Welcome back friends and family to Expat in Lisbon! Today, I’m going to give you a bit of a Portuguese lesson while showing you the Mercado do Campo do Ourique. It’s one of the oldest markets in Lisbon and started in 1934, remodeled in 1991. It’s open every morning Monday-Saturday and closes around 2PM, but really, most of the good stuff is gone by noon. In the photo above, I managed to take the photo so it looks like the cathedral in the background is attached to the market, but it’s not really like that in real life. Check at the bottom of the post for the map and location.
So, Portuguese lesson you say? Well in this post I’m going to show you a lot of different kinds of delicious edible ingredients (some of them you have to cook before eating) and give you the Portuguese word for them and then the English translation.
So the Portuguese word for “market” is “mercado”. This is the Mercado do Campo do Ourique, literally, “The market of the Ourique countryside”. Guess what “campo” means? The market has what you’d expect, a fruit place, a vegetable place, a butcher, etc., and some things you wouldn’t expect that are native to Portugal. One of those being a store that specializes in salted codfish, or bacalhau.
In order to say “bacalhau” correctly, on the last syllable “lhau” you have to say it as if your tongue is “sticky” and has a hard time coming off the top of your hard palate. This gives a drawling sound to the last syllable. It sounds like “BA-KA-L(sticky)-YOW”. Try it.
That’s some salty, flaky goodness! This salted cod has to soak in water for at least overnight in order to be usable. This method of preserving fish was used back in the day when sailors had no other way to preserve fish on long journeys without refrigeration.
Now for the fishmonger! I know for a fact that that was the first time the word “fishmonger” has been used on this blog. Milestone! We get some pretty good seafood here in Portugal. Perhaps some of the best. Japan may be better, but for Western Europe I think Portugal is number 1 in seafood, both quality wise and price wise.
Guess what the Portuguese word is for “shrimp”! Hint: It costs 12.50 euros per kg. That’s right, it’s “camarão”. You have to say the last syllable with a trip-thong, or a vowel sound that has three different vowel sounds in it. The last syllable and basically any Portuguese word that ends in a “-ão” sounds like a whiny “ow!” sound like when Homer Simpson gets hurt.
So it is really hard to find raw shrimp for some reason here in Lisbon at any grocery store. Apparently it is not as popular as in the states, where it is pretty easy to find raw shrimp at the grocery store. I saw them here at the market and I was like “SCORE!”. I bought about 16 of them and cooked them that night. Recipe and pics in a future post!
Octopus in Portuguese is “Polvo”, and I’ve learned a secret while I’ve been here about how to cook it so it isn’t tough and rubbery. You have to freeze it after you buy it and then let it defrost in the sink. The process of freezing it and then defrosting it breaks down all the cells in the octopus making it super soft when you cook it.
This one I didn’t know before going to the market. “Raia” is “Stingray” in Portuguese. But remember to pronounce the “R” like an “H”.
“Atum” in Portuguese is “tuna” in English.
“Espada” in Portuguese is “Swordfish” in English. Literally it means “sword” but if you are referring to a fish the fishmonger will understand that you want a swordfish and not a sword.
Wow. Many fruits (frutas) here and that means a lot of new vocab! For the sake of space I won’t put all of them but if you want to know what a specific fruit name is in Portuguese you can ask in the comments.
I’ve become a fan of chutney ever since I got here. I guess the difference beween chutney and jam is that chutney sounds cooler than jam. Also, it’s a bit thicker and more expensive than jam.
So for Thanksgiving in Portugal I decided to bake an entire chicken in the oven with a bunch of veggies. That included the chicken feet. I politely asked my dinner companions if they wanted a chicken foot before I ate one. They all kind of looked at me like, “huh!?” They couldn’t believe that I would eat that. I explained to them that they were delicious and considered a delicacy in Asia and that people usually fight over them at the dinner table. I also mentioned that they are high in collagen, a great supplement for healthy skin. These explanations did nothing to persuade them of the deliciousness of chicken feet so they let me have both.
Here we have a dates, figs dipped in honey, dried plums, and dried figs. Guess which ones are which and put your answers in the comments!
Tartes and Chouriços
Guess what queijo in Portuguese is in English! I wonder…
Well looking at all that food has made me quite hungry. I will leave you with a shot of delicious pasteis de bacalhau, or Codfish Pastries. Seriously way too delicious. These are worth the plane ride alone. Thanks for stopping by Expat in Lisbon and as always,
Lisboa Espera Por Ti