19th August 2017
There are things you should never tell any Portuguese about food. If you do, you will be considered ignorant, at least.
Never tell a Portuguese that you don´t like their bread.
If you do they will jump at you. What kind of bread are you talking about? There are so many different breads. Are you talking about bread breads or cakes? they might ask. You are hurting their feelings and you don´t want that. Just don´t mention the bread.
You might for example think that the Portuguese bread is just air, because of the yeast they use. Don´t mention that, please.
Don’t tell them about the bread you make with Spelt. They will not know what Spelt is and also don´t tell them you put hemp butter on your bread. Never tell them about your eating habits.
Then you might think they use too much sugar and salt in the food. Don´t ever think about that when among the locals. Some might agree with you about the sugar but the salt, no. Why is high blood pressure so common in the country? Don´t ask. Please.
If you are a vegetarian you might mention that it is difficult to get vegetarian food in the land. Don’t, please. You could get a long speech about all the wonderful vegetables and fruits that grow in the land.
Then you might want to say something about cooking. Oh no!!!! please don´t. If you think the vegetables are like slime and the rice like a chunk, don´t even dream about mentioning it. If you think a broccoli should be crispy and green when cooked, just forget it.
If you lived in China and liked the tea and the healthy waffles there, forget it. Don´t mention it.
If you think avocado is a wonderful fruit, full of healthy fat, that does not need olive oil over it, please be wise and keep it to your self. You might have to explain in detail why there should not be olive oil added on the fruit and how much olive oil should be used and where you saw anyone put the oil on it. It goes on and on. Just keep it to your self and eat the avocado perhaps just from the skin and make sure you get everything.
Do never say you think the food is being mistreated in the land. You will get a long speech about the wonderful fish and the healthy environment. Yes the raw material is amazing. You can get fish straight from the boats, for exempla at the beach and the fish market. But, when my dear countrymen put the wonders in the pot, they kill it, again.
The most important to remember. Never talk about dry salted codfish if you don´t like it. Never.
Every Portuguese person likes this fish. They don’t know about fresh codfish. They have no idea that it can be eaten fresh. Or at least 99 percent of them don´t.
If you want to keep the Portuguese happy you don’t talk too much about the food you don’t like. Let them think you eat their bread and your stomach does not scream at you when all the sugar in the healthy cakes enters your body. You don’t have to lie. Just keep quiet.
They will tell you that the food in homes is different from the restaurants. They will tell you that you have never eaten the food in their house, the healthy food they make.
How long to you cook your broccoli? I might ask. Oh, some time, they might reply. Just keep your mouth shut my friend if you don’t want to be swamped in argument against your opinion.
There are Indian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, sushi restaurants and even pizza restaurants that make good food. There are also bad Chinese restaurants that have adjusted to what my countrymen like and the food is not Chinese at all. If you are a vegetarian and want to eat out, just forget it. You get a salad; carrots, onion and salad blades mixed with olive oil and that’s it, there could even be a slice of tomato . Then there might be some white bread or even a bit of brownish bread to go with it. Olives might also follow. You don´t mention the lack of veggie food to the local, just keep it in mind if you are a vegetarian.
I have found a place where I can get fish straight from the ocean, grilled with salad and potatoes, not much potatoes. This is at the beach in Vieira de Leria. I love their fish. It is expensive but totally worth it. At the beach you can get good food and you can get the traditional one. You pay more for the good one but it is worth it.
There are healthy cakes made of carrot and good knows what. If the sugar was left out they would be ok. There are even cakes made of nuts and seeds, coated with sugar! I say no more.