5 gastronomic Icons to Include on Your Portuguese Wedding Menu

Credits:    Thay Rabello

Credits: Thay Rabello

Food is an essential part of Portuguese life. With fresh, quality ingredients cooked according to classic recipes, it’s no wonder that our cuisine has an international reputation! If you’re planning a destination wedding in Portugal, incorporating these traditional flavours and dishes into your menu will help to create an unforgettably authentic experience for your guests. Here are five culinary heroes to consider including on your Portuguese wedding menu.

1.    Bacalhau (salted codfish)

The story of bacalhau is closely intertwined with that of Portugal itself. It has its roots in the 15th century, the heyday of Portuguese sea discoveries, when it was used as a staple for sailors. Today, it is served as the main meal at Christmas. In fact, there are so many ways to work with salt cod that it is said there’s a recipe for every day of the year! With that much variety to choose from, you’re sure to find a way of including this local staple on your menu.


2.    Pastéis de Nata (egg custard tarts)

The Portuguese love their sweets, as evidenced by the many pastry shops you’ll find across the country. The most iconic of these is the Pastéis de Nata, a crisp flaky sweet tart with a creamy custard centre. It was first invented at a monastery near Lisbon, as a way of using up extra egg yolks, and continues to be a favourite today. Serve it to your guests with coffee, or as part of a decadent dessert display.


3.    Seafood

A typical Portuguese wedding menu will highlight the bounty of the sea with a cooked seafood starter or a seafood cocktail station. This spread might include delicacies such as oysters, salada de polvo (octopus salad), clams, and sardinhas assadas (grilled sardines). It’s a delicious way to start the meal!

4.    Portuguese cheese

Portugal produces many delicious cheeses, from hard and sharp to creamy and mild. Offering your guests a selection to try is a must! Some favourites include the vegetarian-friendly queijo de Azeitão, smooth Serra da Estrela, and spicy queijo de São Jorge from the Azores.


5.    Portuguese wine

Of course, you can’t forget the wine! Most people know Port wine, the famous dessert wine from Oporto. But there are many other amazing wines to discover, and some of our grape varieties aren’t found anywhere else in the world. 

Try the rich reds from the Douro Valley or Alentejo, sparkling Vinho Verde, or one of the exclusive Colares wines.

As a local destination wedding planner in Portugal, I’m always happy to talk my guests through their gastronomic options. Whatever you choose, adding some Portuguese classics to your menu is certain to delight your guests!