get customs clearance for bacalhau (dried salted cod)? Note that it has a strong smell. To prepare and cook requires much effort.

Similar to Spain, Portugal is proud of their gastronomy and food culture. Always have a good time eating and drinking in both countries. If you can get through customs with tinned fish I recommend bringing some back. I always do. Unlike in America, tinned fish/seafood is held in high regards in Mediterranean countries. They even have specialist shops selling only tinned seafood. If you want to see how much the really good stuff sells for then check it out. I saw a tin of sardines with a price tag of 150 euros.

I’ve mentioned it before: if you eat shellfish, try to get your hands on fresh perceves/goose neck barnacles. One of the most expensive rare foods in the world, not to mention extraordinary looking and delicious.

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I’ll make a note about the barnacles! I will not e getting those 150 euro sardines!

When I was in Barcelona, they offered to wrap the bacallau for travel, but I didn’t get any. I hoped that meant I could bring it back. On the other hand, I bought jamon IN THE AIRPORT thinking it meant it was okay, but nope! Confisticated. I was able to bring canned/tinned fish, and did. I think I went a tinned fish store, but got mine at a grocery store!

I cook salt cod a bit, but mostly Caribbean preparations.

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Is it your first trip? If it is please note that after you order your food the waiter/server will immediately bring you some small dishes such as olives, cheese, bread, butter etc. This is called couvert. It’s not free so if you touch it you’ll see the extra cost(s) on the bill later. If you don’t want any then tell the server straight away and (s)he will just take it away.

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It will be my first trip to Portugal, and that is really good to !now! Thanks.





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What was that?

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Interesting story…I can’t do it justice tonight, but it had to do with folks wanting to get married and/or have children.

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Bacalau can be found in the Us in PORTUGESE , ITALIAN AND sPANISH grocery or fish stores . MASSACHUSSETTS and New Jersey have Portugese neighborhoods where it is sold . Old Italian grocery stores have it also in stiff boards of dried fish . It might be easier to get it in the US rather than deal with customs . Newark NJ and kearny Nj have Seabras markets which feature Portugese specialties . I believe the cod fish comes from Scandinavia but is a centuries old way to preserve fish .

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Yes, I can find it where I live, but some of the places I travel seem to have such amazing choices.

In Barcelona; the one that got away!



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Finally found a a bifana.


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And sardines!



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Also fruit preserves.


And wine!

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Somehow I didn’t quite put the pieces together and missed the gist of this thread. So sorry, @shrinkrap!

Ideas for what to bring back? In addition to tinned fish and port—which I believe you have well-covered— I have enjoyed these items from Lisbon:

Sea salt. Packable and light, local salt is a favorite culinary souvenir of mine. I ran across a brand called Sal Marim that I liked.

Chocolate. I think you already found good stuff in this category, too! My husband enjoyed the selection from Chocolateria Equador.

Table linens and kitchen towels. The shop Paris em Lisboa is like stepping back in time. Table cloths and kitchen towels made in Portugal are available here.

I bought cotton jacquard kitchen towels by the brand Fateba that served us well for about 10 years! At holidays we still use a white damask tablecloth and napkins that I originally purchased for my mom decades ago—no brand, just “made in Portugal.”

My second visit to Paris em Lisboa was two years ago, and I noticed much more non-Portuguese stock but the shop still carried domestic products at that time.

Bordallo Pinhiero ceramics. I’m not a fan of everything though could not resist this fanciful dish that I use to corral my rings and various small items when I’m working in the kitchen. This item I bought secondhand at a street market for a few Euros, but you can see much more as well as sleek, modern items in the shops.

ETA: I think that Vista Alegre May be a sister brand (?) and that’s the line that offers more modern-looking items.

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