[00:00.00]When you ask Americans about European foods, many people talk about their favorite meals from Italy, France, or even Germany.
[00:13.28]But food and drink from another European country – Portugal -- is growing in popularity, both in the United States and other areas.
[00:25.52]In fact, while Portugal may not have as many famous dishes as its European neighbors, Portuguese tastes have influenced food and restaurants from Europe, to Asia, Africa and the Americas.
[00:43.47]Many areas have been touched by Portuguese tastes in some way.
[00:49.40]With Portugal’s long colonial history and immigrant population around the world, Portuguese cooking is finding an important place in many homes.
[01:02.71]The story of Portugal’s influence on food is tied to its centuries as a colonial power.
[01:10.54]Portugal was one of the first European countries to start exploring the world.
[01:17.26]At one time, Portugal controlled territory on almost every continent.
[01:24.00]Along their travels, Portuguese explorers, sailors, businessmen and clergy left their mark on the cultures and food they encountered.
[01:36.50]To understand the effect Portuguese cooking has had, it is important to describe some of the food itself.
[01:47.08]There are many different Portuguese foods.
[01:51.52]However, Portugal is perhaps most famous for its fish.
[01:57.51]With a coastline nearly 1,800 kilometers long, fish and seafood are not hard to find.
[02:09.08]Portugal actually has the fourth highest fish consumption per person of any country in the world.
[02:17.07]The most common kind of fish in Portuguese cooking is cod.
[02:23.40]Portuguese crews have been fishing for cod since the 15th century.
[02:29.82]Because this tradition started long before the invention of refrigeration equipment, the cod is almost always dried and salted.
[02:42.01]Most fish in Portugal is then served either dried, as is, boiled in water, or roasted over a fire.
[02:54.45]Sardines are another popular fish. Other Portuguese dishes use seafood like octopus, squid, crabs, and shrimp.
[03:06.05]In the past, many of Portugal’s pastries were made by Catholic religious workers.
[03:14.42]The main ingredient for any pastry is egg yolks. One of the most famous tasty treats is called Pastéis de Nata.
[03:25.48]They are small, rich creamy tarts.
[03:29.79]These baked goods can be found all over Portugal, and also in many of Portugal’s former colonies, like Brazil.
[03:39.72]Portugal is famous all over the world for its alcoholic drinks.
[03:46.10]Perhaps the most famous wine is a sweet, dark-red Port, made from grapes in northern Portugal.
[03:55.64]Another important wine is Madeira.
[03:58.99]Madeira was probably the most popular wine in North America from the time the first Europeans arrived, until the middle of the 1800s.
[04:11.76]It comes from the islands of Madeira, a popular stopping point for European ships on their way across the Atlantic Ocean.
[04:22.73]During the American Revolution against British rule, Britain restricted foreign imports to its American colonies.
[04:32.61]Yet the British did permit imports from the islands of Madeira.
[04:38.62]General George Washington was known to drink Madeira wine.
[04:43.54]He is reported to have celebrated with drinks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence and his swearing-in as the first president of the United States.
[04:56.31]Pork, beef, and chicken are also all popular in the Portuguese diet.
[05:03.18]They are often cooked on a grill.
[05:06.96]The meat is often seasoned with spices that the Portuguese collected from their travels around the world.
[05:14.59]A popular dish that many Portuguese have at the beginning of a meal is a soup called Caldo Verde.
[05:24.49]This is made from potato purée, sliced kale, and cuts of sausage.
[05:31.67]While Portuguese food is important by itself, what is most interesting is how it influenced food in other countries.
[05:42.73]One example can be found on the other side of the world -- in Japan.
[05:49.63]The Portuguese started trading with Japan in 1543.
[05:55.25]The two sides continued trading for almost a century.
[06:00.35]During that time, a Portuguese fried green bean specialty, called peixinhos da horta, was passed on to the Japanese.
[06:11.66]Today in Japan, that kind of cooking is called tempura.
[06:17.14]It is used with green beans, shrimp, and other foods.
[06:22.28]The Portuguese also left an influence on Goa, in western India, which they controlled from 1510 until 1961.
[06:34.10]The Portuguese in Goa cooked a dish using pork and a topping made from wine and garlic.
[06:43.18]This dish later become popular with many Indians.
[06:47.93]Now called vindaloo, it remains popular in the country today.
[06:53.65]Portuguese food has not been as well known in the United States until recently.
[07:01.14]That began changing with the rise of the popular fast-food restaurant Nando’s Peri-Peri.
[07:09.63]The eatery’s main offering is chicken served with a spicy seasoning that comes from Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony.
[07:19.46]The very first Nando’s Peri-Peri opened in South Africa, but the restaurant chain now has eateries all over Africa, Australia, and North America.
[07:33.83]The chain also sells the spicy peri-peri sauce, which has become famous.
[07:41.45]Portugal is no longer known just for its cooking, but also for its many foods.
[07:48.14]It is important to recognize that many of the things you eat today could have already been influenced by the Portuguese many years ago.
[07:59.57]I’m Phil Dierking.