A region known by its «good hospitality», in Oporto and the north of the country the meals are worthy of real gastronomers.
These are the granitic hills that expande themselves up high in the schisty plateaus which embrace the rivers Minho and Douro.
In this region is born the most famous of fortified wines: the Port wine. This demarcated region, the most ancient of the world, is also a land of an unprecedent gastronomy and rich in precious qualities. The DOP bovine meats Barrosã, Mirandesa, Maronesa and Arouquesa; the Terrincho lamb from Trás-Os-Montes; theBarroso goats are all meats of choice, bred in this region. But it also has other celebrity products like game, the most important one being the partridge. The quality regional sausages are abundant: the alheiras, in past times known as jew sausages, the blood sausages and the bucho (a sausage made of several pork meats) are the most appreciated ones.
The pork, accompanied by bread soup or migas (usually made of leftover bread), the cabidela rice made with chicken or rabbit, the cod and the tender and juicy goat are emblematic dishes.
The wines that go with these dishes, especially those from the upper part of Douro, are great quality wines and they are made by using the same grape varieties as Port Wines. The most symbolic ones are definitively the Tourigas: TheTouriga Nacional and Touriga Franca for the white wines and Touriga Roriz, Touriga Amarela and Touriga Barroca for the reds. Up north, in Minho, the Alvarinho is the grape variety that stands out and ennobles the white wines from the region of Vinhos Verdes, with delightful variations according to its provenience sub-region. They are characterized by their freshness and by its either citric or tropical character, many times with mineral notes. The Alvarinho has a huge ageing ability and great aptitude to ferment and age in the noblest of casks.
From the land we can also obtain some fine vegetables like the liitle peas, the great potatos from Trás-Os-Montes, an assortement of cabbages and our cherished rapini, which are so profusely used in our recipes.
A highlight of this region is also the pastries and desserts like the renowned Pudim Abade de Priscos (Prisco’s Abbot Pudding). This dessert, typical in Braga, is also known as Pudim de Toucinho (bacon pudding) and it is perfect for a party table. The recipe belonged to the abbot who named it, a master in the culinary art of his time (end of XIXth century).
In Oporto we can highlight the octopus-based dishes, the fine fish from the nearest markets and the very typical Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, browned in the oven and made of cod’s splinters smoothed in olive oil, boiled potato and embellished with slices of boiled eggs, parsley and olives.
The Trás-Os-Montes region is equally abundant in premium quality raw materials: olive oil and honey are two characteristic and qualified products of the northeast region, both owners of the DOP title.