Without a doubt that one of the most elaborate and delicious cuisines of Portugal is in the Douro Region. A region of excellent wines, famous smoked meats and sausages and the purest olive oil, it is to except that it´s cuisine is mostly based on these products. We will highlight the most famous dishes of this region. Enjoy excellent panoramic views over the Douro and the surrounding mountains and delight yourself with the superb Douro cuisine. Bon Appetite!
The Douro Cuisine is one of the treasures of the region, it is appealing to everyone, regardless of their culinary taste. There are many good restaurants that serve these local and typical dishes. The flavors of the region are intense, from simple snacks to the main course, with a strong and unforgettable taste.
How can we not fall for temptation in this region, where we have the typical Meat Breads, stuffed with smoked meats, the hearty bean soups, the grits with spareribs, the roasted goatling or rabbit and the famous “Biscoito da Teixeira” – a dense regional cake. As if that were not enough, we are in the land of great wines, starting with the famous port wine and the natural sparkling wine of Lamego (Murganheira and Raposeira). Anyway, it is not us who sin, it is the aromas that tempt us!
Here are the most outstanding dishes in this magnificent region:
To start the meal, we recommend that you indulge yourself with a cheese platter, the typical “Bôla de Lamego” (Meat Bread) and the famous Douro sausages (chorizo, salpicão, paio), accompanied by local olives. “Presunto de Lamego” Lamego prosciutto is also much appreciated as a starter, often accompanied with melon, bread and good wine.
Traditional Douro soups are rich with many meats. After all, many of them served as a meal for field workers who had to face hard days at work. These soups are real energy bombs, ideal for warming up on cold winter nights. “Água de Unto”, a broth prepared with lard and bread, and Chestnut Soup are part of the culinary personality of the Douro. Tomato Soups are also an ancestral recipe, whose origins are unknown. If you prefer vegetable and legume soups, you can opt for the onion, turnip, lettuce, or red bean broth, common in Armamar and S. João da Pesqueira.
There is a whole variety of meat dishes, full of good ingredients that delight any visitor: the roasted goatling with rice and potatoes (one of the most traditional Douro dishes); the “Cozido à Portuguesa” – a feast of boiled meats with potatoes and vegetables; the “Feijoada” – a bean and meat stew ; the “Torresmos à moda de Cinfães”- pork fried in its lard, and the game meat from the Superior Douro(stewed wild rabbit, partridge stewed with prosciutto and wild boar stew). We must also mention the Roasted Lamb with oven rice, which was traditionally a “party dish” and served to workers on the last day of the harvest.
Here you can taste, throughout the year, various fish dishes: trout or shad come from the Douro River and are usually fried or marinated. In Cinfães, the most known dishes are Lamprey Rice and Bordelaise Lamprey. The “Migas de Peixe do Rio” bread and fried fish dish, initially a simple substance dish, has now became famous and is today a tourist attraction of Foz do Sabor, in Torre de Moncorvo. Baked cod, seasoned with pepper, garlic, and olive oil, also stands out throughout the region as an alternative to meat dishes.
The sweets of this region are truly diverse, to be highlighted are mainly the Conventual Sweets of Amarante like the “Papos de Anjo” Egg puffs in a sugary syrup. Delicious are also the famous regional sweets from Marco de Canaveses, like the “Doces do Freixo” which is an eggy cake with sugary glaze on top. This cake probably originated in the 17th century, in a nunnery. “Cavacas de Resende” date back to ancient times and are made with only three ingredients: flour, sugar, and fresh eggs. Almond Sweets, “Leite Creme” Portuguese type milk custard and the “Borrachão” a moist and drunken cake made with Port Wine, are also local specialties. Throughout the region, the tradition of selling sweets at festivities and pilgrimages is strong.Be sure to also try the “Rebuçados da Régua” Régua Candy Drops, made with sugar and lemon and known nationwide.
Homemade Portuguese style cornbread and/or bread accompanies any meal. It can be spread with honey or homemade jams, also from the region, or drizzled with olive oil. Olive oil, delicious and well flavored, is also the ideal side to any dish in the Douro.
There is a wide variety of fruits in the region, which are harvested at different times of the year. In this region cherries, almonds and apples mostly stand out. During winter, roasted chestnuts, nuts and tangerines are eaten. Olives and grapes are also fruit of the region, although they are more used to produce olive oil and wine than for consumption. Tua is a region famous for its oranges and figs.
Along the two banks of the Douro there is the region of Douro wines, that is, the famous Port wine. The climatic characteristics of the region, the nature of the land and the method of treating the vines are the main factors that have made Port wine the most celebrated of all the fortified wines in the world. There are countless brands of Port wine and some are more than centuries old. Douro table wines and sparkling Lamego wines are also known from this region.
If the quality of the wine is evident, the gastronomy of the Douro wine region is powerful! Be sure to enjoy the great panoramic views and try the wonderful local cuisine on our various cruises. We can suggest the beautiful Experiences through Douro program where you can enjoy a typical Douro lunch, made in iron pots, as in the days of D. Antónia Ferreira. If you prefer a more complete program, we suggest the 3 Day Douro Charming Cruise where you will have a wide range of visits to Wineries and tastings of typical dishes and Douro wines in the best restaurants in the region.
Let these delicacies transport you to the intense Douro Region, where flavors mix with the traditions and recipes of ancient times.