The fabulous foods of Porto

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Amber Christian
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Ah food tours- how I love thee! I always learn so much about the history of an area through its food. Today's food tour in Porto is no different. We saunter through the streets of Porto as we learn more about the area and its history. And we munch on food, have lovely beverages, and savor the downtime. It's a good thing there is some distance between stops, because wow you get full on these tours! Here are some of my favorite things about that day. Too many pictures to show it all, but here are my highlights.

For those of you that know Porto, I am sure you are thinking- did they do it? Did they eat the Francesinha? Of course we did! For those not well versed in Francesinha- The closest thing I could compare this to in the US is the meat tornado sandwich. It is the Portuguese version of a croque-monsieur. Everyone we met in Porto warned us to NOT eat this at your evening meal. It HAS to be consumed at lunch. I remember how emphatic everyone was about this. I am so glad we took their advice and did this at lunchtime. Because this beautiful cheese covered pile of deliciousness arrived.

Layers of meat, cheese, tomato sauce. It was absolutely, mouthwateringly delicious. The cheese was glorious, like what you put on a pizza. It must stretch out nicely yet taste balanced with the pile of meat. And it is a pile.

I think there were four kinds of meat on the sandwich. I am so grateful that our guide had very small portions of this sandwich for us. Because this thing sits on your stomach like a brick! After the sandwich, we were off to the market. We visited Mercado do Bolhão. The market is currently being renovated so it is in a temporary location. We thought the temporary market was pretty nice. We followed our guide along, passing rows of fresh fish, sardines, and Octopus.

And then we came to another shop that had both fresh fish, and my new favorite obsession- tinned fish! At this point, I am contemplating what I might have to throw out so I can pack in some more tinned fish.

We have our food here, which was delicious as usual. And of course I was gonna buy when the current owner's son did his song and dance. I particularly enjoyed the part where I shared I had bought tinned fish in Lisbon. He was aghast. They don't know what they are doing down in Lisbon- our fish is so much better! This whole Lisbon Porto rivalry is making me laugh, and I love it!

Then we are off to our next stop. A lovely outdoor table and a great meat and cheese tray (the main image on this post). At this place, I find another gem. Now, repeat after me- Vinho Verde Tinto. Wine green red you say? I know, seems really weird.

Vinho Verde Tinto

Remember how I had that whole discovery with Vinho Verde wine? I learn here that the tinto version is called workers wine. They don't even put in wine glasses. Just a cup. Only about 7% of the Vinho Verde graps are red grapes. They use these for the workers wine. I feel like they have a huge hidden gem on their hands. It is so very very good. We sit outside enjoying conversation, our charcuterie tray and our wine. Life is so very good.

Just when we keep thinking- how on earth can this tour get better? Then she brings us to Meia Duzia

All these little tubes are concentrated flavors- think jams. But they are all kinds of wonderful flavors. They have other 100 different kinds in their store! Luckily we had some time on the tour so we could buy some to bring home. I love how this guide has had opportunities for us to buy things we like while we are there. For us this was really nice since it was our last day here in Porto and we would not have time to get back to these places.

I have so many mental notes on the food from this day. And I tell myself next time we come we are bringing a much larger suitcase. Or two. and I am taking an afternoon to sample my way through this store.

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