The story behind the Alheria – one of our favorite Portuguese dishes
Most people mention fish and seafood when they talk about their encounter with the Portuguese kitchen.
We absolutely love it.
But quiet frankly – you get delicious fish and sea food in France, Spain, Denmark, Thailand, South Korea and all other countries with coast lines.
In June 2016 The Jerusalem Post brought one of the most inspiring travel-to -Lisbon stories we’ve ever read – we blogged about it here.
To us he Portuguese cuisine is something completely different.
I was actually planning a story about what we consider being the local kitchen. But starting up our own kitchen here at Tings Lisbon has taken all my time the last months.
Yesterday our dear Portuguese friend Rosario send me a link to a BBC Travel story about one of our absolute favorite dishes – with an absolutely fantastic story.
So why wait sharing it 🙂
Portugal’s sneaky sausage that saved the Jews
To avoid execution by the Inquisition the Portuguese Jews disguised themselves as Christian converts in various ways…
In Trás-os-Montes every home preserved pork sausages to see the family through the winter, hanging them from the rafters in meaty coils.
The Jews – who did not eat pork – were conspicuous for their missing sausages. So to fool informers and local zealots who denounced them to the Inquisition for not eating pork they developed a bread sausage. This sausage – or the Alheira – ended up saving hundreds, maybe thousands, of Jewish souls during the Spanish Inquisition.
To day the Alheira – aka The King of Sausages – is made from meat and/or others than pork (usually veal, duck, chicken, quail or rabbit) and bread.
When Catarina had her Tasca here in Graca she served it as a main dish with Fried eggs & fried potatoes. We usually skipped the potatoes and shared it as a starter.
Every dish can tell a million stories, if only there’s someone to hear them.
Yet Portugal’s cuisine is more narrative-heavy than most, a complex tapestry of invasions and colonisation that slips and slides between continents and religions.
Read Theodora Sutcliffe’s exellent story Portugal’s sneaky sausage that saved the Jews here