Food from home
– treats for the tastebuds
On the Silver Coast it is possible to get your hands on some of those tastes and delicacies you remember from home.
For people from the UK there is a great selection of British food and products at Union Jacs, located near the quayside in São Martinho de Porto. The shop has weekly deliveries from the UK and stocks frozen, chilled, canned and dried foods; snacks, sweets and drinks; and a good range of other hard-to-get products. They have a suggestion box for customers requiring things that are not in stock and will do their best to source these from the UK.
Most of the big supermarkets have a limited selection of products from other European countries. These are generally canned, pickled or dry goods, but it is possible to find some foreign cheeses on the deli counters. Supermarkets such as E Leclerc and Intermarche, being French owned, have a slightly wider selection of food products from other European countries. There are speciality food sections in the supermarkets with products for cuisines such as Chinese, Indian and Mexican, but the selection is generally not as wide as it is in the UK (however Union Jacs has a big selection of curry sauces).
Vegetables: Some supermarkets require you to weigh vegetables before taking them to the checkout. At Leclerc and Pão de Açúcar there are weighing machines in the fruit and veg section that print out a label for you to stick on the bag and avoid the embarrassment of holding up a long queue of shoppers.
Shopping bags: As in many European countries, Portuguese supermarkets are increasingly charging for shopping bags – called sacos. The cost is minimal but they are not always offered so ask for them before the shopping starts piling up.
Milk: Full fat milk is gordo, semi-skimmed is meio gordo and skimmed is magra.
Fish: The Portuguese people eat a lot of fish and the choice in most supermarkets is fantastic – fresh, varied and very well priced. Mondays are not a good day to buy fish, however, as fishermen normally take Sunday off which means the fish on display will not be freshly caught.
Meat: Portuguese meat cuts are fairly standard, but the names tend to vary from one butcher to the next. The following is a general guide to the most common cuts.
Vazia: sirloin steak
Lombo de vaca: fillet steak
Pojadouro: rump steak
Carne para assar rolada: silverside beef for roasting
Picada de vaca/porco: Minced beef or pork
Lombo de porco: pork loin
Perna de porco/Borrego: leg of pork or lamb (sem osso if you want it boned)
Costeletas de Borrego: lamb chops