Travel Guide to Portugal

Highlights: Undiscovered Food Stories of Northern Portugal

By Gabriella Opaz

With nine new Michelin stars added to last year’s 17, it’s an exciting time to indulge in The Undiscovered Food Stories of Northern Portugal. Our newly-released book shares with the world the exclusive, never before told life and food stories forgotten for 100 years inside Porto’s iconic Bolhão Market.

The grandmother food stories we found in this charismatic open-air market are a cultural treasure, and it’s people and places like these that are partly responsible for the success of the haute cuisine putting Portugal’s gastronomy on the map today. Many of the country’s award-winning chefs tap into local foods and traditions to achieve their highly personalized Portuguese flavors with a twist.

In our book, discover inspiring people, unique perspectives, the foods you love and those that you never even knew existed in Portugal. Through every incredible story and captivating image, experience this extraordinary country in an entirely new way.

Let us share a bit of our book with you with some of our favorite excerpts and images from our book, but trust us, there’s tons more to discover!


Helena Rosa – Bread Vendor

“It goes beyond the bread for these women. Selling at the market gives them a chance to do what Portuguese women do best – care for others. Step into any traditional Portuguese home and you’ll surely be showered with a buffet of cheese, jams, cured meats and olives, all with bread as the centerpiece. In the Fado (Portuguese blues) song “Uma Casa Portuguesa” (A Portuguese Home), the lyrics say that in a Portuguese home bread and wine are a must, and when there’s a knock on the door, insist they sit at the table. This scenario comes with a promise of kisses and arms flung wide open to greet you. The warming scents of bread inside Bolhão are a reminder of the joy it brings to the Portuguese and the people they share it with.”


Ana Cardosa – Vegetable Vendor

“In the age of mass production, it’s incredible to know that the woman selling you kale is the very same woman who grew, picked and shredded it by hand. No hidden agendas. No middle man. Just Ana. It goes beyond customer service, it’s simple, genuine and heartwarming. The fact that Ana and many of her peers grow their own fruits and vegetables is a major perk for patrons on the hunt for authentic, hard to procure items like the seasonal turnips from Gondomar that require an experienced hand to grow properly.”


Lucinda Leite – Poultry Vendor

“At Bolhão, there’s still an effort to preserve the connection between the origins of food and the people who eat it. Here, the chicken still bocks and has feathers, and its freshly butchered meat boasts smooth unfettered feet and regal, red combs. Nothing in Bolhão is sugar coated. There’s no desire or need to hide life. There’s value to buying a live chicken, whose fresh blood enriches the aromatic rice dish of arroz de cabidela, and whose offal and feet metamorphose into pipis, a petisco (small bite) of stewed chicken gizzards, hearts, liver and feet in a savory gravy of onions, garlic, tomatoes, spices, herbs and a dash of Piri-Piri. There’s comfort in knowing that the woman selling you that chicken, not only raised and nurtured it, but that she herself killed it. These vendors are more than salespeople, they’re agents of sustainability.”

If you’re interested in getting a copy of your own, or a gift for that special food lover for the holidays, simply click on the “Buy Now” button below!

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Since 2005, Catavino has been exploring the Iberian Peninsula
looking for the very best food and wine experiences.

Since 2005, Catavino has been exploring the Iberian Peninsula looking for the very best food and wine experiences.

Catavino is the best place to learn about travel, food
and wine in Portugal and Spain.

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