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Missing Portugal and its food? Open one of these 10 culinary books

Book covers picture collage

Portuguese have a word of its own. It has no translation in any other language and describes perfectly the emptiness when we know we’ll miss something, or someone. Even before it happens. It’s called Saudade.

You might not be Portuguese, but iIf you already walk through Lisbon, if you seen Castle Hill bring to life at the first sunlight or the sensation of explosion in the taste buds at first bite in a custard tart, certainly you know what we are talking about.

Are you not Portuguese? If you already walked through Lisbon, contemplating its light from the sun raise to redden in intense sunsets over a deep blue sky, if your tastebuds had a blast at first bite on a custard tart or on a Bifana sandwich with mustard, we bet you know what feeling we’re talking about.

We prefer to feed your longing rather than kill it! Because we like to know you miss us, our country and our food. So we went rummaging through the shelves of culinary books and we set up a trip by Portugal in 10 books that will leave you mouth-watering, rolled-up sleeves and a click of a flight back to Lisbon.

You don’t know a word of Portuguese? Don’t worry, most of these books are translated. Let’s get started!


Lisboeta: Recipes From Portugal’s City of Light

Nuno Mendes

Portuguese cookbook - eng


Internationally renowned chef Nuno Mendes is a native Lisboner, locally known as Lisboeta. In this groundbreaking cookbook, you are invited to experience his favourite places, and the incredible food you will discover there. Sharing recipes inspired by the dishes he loves, chef Nuno Mendes takes you through a typical day in Lisbon, starting with pastéis de nata, the custard tarts for which Lisbon is famous for, and bolas de Berlim, fluffy doughnuts stuffed with custard that are sold on the beach;  Tasting some typical seafood for lunch, like squid sizzling in a pan with garlic and coriander or grilled sardines with a roasted green pepper salad. These are the heart-warming, vibrant dishes of a city with a modern, bustling food scene that is nevertheless steeped in centuries-old traditions.

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Cozinha de Lisboa e Seu Termo

Alfredo Saramago

Cozinha de Lisboa e Seu Termo Alfredo Saramago

How is it possible to fit such as rich and varied cuisine in such a small country as Portugal? That was the work of Alfredo Saramago in his several books about signature dishes by region. This book is all about the culinary stories of Lisbon, from soups to eggs, game meat, river fish or fruit cakes. A journey through the history of the capital of Portugal through its food. You will find in its pages typical recipes of the region as the Codfish à Senhor Grandella, Marrare steak, cod pastel cake, meat tender though fritters, Pastéis de Belém, Pastéis de Sintra, among many others.

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Portuguese Tradicional Cooking

Maria de Lourdes Modesto

Portuguese Tradicional Cooking Maria de Lourdes Modesto


The Bible of the Portuguese cuisine. This is the best definition you can find for a book of 800 recipes that unlocks Portuguese culinary secrets passed down from generation to generation. With recipes grouped by regions, including Azores and Madeira, it’s a real deep dive into the Portuguese culinary by the hand of the pioneer of live cooking, at a time that there was no Jamie Oliver or Nigela Lawson.

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My Portugal

George Mendes

My Portugal George Mendes


We can take the Chef of his roots, but we cannot take the roots of the Chef. George Mendes has worked with the best chef’s in the world until he inaugurated Aldea, his restaurant in Manhattan. It’s signature? The fusion of Portuguese flavours with ingredients and haute cuisine techniques. This book reveals 125 recipes – between rice duck or cod casserole, potatoes and egg – and stories behind the recipes, in a journey by land and sea at his childhood memories in his hometown.

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Dicionário Prático da Cozinha Portuguesa

Virgilio Nogueiro Gomes

Dicionário Prático da Cozinha Portuguesa Virgilio Nogueiro Gomes


Indispensable for anyone who wants to venture to talk about Portuguese cuisine with accurate culinary terms, recipes and products, all arranged in alphabetical order. Here you will find, for example, what differentiates the various types of bread soup, 40 cod dishes or main PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). With the add-on about the traditional Portuguese sweets baking learnings.

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Portuguese Travel Cookbook

Nelson Carvalheiro

Portuguese Travel Cookbook Nelson Carvalheiro


This is a journey to discover the best Portuguese delicacies by the hand of one of the well known travel bloggers of the world, awarded as the best ‘European Travel Blogger’. In 58 recipes, including fish stew, fried cuttlefish to boar in a clay pot or bread sponge cake of Ovar, Nelson Carvalheiro unveils the good Portuguese way of saying ‘I love you’ through cooking.

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The Best Chocolate Book in the World

Carlos Braz Lopes

The Best Chocolate Book in the World Carlos Braz Lopes


Who suspects we are exaggerating in saying that the Best Chocolate Cake in the World is in Portugal, we invite to come and do our Tram 28-Campo de Ourique Food & Cultural Tour, to get a tasting of this baked in heaven cake! In case you already tasted the Best Chocolate Cake in the World and you think the recipe is in this book, forget it! The recipe is a good secret kept by Carlos Braz Lopes, who wanted to share other delicious recipes based on chocolate, with which anyone can surprise family or friends with a homemade cake, easy to prepare, where the flavour is the most important. It includes recipes for cakes, crackers, cookies, desserts and cocktails.

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Piri Piri Starfish: Portugal Found

Tessa Kiros

Piri Piri Starfish: Portugal Found Tessa Kiros


Fans of chicken piri-piri, this book is for you: almost all recipes include the magical touch of piri-piri, that secret ingredient that elevates a simple dish to a memorable experience. For Tessa Kiros, eating is part of the essence of any country, along with their language, culture and sounds. The start for a trip over 254 pages of the history and memories of Portugal, with pictures of pining for each dish. More than a culinary book it is a celebration of the cultural heritage of Portugal.

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Eat Portugal

Lucy Pepper and Célia Pedroso

Eat Portugal Lucy Pepper and Célia Pedroso


The translation of a Portuguese dish can be more comic than enlightening. Roast suckling pig? Camel drool? Hmmm?!? With this book you have access to an indispensable glossary to discover Portuguese gastronomy, with the explanation of many of the terms used in Portuguese cuisine and customs associated with different dishes. Includes 52 recipes to put in practice, as well as practical keywords.

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Portugal, the Best Fish in the World

Fátima Moura and José Bento dos Santos

Portugal, the Best Fish in the World Fátima Moura and José Bento dos Santos


No, we are not being pretentious saying that we have the best fish in the world. Portugal is 97% sea! Did you know it? Google it if you don’t believe us! With 943 km of coastline, 92,000 solid square kilometers and 4 million square kilometers of salty liquid territory and a life dedicated to the sea, the result is high fresh fish dishes, simple but not simplistic, full of flavor and the way only we know how to cook them. It is no coincidence that we are the largest fish consumers in the world. This book is also a tribute to fishermen who risk their lives at sea to bring daily fresh fish at Portuguese tables. Amen!

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Fabrico Próprio, The Design of Portuguese Semi-Industrial Confectionery

Fabrico Próprio, The Design of Portuguese Semi-Industrial Confectionery

Yes, we have a sweet tooth and we are addicted to pastry. To eat a custard tart or a rice cake as our second breakfast make our day. Honestly, have you already looked carefully at the windows of the Portuguese pastry shop? How can you withstand such sugar teasings? This book is an encyclopedic record of all pastry cakes that are part of Portuguese everyday life. Altogether there are 92 cakes and its variations, with historical notes and a glossary of terms pastry.


We’ll love to see your photo shoots,  to know about your insights, questions, suggestions and wishes on your food & culture experiences in Lisbon and Portugal.  Please share with us via FacebookInstagram or Twitter and tag us @tasteoflisboa or #tasteoflisboa.  


Feed your curiosity on Portuguese food culture:

8 Portuguese female chefs you should know

Foods you didn’t know were Portuguese

The national dish of Portugal (it’s not codfish…)

Where to find Portuguese food and wine in Germany


Discover more easy recipes on our blog:

Bacalhau à Brás – Portuguese Codfish Recipe

Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato (clams at Bulhão Pato style)

Easter bread


Real people, real food. Come with us to where the locals go.

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