Bacalhau (codfish, a must-try!), Portugal’s dried, faithful friend & luxury shop Manteigaria Silva Lisbon

The Portuguese have a very long history with codfish: shortly after Columbus (about 500 years ago) discovered America, the Portuguese were fishing for cod near NewFoundland. They were the first Europeans to do so. The nickname of bacalhau is ‘fiel amigo’ (faithful friend).

Fish bacalhau codfish Manteigaria Silva

Lisbon luxury food shop Manteigaria Silva , Rua D. Antao de Almada 1 Lisbon

365 different ways to prepare codfish

When you stay in Lisbon or in the wonderful country Portugal, a must-try is bacalhau (dried and salted cod).  The Portuguese adore it and it’s said that they know at least 365 different ways to cook it…one for each day of the year!

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Lisbon luxury food shop Manteigaria Silva , Rua D. Antao de Almada 1 Lisbon

The smell of dried and salted bacalhau is odd and penetrating……pfffffff… but the taste is absolutely delicious when cooked!

Bacalhau traditional dish in Portugal

Bacaolada, traditional Portuguese bacalhau dish.

Bacalhau deserves a good wine: green (Vinho Verde) or mature wines, from Alentejo, Dão or Douro.

History

For at least 500 years ago the Portuguese learned how to salt cod at sea and sun-dry it. It keeps for many months this way without refrigeration. And then it requires being soaked for 24 hours in changes of water before being used to prepare a dish. The soaking reconstitutes the fish and gets rid of the excessive salt also. Even today, where refrigeration isn’t a problem, the Portuguese have not lost their love for bacalhau. Dishes based on this main ingredient are sure to be a part of most holiday and other celebrations. It’s a staple of the Portuguese diet and you’ll find it prepared in all Portuguese homes and (cheap) restaurants.

One of the reasons for the popularity of bacalhau in Portugal and other catholic countries, was because of the many days on which the Church forbade the eating of meat.

Bacalhau a braz

Very popular: ‘bacalhau à brás’, made from thin strips of cod mixed with onions, and thin strips of potatoes bound by eggs.

Codfish Gomes de sa

Bacalhau á Gomes de Sá, cooked in a casserole with thinly sliced potatoes and onions,  garnished with hard-boiled eggs and black olives.

This recipe was invented by Jose Luis Gomes de Sá  Jr., the son of a rich nineteenth century merchant (apparently he dealt in cod) in Porto. The family fortune dwindled and the son had to find a job at the famous restaurant Lisbonense in downtown Porto. It was there that he created the now well known recipe.

Pasteis de Bacalhau

Besides: Pastéis de Bacalhau (codfish pastry), croquetes.

A delicacy and a good idea with a cold glass of Portuguese white wine or beer on tap(imperial)!

Napoleão shops Lisbon: (vintage) port, olive oil, Portuguese wines, Ginja, tiles & Napoleon, the french emperor

Around 1974, after the Portuguese revolution, the Napoleão family in Lisbon started selling wines and Port wines in Lisbon. A quite  peculiar name for a Portuguese family of course, but the explanation is a simple one. Portugal was once occupied by France for a short period of time and like in other European countries Napoleon obliged civilians to register a surname.

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Christina Napoleão

That’s why 8 generations ago the ancestors of Christina Napoleão chose the name of the French emperor Napoleon, in Portuguese: Napoleão 😉

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Napoleão shop, Rua dos Fanqueiros 70 Lisbon

This youngest store of the Napoleão family, located in a beautiful old renovated building , also sells top quality olive oil, tasty jams, azulejos (traditional tiles) and many other typical Portuguese goodies.

Napoleão shop Port tasting

The Napoleão wine shop in the same street, Lisbon

The Napoleão family now owns six shops in Lisbon, and specializes in the best Portuguese wines and Port wines.  They can explain you all about the best Vintage years of the 20th Century.

Napoleão shop Port Wines street Lisbon

Napoleão shops: Rua dos Fanqueiros 70 Lisbon, tel: +351 21 8861108
Website you can order online

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