Sausages from Portugal
Portugal is a world of traditions and the killing of the pig is one of them. In this ritual, once very important for the economy of the people, everything is important. Even the guts and the blood of the animal to make the most varied sausages. Chorizo, blood sausage, smoked sausage (farinheira) and alheira are some of the most appreciated and are part of traditional dishes such as Portuguese stew or the famous Sopa da Pedra (soup with various types of meat and sausages). After the ritual of killing the pig, while men cut the animal, women prepared the meat and condiments to manually prepare the sausages, whose secrets were passed on to new generations.
Chorizo – Sausage prepared with meat and fat from the pig. The seasonings vary by region, but typically include seasoned meat for 2 to 3 days with garlic and chili. The tripe is fill with this preparation and are then bound at intervals of 30 to 40 cm in a circular shape. Usually it takes 8 days in smokehouse until they are ready.
Farinheira (smoked flour sausage) – It’s a unique national sausage, like Alheira. It was invented by Portuguese Jews to have something to hang on their smokehouses faking the consumption of pork and so save them from the Inquisition. It is made with flour, which gives it its name, Red capsicum paste, paprika, wine and nowadays also with pork fat. It can be served fried or roasted and, besides being part of main courses like the famous Cozido à Portuguesa (Portuguese rich steamed dish), it is also used in starters to die for like Scrambled Eggs with Farinheira.
Black pudding (blood sausage) – The black pudding is a meatless sausage, stuffed with pork blood and fat and flour or rice. The pork blood gives it the consistency and the dark colour. Spices such as cloves and cumin are among the secrets that give it an intense flavor. There is the flour black pudding (with various flours), rice black pudding (cooked with rice) and sweet blood sausage (seasoned with capsicum). It can be served roasted, cooked or cold.
Alheira (smoked chicken sausage) – Another invention of Portuguese Jews to escape the Inquisition persecution in the sixteenth century: they replaced the pork meat for chicken or other birds, wrapped it in a dough of wheat bread that gave its consistency and seasoned with olive oil, salt, garlic, sweet or spicy paprika. The recipe became popular among Christians who have added almost ubiquitous pork meat or lard. The one from Mirandela, in Tras-os-Montes, is the most famous alheira sausage and was nominated as one of the 7 Wonders Food of Portugal in 201. This sausage is usually fried in olive oil and served with boiled vegetables, sprouts kale preferably.