Portugal, the best european country to live in

Expat Insider survey says that Portugal is the best european country to live in and the fifth in the World, in 2017.

The survey was made among people who work abroad and there are 65 countries listed. Portugal is the 5th in the World and the best in Europe.

Expat Insider belongs to  internations, a social network that helps foreign people who arrive to work abroad to know people in their same circunstancies.

There are several factors in the survey:

  • Quality of life (Portugal  first)
  • Leisure options (Portugal second)
  • Health and well being ( Portugal 5th)
  • safety and security ( Portugal 11th)
  • transport and travel  (Portugal 14th)
  • Ease of settle (Portugal 4th)
Portugal ranks 5th out of 65 countries in 2017, climbing
an impressive 23 places.

According to survey respondents, the political stability

in Portugal has vastly improved, contributing to the
strong ranking in the Safety & Security subcategory.
In this link you can find a detailed information about the survey.

 

Vetusta Morla in Lisbon

Next Saturday, May 26th, in the Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon, the music band “Vetusta Morla” will be performing its new release “Mismo sitio, distinto lugar”.

For further information and buy the tickets, click here

Zé da Mouraria

Restaurante Zé da Mouraria is the perfect place to eat Portuguese homemade food  and where the alfacinhas (as people from Lisbon are known)  go to eat Bacalhau assado com grâo on Fridays.

Located next to the Martin Moniz square, specifically in the street João do Outeiro 24-26 is Zé da Mouraria (nº63 on the map). To get there you will have to walk through narrow streets on cobbled slopes, (you must walk or get off at the Martin Moniz metro station and walk no more than 5 minutes away). Upon entering the street you will identify the place by its green saloon style doors and by its typical Portuguese appearance with its walls decorated with tiles and images of the Portuguese capital.

The most famous dish, which is only served on Fridays, is the “Bacalhau assado com grâo or Bacalhau do Zé da Mouraria” consisting of a roasted cod accompanied by roasted potatoes and chickpeas (grâo).

As in all good places, it is always crowded, especially on Fridays and as almost always in Portugal, the service is somewhat slow, so you have to be patient as they will take time to bring the food not less than 20-25 minutes.

But the wait always has a reward, the quality of the food and the way that is prepared (in a traditional Portuguese way) are worth it. The prices of the dishes are around 15-20 € but they will not be hungry for a long time. For example, the Bacalhau assado com grâo ration is more than enough for two people, so you have to take it into account when ordering. Maybe for a couple it would be more than enough a dish with some entree and have an average of 1 dish for 1.5 people when we are going to order and not be carried away by the voracity of the moment.

Bacalhau do Zé da Mouraria: de comer ajoelhado. #vscocam #zédamouraria2

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In addition to the bacalhau a grao, other dishes on the menu stand out, such as vitela a molho de pimenta verde (veal with green pepper sauce), arroz de pato and chocos a alinho (squid in garlic sauce and cilantro with roasted potatoes) ). Also their meats and their fish made by coal are remarkable.

To accompany these dishes we can choose Portuguese wines such as reds Embuçado, Quinta do Cabril or Monte Barbo, whites Monte Velho, Quintas dos Gaeiros or Quintela and the famous green vinho Casal García.

To finish the meal with a sweet flavor we have several sobremesas: Crema de Leite, Mouse de chocolate, Flan de pudim (con sorpresa) y folhado de ovos. All homemade and all delicious ….. and / or take a good digestive drink as Beirão, Amarginha or a Porto.

As usual, before going, always better to make a reservation.

Phone:  +351 21 886 5436

Open from Monday to Saturday from 12.00 to 16.00.

Closed on Sundays

Enjoy the mail

Madonna and Lisbon

Lisbon is a magical city and one that engages you and good sample of this is that there are famous people that we could not imagine living there, such is the case of Monica Belluci, or Madonna.

Imagine you can meet her while you are walking any ordinary day in the streets of Alfama o Chiado.

Lost in Lisbon…….. 😍🇵🇹

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Madonna is an alfacinha (this is the name of the people who live in Lisbon, alface is lettuce in Portuguese) that loves to walk through its magical corners and enjoy a great fado.

We can also see her in a VIP box in the Benfica field since her son, David Banda, plays in the young categories of the club called by the Portuguese as “O glorioso” due to his so laureate career that includes two European Cups.

 

⚽️♥️⚽️♥️⚽️♥️⚽️♥️🐶♥️⚽️♥️⚽️

A post shared by Madonna (@madonna) on

Or enjoying a FADO….

Fado ♥️ Fado 🇵🇹Fado 🍷 with the beautiful Vanya……. so Inspiring. 🔥

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The Cod in Portugal

A natas, grelhado, a bras,  a Gomes de Sá, cakes, ….the cod (bacalhau in Portuguese) is the star fish of the gastronomy in Portugal. Actually, every portuguese eat 7Kg of cod a year (around 16 pounds), so there is a whole section in the supermarket aimed to the cod.

But, Why Portuguese people eat so much cod?

We have to go back to year 1353 when Peter I of Portugal and the King Edward III of England signed an international fishing agreement that allow Portuguese fishermen to fish in the coasts that belonged to England for 50 years. This agreement was reforced later in 1373 with the Treaty between Portugal and England called “Treaty of friendship, union and perpetual alliance” , that is the oldest active treaty in the world. This treaty has been used by England several times, for example during the Second World War and the Falkland war in order to use the airports and facilities of Portugal Air Force and Army. In the XIV century, the tradition of consuming habitually cod was forged, a cheap and affordable product for most of the people. Another advantage of the cod was that it could be preserved adding salt during 2-3 months and this was necessary beacuse the trips for capturing it lasted a long time. And adding salt also made the cod a non-perishable product, perfect to store it and keep it at home. The cod was a good substitute for other foods (like the pork or cow meat) during the period that were forbidden by Religion.

The fishing of the cod 

Since the signing of the Anglo-Portuguese agreement of 1353 there were expeditions that brought cod from the North Sea and even Terranova and the Arctic Ocean. At the beginning of the 16th century, under the reign of Juan III of Portugal, the fleet of boats responsible for its capture reached the number of 150. They left in May and returned in October, taking advantage of the spawning period in shallower waters.

During the loss of Portuguese independence and the union with Spain in the late sixteenth century, fishing in the New World became difficult and dangerous due to the threat of French and English fleet, enemies of Spain, die to in that period was not valid the bilateral Treaty signed in 1373 between Portugal and England. The fishing was practically interrupted and fish began to be imported.

It would take almost 300 years for cod fishing to be reactivated by Portuguese, although it never reached the same intensity again. In 1891 the “Parceria Geral de Pescarias Lda.” was created. (general fishing company of Portugal). During the years 1930 to 1960, the fishing area was extended to Greenland and the 80% of the Portuguese demand was supplied. During this time there were 51 boats in charge of cod fishing although many of these boats were a little precarious, made of wood and without adequate mechanics.

From 1960 fishing is no longer so fruitful and the number of boats that make up the Portuguese fleet dedicated to cod fishing begins to decline, all helped by the fact that Canada established a maximum fishing quota for foreign fleets what made not worthly to reach there because the volume of catches does not justify it. Therefore, the importation of most of the cod from countries such as Iceland or Norway begins, something that continues to this day.

The Cod in the Portuguese Culture 

Since the fourteenth century the relationship between cod and Portugal was born, with the  time hte cod has become more important and today is a symbol of Portuguese culture. Even the typical Christmas Eve dinner, also called Consoada de Natal, is served cod with cabbage and cooked potato or with turnip tops (tender shoots of the turnip). Also every Friday of Lent traditional dishes with cod are consumed. In fact, the two peaks with the highest consumption of cod in Portugal occur during the Christmas holidays and in August, when the Portuguese who are living abroad return on holiday. Not in vain, Portugal has an industry around cod that exports most of its production to countries like France, Angola and Brazil where there is a significant presence of Portuguese.

Shops for buying bacalhau

If you want to buy cod in a traditional shop in Lisbon, you have to go up to Rua do Arsenal, between Cais de Sobré and Plaza del Comercio, which is where traditionally all the “lojas” were, where people from Lisbon bought cod. Today there are only two stores: “A Perola do Arsenal” and “O Rei do Bacalhau”, although the street was full of them, but they have been replaced by large stores, with whose prices these small stores can not compete. … because Portuguese of course has not stopped consuming it.

Typical Portuguese dishes with cod

  • Bacalhau a natas (It´s a kind of lasagna made with cod, cream, potatoes, onion and grilled with cheese)
  • Bacalhau a bras o dourado (the famous scrambled cod with potatoes)
  • Bacalhau grelhado (grilled cod)
  • Bacalhau a Gomes da Sa (cod with potatoes, olives, onion and hard-boiled egg)
  • Pasteis do bacalhau (small cod cakes)
  • Bacalhau a Ze do Pipo (cod grilled with mayo)
  • Bacalhau a Lagareiro (cod made with olive oil, the Lagareiro was the man in charge of making oil from olives)
  • Bacalhau espiritual (very similar to Bacalhau a natas but with bechamel)

 

Portuguese English Dictionary

I strongly recommend this useful dictionary app. You can download in your cell phone clicking in the picture below. You can learn vocabulary, verbs, phrases and train with a lot of exercises and activities like the flashcards.

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The Rooster of Portugal

Have you ever wondered why you find so many roosters in the shops of Portugal? Well, in this post the legend of the portuguese Rooster or  Rooster of Barcelos is going to be explained.

In the 14th century a pilgrim was walking the  pilgrimage to Santiago through Portugal and decided to make a stop in Barcelos, a small town close to Braga in the North of Portugal. He stayed that night in a small hostal and during the dinner, the woman in charge of the Hostal fell in love of the pilgrim. He refused her because he was in a penance state due to his religious trip.

She, after being refused, wanted to revenge and left in his case a bag with silver cutlery in order to blame him of being a theft.  The next day, before starting his trip, the pilgrim was blamed of stealing the cutlery and was taken to the mayor of the city who was in the midle of a copious lunch with his friends.

The mayor checked that he had the cutlery in his bag and sent him to the gallow. The pilgrim swore that he had never stolen the cutlery and while he was taken out of the room he saw a baked rooster on the table where the mayor and his friends were going to eat. Then, he has a premonition and shouted:

“I´m innocent and the rooster you are going to eat will go up and cackle showing my inocence”

The pilgrim was taken to the gallow and, in fact, just before starting to eat, the rooster went up and started to cackle. Suddenly the mayor ran to the square where the gallow was and he thought that the pilgrim was already dead but amazingly the pilgrim wasn´t deade because Santiago was holding him from his feet, avoiding the rope to be tense.

The pilgrim saved his life and swore to come back to Barcelos to place a cross in order to remember his story.

In the city of Barcelos, you can visit the Archeologic museum where this cross is and there is a picture of the same moment that Santiago was holding him in the gallow.

And this is the story of the Rooster of Barcelos as a national symbol

 

Cervejaria Ramiro

If we talk about seafood, we talk about Ramiro. It´s placed on the Almirante Reis avenue, next to the Martin Moniz square (#62 in the map). It is easily recognized by its long queues at the door. It is also well know by the presunto (ham), pregos (bread stuffed with meat), the shellfish and the garlic prawns.

If you don´t want to wait, you can order by telephone. Take a look to the web site and collect there. (there is not delivery).

You can also find at this place a wide variety of Portuguese wines (red, white and rose wines) including Mateus, Marques de Borba or Esporao.

Here you have a quick translation of the seafood dishes.

BUZIOS: small conch shells

CAMARÃO DO PORTO: prawns from Oporto

CANILHA:  conch shells

CARABINEIROS: big red prawns

GAMBA DO ALGARVE:  classic white prawns from the south of Portugal and Huelva (Spain)

GAMBA COZIDA:  boiled prawns

GAMBA GRELHADA: grilled prawns

GAMBA TIGRE GIGANTE:  big prawns with stripes

LAGOSTA NACIONAL: Portuguese lobster

LAGOSTIM: Big prawns

LAVAGANTE:  classic lobster

NAVALHEIRAS: razor shell

OSTRAS: oyster

PERCEBES: barnacle

SANTOLA: Spider crab

SAPATEIRA: crab

Take a look to these amazing pictures from Instagram!

ENJOY YOUR MEAL!