CASA ORIENTAL

Clipfish (salted, air-dried) cod is called bacalhau over here and has been all the rage in Portugal since time immemorial, but even more so during Christmas. What was a tradition in the North became a national obsession and so on the night of December 24 the whole family gathers around a plate of boiled cured cod, with boiled potatoes, boiled cabbage, and boiled eggs. Drizzle with generous amounts of olive oil and (for some even) sprinkle with freshly cut… garlic. No wonder foreigners think it’s weird (we think it’s delicious, of course).

The Casa Oriental is one of many places stuffed with the salted fish for the season, among liters of Port and all kinds of dried and fresh goods. Its colonial name, flags and “native” imagery might offend the more PC readers, but the lettering is undoubtedly beautiful and so are the cabinetry details.

Casa Oriental, Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, Porto

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